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Medical and Health Services Managers (Nursing Home/Healthcare Administrator)

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Nursing Home Administrators plan, organize, direct, and control the operations of a nursing home or its equivalent (other long-term personal care facilities with or without nursing services) based on policies established by the owner or governing board. 



Nursing Home Administrators may: 


Direct the hiring and training of employees 


Direct the activities of the medical, nursing, technical, clerical, service, maintenance, and volunteer staffs 


Maintain and develop standards, policies, programs, and operating procedures which comply with government regulations 


Administer fiscal operations such as budgets and service rates 


Compile, analyze, and prepare official reports 


Attend meetings with staff, the governing body, insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid administrators, and others 


Conduct public relations, arrange publicity, and speaking at community gatherings 


Interview families of persons seeking admittance to the facility 


In addition to their administrative duties, Nursing Home Administrators may have patient care or service duties. They may be physicians, registered or licensed practical nurses, or other allied health professionals. Some are also involved in teaching, research, or other professional activities. 


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187.117-018 NURSING HOME DIRECTORS plan, organize, direct, and control the operations of a nursing home or its equivalent (other long-term personal care facilities with or without nursing services) based on policies established by the owners or governing board. 


In addition to learning about these specialties, you may also find it helpful to explore the following Career Exploration Scripts: 





Nursing Home Administrators function under the general supervision of a proprietor or governing board. Those in small facilities may personally coordinate all aspects of the institution, with the assistance of a secretary. In large facilities they may assign routine tasks to assistants. 


Most Administrators work in clean, well lighted, and air-conditioned offices which are located in the nursing home. Others work in the central offices of large nursing home corporations. 


They usually work over 40 hours a week with regular evening and weekend work. Administrators who supervise activities in more than one facility must travel often in local areas. They must travel to meetings, seminars, and professional conferences. 


Nursing Home Administrators may belong to professional associations such as the American College of Health Care Administrators, the American Association of Homes for the Aged, and the Gerontological Society of America. Association members must pay periodic membership fees. 


You Should Prefer: 

  • Communicating ideas to lead and influence people 
  • Activities involving business contact with people 
  • Activities which bring appreciation from others 

You Should Be Able To: 

  • Perform a variety of duties which may change often 
  • Direct, control, and plan entire activities 
  • Gather, analyze, and evaluate statistical and other data 
  • Communicate well in speech and writing 
  • Make decisions based on personal judgment 
  • Work with sensitivity to the needs of the elderly and infirm 
  • Reason logically and use math well 
  • See details and errors in written and numerical data 


Math Problem You Should Be Able to Solve: 


The Department of Social Services is giving you a subsidy that will equal 60% of your costs for each patient you serve who is on welfare. If you currently have 30% of your 200 beds occupied by welfare recipients and each occupied bed costs you $60,000 per year to maintain, how much money will you be reimbursed by the State? 


Reading Example You Should Be Able to Read and Comprehend: 


In emphysema, the lung's tiny air sacs (alveoli) gradually lose their elasticity and exhaling becomes increasingly difficult. 


Writing Example You Should Be Able to Produce: 


You should be able to write a report explaining any problems that your patients might have experienced on a given day or week. 


Thinking Skill You Should Be Able to Demonstrate: 


You should be able to decide the best way to manage the care of an elderly person that is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. 


In Michigan, Administrators of facilities that provide nursing care must be licensed. Click  here  for "Michigan Licensed Occupations," see Nursing Home Administrator for specific licensing information.   



NOTE: A High School Diploma or Equivalent or an Associate Degree (two years of study beyond High School) or a Bachelor's Degree (four years of study beyond High School) or a Master's Degree (five to six years of study beyond High School) may qualify a person for this occupation. 


The following education and preparation opportunities are helpful in preparing for occupations in this Career Exploration Script: 








There are no Vocational Education Programs related to this Career Exploration Script. 


Students should obtain the local  Career Education Consumer Report  for information on what happens to students who successfully complete a program. This information is available at each high school or career/technical center. 






Programs in Health Care Administration provide opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills needed for employment in health care management. Positions are found in hospitals, medical care centers, and nursing homes. 

Courses within this program may vary from school to school but may include: 



Institutional Sanitation 


Survey of Data Processing 

Human Physiology 

Systems Management in the 

Medical Terminology 

Health Field 

The Field of Aging 

Administering Medical Care Programs 

Purchasing & Materials 

Group Discipline Procedure 


Legal Aspects of Health Service 

Managerial Accounting 

Technical Report Writing 

Fiscal Management 


Health Economics 

Death and Dying 


Search for a College and/or Instructional Program 




There are no Apprenticeships related to this Career Exploration Script. 




