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Skills Needed in Nursing Home Management

by Maureen Malone

Careers in nursing home management offer challenging and rewarding opportunities to provide top-quality care for patients and a positive working environment for staff. Duties include managing employees, implementing policies, ensuring compliance with laws and facility regulations and overseeing public relations. Some nursing home administrators may even provide direct patient care. To fulfill the responsibilities of this role, administrators must have a diverse set of skills.

Human Resources

Nursing home managers oversee human resources to ensure that the facility has well-qualified staff. Administrators must be skilled in recruitment and interviewing techniques and knowledgeable about the qualifications for each position and hiring policies of the nursing home. In addition, they must be familiar with employment law, ensure that the nursing home does not discriminate against staff or applicants, and complies with all aspects of employment law.

Financial Management

Understanding financial management and the ability to create and manage a nursing home budget is a critical skill for administrators. Specific skills in financial management include reading financial statements, forecasting revenue and expenses, and cost-benefit analysis for new programs and policies. Nursing home administers must also understand health care policies, such as Medicare and insurance reimbursement rules, and implement compliance policies for nursing home staff.

Relationships and Communication

Nursing home administrators use communication and interpersonal relationship skills daily. Within the nursing home, they communicate with medical professionals about patient health and status, address any problems with staff members and converse with patients. Administrators must also communicate with outside agencies, such as Medicare offices, insurance agencies and other medical providers. They also oversee patient admission and communicate with the families of current and potential patients. In some cases, administrators represent the nursing home and speak to the public or media during community events.

Decision Making and Analytical Thinking

The ability to understand how new laws and regulations affect daily nursing home operations and policies is critical for effective management. In addition, they must interpret policies and make decisions to find solutions to problems with staff or administration. Administrators also use these skills to develop performance improvement programs or to make financial and hiring decisions.

Personal Accountability

As leaders of nursing home operations, administrators must be personally accountable for their performance. This includes taking responsibility for decisions and policies and behaving ethically at all time. In addition, administrators must be licensed. Specific requirements vary but usually include a bachelor's degree and passing an examination. Nursing home managers must also complete continuing education to maintain a current license.

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