How do I Become a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator?

How do I become a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator?

Each state has its own NHAP program which is literally in charge of all that an AIT is required to complete in order to be licensed. They are the first and last word. Some states require that you complete a certain number of hours as a sort of internship with the supervision of an already licensed nursing home administrator known as a Preceptor. Some states don’t require any AIT  internship at all. Some states require a state exam and some don’t.

All states require that persons wanting to become a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in their state, at the very least must take and pass the NAB Exam. Lesley Powell & Associates are often aware of certain requirements in each state and pass on the information as best we can- that said, we will always in the end, refer you to call your states NHAP program to ensure you have the correct information and are on track for your goals. Sometimes state requirements change or are revised.

Are there any educational requirements in order for me to become a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator?

State NHAP can sometime have certain educational requirements in order to even apply to be an AIT. This varies state to state. Some require that you have a Master Degree or Bachalor Degree in certain healthcare associated fields or High School Degree. You must call your states NHAP program to be given the exact and correct information in regards to what is needed in order for you to become a licensed nursing home administrator.

What if my state NHAP says that I must have a preceptor before I can apply to start an AIT program?

If your state requires an AIT program it’s most likely that they will require you to have already organized a Preceptor who agrees to supervise your program and everything that comes along with that responsibility. If they do not require you to complete an AIT training with a preceptor, then they will tell you what they do require; educational requirements, state exam, NAB Exam, etc. You wouldn’t start or pay for any program until you spoke to your state NHAP first. We often get people calling us and wanting to start our prep course but when we learn that they haven’t spoken with their state NHAP and don’t understand that there are other requirements before enrolling with us, we refer them to their state NHAP. After they are sure they meet the requirements per their State NHAP, then they call us and we are happy to enroll them in our prep course.

So how do I find a Preceptor?

If you already work within a company, then you ask who in the company is a preceptor and if they would be willing to precept you. The larger companies all have many preceptors and smaller ones have preceptors as well. You want to work out or help your facility with the process for a smooth transition.

What if my company doesn’t have any preceptors for me to ask?

In this case you only have one scenario which is where you would ask one of the already Licensed Administrators to become your Preceptor. There is usually a little effort on their part to become a Preceptor for the state. But there are also some perks, the biggest one being that they receive CE Credits for being a preceptor. Again, states vary on this. Some may give 20 CE credits a year or every two years or more or less.

What if I’m not working in the industry at all or in another area of healthcare and would like to become a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator?

In this case call your NHAP and ask if they have a list of preceptors in your state. If they require preceptor supervision as part of the AIT process, then they will have a list. They most likely will send it to you via mail for a small fee or maybe free of charge. They may send it to you another way. When you receive the list you will go through it and literally find the preceptors that are closest to you and contact them. You’ll be surprised how responsive people are. Be open to maybe having to fill a needed position within the facility as part of the deal for getting to do your AIT program with this preceptor. For example, they may want you to fill the social services position for a year prior to starting your AIT or maybe fill the position while doing you AIT program. You do have to be open to how you get there.

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About the Author:

Lesley Powell is a 5 Star LNHA, NHAP & NAB/NCERS Approved CEU Provider assisting AIT's to pass the CA State and NAB Exams across the U.S. for over 12 years.