Qualifications of a Nursing Home Manager

Updated February 21, 2017

According to, nursing home managers are professionals who oversee the daily activities of a nursing home, such as admitting patients, and managing budgets and staff. Employment of nursing home managers and other health services managers is projected to climb 16 per cent through 2018, reports the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nursing home administrator salaries in 2010 ranged from £42,604 to £64,058, according to Nursing home managers must complete at least four years of training and possess several business skills to be successful in this field.


Strong written and verbal communication skills are critical for nursing home managers, who often draft reports and participate in meetings related to the nursing home’s operation. They must have solid interpersonal communication skills for working with employees, patients and their families, and they must be sensitive to the needs of the elderly and infirm. A strong background in managing finances is a must, as is capable health insurance navigation. They should have solid leadership skills, be detail-oriented and analytical, and have the ability to solve problems effectively. These leaders must also be flexible enough to work a variety of shifts, as nursing homes operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Nursing home managers must have at least a four-year bachelor’s degree in a field of study such as health care administration, long-term care administration or gerontology. However, many managers have a master’s degree in areas that include business administration, public health or health services administration to improve their employment opportunities, particularly in larger facilities. Courses in nursing home manager training programs cover topics such as human resource management, health care economics, medical law/statistics, health care information systems and business skills. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management accredits health care management degree programs.


Aspiring nursing home managers who have completed a state-approved training program must also complete an internship and pass the Nursing Home Administrators Licensing Examination offered by the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards. Licensure shows that nursing home managers have reached a certain standard of knowledge in the industry and can practice competently. The 150-question licensing exam covers topics such as leadership/management, finance, human resources and resident-centred care. Individuals who pass the test must meet continuing education requirements every two years to maintain their license.

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About the Author

YaShekia King, of Indianapolis, began writing professionally in 2003. Her work has appeared in several publications including the "South Bend Tribune" and "Clouds Across the Stars," an international book. She also is a licensed Realtor and clinical certified dental assistant. King holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ball State University.