Becoming a Nursing Home Director

So you want to become a nursing home director. And it’s no wonder, considering CNN Money Magazine has ranked the job among the best 100 in the nation. But how do you go about becoming a nursing home director, and what can you expect once you’ve landed the job?

Job Description
The nursing home director’s job is one of responsibility. It requires leadership and the ability to multi-task, as there are many duties to perform. In general, the nursing home director manages the facility. He or she answers to the top management, as well as to the patients and staff. The director must plan and accomplish goals based on judgment and experience. An ideal candidate for the position possesses both medical and administrative skills.

He or she must be people-oriented and friendly toward the facility’s patients.

The nursing home director makes the final business and financial decisions for the facility and oversees its budget, as well as the hiring and conduct of its staff. In addition, the director must make sure the facility complies with state and federal regulations.

Most facilities require an applicant for the position of nursing home director to have at least 5-10 years of experience working in health care. Some also require supervisory experience. A majority of nursing home directors are certified registered nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners, although a small number are certified licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or certified in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). See Certifications.

Educational Requirements
Some facilities accept a bachelor’s degree in nursing as the only educational requirement. Others require a master’s degree in either nursing, nursing administration, or health care administration. Dual degree programs, such as an MS in nursing with an MBA or an MS in nursing with an MS in health care administration, are excellent programs to prepare for a career as a nursing home director.

A nursing home director can expect an annual median salary of $84,270. Private facilities generally pay higher than government facilities, and the salaries are usually higher in large cities than in rural areas.

Job Outlook
Some cities with a high demand for nursing home directors are Charleston, West Virginia; New York, New York; Harriman, Tennessee; and Orlando, Florida.

During the period 2006-2016, the demand for nursing home directors is forecast to rise 16 percent. Due to an aging population and an increase in elder care facilities, the outlook for future job growth in health care looks promising.