Nursing Home Administration Master's: Degrees at a Glance
Degree programs may not be available under the specific title of nursing home administration, but master's degree programs in related subjects, such as healthcare administration or public administration, commonly cover this subject. Nursing home administrators in all states are required to hold licensure, so it's important to complete a program that meets the state's licensure requirements. While a bachelor's degree is the typical minimum education requirement for nursing home administrator licensure, master's degrees are common among medical and health service managers.
|Who is this degree for?||Individuals with related experience who want to advance their career in nursing home administration|
|Common Career Path (with approximate median salary)|| - Nursing home administrator ($92,000)* |
- General medical and health services manager ($86,000)**
|Time to Completion||Two years, full-time|
|Common Graduation Requirements|| - Core health administration coursework |
- Healthcare business electives
- Field experience or internship (optional)
|Prerequisites||- Bachelor's degree with some relevant coursework |
- Professional experience may be required
Sources: *Salary.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Master's in Nursing Home Administration
There are a variety of master's degree programs that can prepare you for a career in nursing home administration, such as the Master of Health Administration or Master of Public Administration. Health administration master's degree programs are fairly common and typically include nursing home administration courses. Generally, these programs take about two years to complete and include core health administration coursework, as well as an internship experience. Some programs may also include research coursework and the completion of a thesis or final paper.
Pros and Cons
- Master's degree programs can prepare you for nursing home administrator licensure, which is required in all states
- You can find a variety of programs at this level related to nursing home administration
- Medical and health service managers are expected to see a 22% growth in employment from 2010-2020, which is faster than the national average*
- A bachelor's degree is the minimum level of education for medical and health service managers, so a master's degree may not be necessary
- Depending on the state, you may need to meet additional requirements for licensure
- Nursing home administrators may be required to work overnight or weekend shifts, due to the 24-hour nature of the facilities
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Courses and Requirements
Coursework may vary between programs, especially between programs in different areas of study, such as gerontology, public administration and healthcare administration. However, these programs commonly share similar goals, including preparing students for nursing home administrator licensure, and can include similar coursework. In most cases, these programs include a set of core coursework, as well as elective options, and can also include a voluntary or mandatory internship. In programs where students are required to complete a master's thesis, research coursework is also common. Some coursework can include:
- Healthcare policy and administration
- Accounting in healthcare
- Leadership in healthcare
- Healthcare ethics
- Financial management
- Sociology or biology of aging
- Long-term care administration
Online Degree Options
Online master's degree programs in healthcare administration can be completed entirely online. In some cases, these programs may be offered only in an online format. Programs can be completed in as little as one year with a full-time schedule, and require the completion of about ten graduate courses. Online programs can be useful to individuals who are employed full-time, because they offer scheduling flexibility that will allow you to complete courses at times that are convenient for you. Upon completion of an online program, you will have the same necessary training to pursue a career or licensure in nursing home administration.
Getting Ahead with this Degree
It can be beneficial to research your state's licensure requirements to work as a nursing home administrator, which will help ensure you are prepared once you graduate. You may also consider pursuing voluntary professional certification to stand out in this field. One option is the Credentialed by the American Academy of Medical Administrators (CAAMA) designation from the American Academy of Medical Administrators. For the CAAMA certification, you will need a master's degree and one year of related professional experience. Another certification option is the Director of Nursing in Long Term Care Certification (DON-CLTC) credential from the American Association for Long Term Care Nursing. The requirements for this option include licensure as a registered nurse and two years of experience working in a nursing home.
Alternative Degree Options
If you're interested in working in an administrative position that works to benefit people, but you're not sure you want to work in a healthcare facility, you may consider an administrative position in the business world as a human resources manager. Human resources managers commonly need at least a bachelor's degree, but a master's degree in human resource management could be required or preferred for some upper-level positions. In May 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that human resources managers earned a mean annual salary of about $109,000. The BLS also stated that, from 2010-2020, human resources managers were expected to see a 13% increase in employment, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.