There are no Military Programs related to this Career Exploration Script. 


E-Learning Courses and Programs 



Some experience may be gained through volunteer, part-time, or summer work in a nursing home. Direct-patient care, allied health occupations, and postsecondary programs in health care administration could be helpful. 


School-to-Work opportunities include: 


informal apprenticeships 




job shadowing experiences 


touring a local Nursing Home Administrator employer 




volunteer work with a Nursing Home Administrator employer 


community service work with an agency 


Most Nursing Home Administrators enter the occupation by directly applying to employers. Assistance in locating a job may be available through professional associations, college or other placement offices, or local offices of Michigan Works!. Openings may be listed in professional journals and newspaper want ads. In addition, you should access and search the Internet's on-line employment services sites such as: 


AAHSA's Job Mart 

ACHCA Career Link 

Michigan Jobs & Career Portal 

Michigan Talent Bank 

Indeed | one search. all jobs. 







You should also enter an electronic resume on these on-line services. 



Salaries of Nursing Home Administrators depend on the Administrator's education, experience, and level of responsibility; the size, type, and ownership of the facility; the size of the administrative staff; the budget; and, to some extent, the geographic location. 


Nationally, the median annual salary of all health managers, which included Nursing Home Administrators, was $56,628 in 2005. The median yearly earnings of "all" workers in the U.S. were $33,852 in 2005. 


Nursing Homes in Michigan that receive Medicaid funds have a fixed ceiling on the amount of reimbursement for administrative compensation. In late 2006, the rates were: 


Size of Facility 

Maximum Per Year* 

0-49 Beds 


50-99 Beds 


100-149 Beds 


150 or more beds 


*Includes payment for both salary and fringe benefits. 


Because one Administrator may work in more than one facility, or one facility may have more than on Administrator, salaries for Nursing Home Administrators may vary considerably from the above rates. 


Most Administrators receive paid vacations and holidays; life, accident, disability, and hospitalization insurance; and a retirement plan. The may also receive extra pay and/or time off for professional activities. Often they are provided an automobile. 


Nursing Home Administrators in small facilities may begin as assistants or full Administrators with broad responsibilities. In large institutions, they often begin in positions which are narrow in scope. Advancement comes by taking positions with more responsibility within an organization or through moving to another institution which offers increased responsibilities and/or more money. Some Administrator positions are filled by registered nurses, licensed or practical nurses, physicians, social workers, and persons licensed or certified in other related professions. 


Many Nursing Home Administrators are employed through family ownership of the business. Others start as salaried Administrators and acquire the experience and funds necessary to establish their own businesses or form partnerships with others. The career ladder for Nursing Home Administrators may be: assistant Administrator; Nursing Home Administrator; chief administrative officer; own business. Opportunities for advancement depend on work experience, education, the size and type of organization, and the management structure. 



Nationally, there were approximately 37,500 Nursing Home Administrators employed in 2006. Employment in this occupation is expected to grow through the year 2014 as the number of licensed nursing homes needed increases. Budget cuts to Medicaid and Medicare funding will have an adverse effect on the number of Nursing Home Administrator positions.  However, competition for available positions is expected. Opportunities should be best for highly trained individuals with advanced degrees.  There were about 1,200 Nursing Home Administrators licensed in Michigan in late 2006. Most worked in urban areas for private nursing and personal care homes and other convalescent facilities. Others worked for facilities run by churches, fraternal organizations, and federal, state, or local government. These facilities ranged from those providing skilled nursing care to those offering little more than custodial care. 


Employment of Nursing Home Administrators in Michigan has grown recently in response to the increase of people over 65 years of age. However, present employment opportunities for Nursing Home Administrators are limited because the expansion of nursing homes is highly regulated by the Michigan Department of Community Health. Demand will be greatest for highly trained and experienced administrators. 


The extent to which alternative programs, such as adult day care and meals-on-wheels, are funded will also affect the employment outlook for Nursing Home Administrators. 



Printed Occupational information is available upon written request from sources below. 


Michigan Department of Community Health Nursing Home Administrators Board 
P.O. Box 30670
Lansing, MI 48909

Health Care Association of Michigan 
P.O. Box 80050
Lansing , MI 48908

American College of Health Care Administrators 
300 N Lee Street, Suite 301
Alexandria , VA 22314

American Health Care Assoc. 
1201 L Street, N.W.
Washington , DC 20005

American Association of Homes & Services for the Aging 
2519 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008

The Gerontological Society of America 1030 15th St. NW
Suite 250
Washington, DC 20005

College Placement Offices 

Michigan Works! 

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