George Washington MHA

Long Term Care Administrator

Long Term Care AdministratorA Long Term Care Administrator is an exciting and rewarding position within health administration.  Remember that today people are living much longer and due to this increasing number of people living longer, there are huge demands for long term health care as a whole.  Because of this change in demographics, an excellent opportunity now exists for anyone interested in being a Long Term Care Administrator.

Job Description

Like many other healthcare administration careers, Long Term Care Administrator is geared specifically to the management of nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, residential home care, continuing care retirement communities, and senior housing.  These types of facilities are increasing year over year and they require someone with the specific knowledge of this population to help run these facilities. First, as a long term care administrator you must understand that the resident care and quality of life comes first.  This will require you to make decisions based not only on yourself and colleagues, but also what will be best for the residents.

Overall, you must have an understanding that these residents are seeking a higher quality of life in your facility and your programs must always adhere to that goal. Second, you will need to understand various business related areas such as human resources and finance.  Often long term care facilities have a staff comprised of many different workers including clinical staff.  This means that you must have the knowledge to recognize what areas need more staff and how to best use the facilities resources.  Financial wise, most facilities rely on a mixed-payment model from Medicare, Social Security, and Private Retirement Benefits.  Knowledge and understanding of these payment sources is absolutely necessary to succeed in these facilities.

Finally, a long term care administrator must have the leadership and management skills that may not be seen in other health administration positions.  Long term care facilities employ many different personnel and can be on tight budgets.  Therefore, you are constantly balancing the staff, resident, and organization needs.  In addition, unlike a hospital with numerous resources, long term care facilities often have less resources and rely on administrators to fully understand the business.

Job Outlook

According to the BLS, health services manager positions are expected to increase 16% in the next 10 years.  This is actually a huge number.  Although this number does include various other levels of administrators.  A long term care administrator will be especially needed due to the changing demographics in the United States.  In fact, some articles have explained that there may be a shortage of long term can administrators due to not enough being trained.

Salary and Benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a long term care administrator is $71,000 per year.  Bear in mind that this ultimately depends on the size of the facility and whether it is a nonprofit or corporate entity.  Some corporations have hundreds of long term care facilities and the individual administrator for a facility can receive a salary above $150,000 per year. Bear in mind that other salary surveys have yielded different results.  For example, in 2010 the average was found to be $85,000 according to a HSC report.  Above all, the pay is substantial and this career is ultimately extremely rewarding.

Education Requirements

Most long term care administrators have health administration degree credentials.  In addition, due to the growth and the further complexity of these organizations, an MHA degree will nearly be a prerequisite for a leadership position in long term care.  Finally, all administrators of nursing homes must be licensed by their state.  Some MHA degree programs do have certification in their programs, but please make sure to check with the school and the state in which you intend to work. Please feel free to search our directory to look for these programs to start you future career as a long term care administrator.


March 28, 2012

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