Nursing homes are an important part of today's healthcare continuum. As patients' hospital stays become shorter and care is shifted outside inpatient settings, nursing homes are getting busier.

Nursing home administrators are also integral in this arena. They are usually registered nurses with a bachelor's degree or higher. They have many duties that are necessary to keep facilities running smoothly and efficiently. One job duty they are responsible for is staff oversight. They are responsible for hiring staff, ensuring the facility has an adequate staffing skill mix at all times (to include RNs, LPNs, and nurse's aides). They must provide performance feedback to staff and ensure they follow all policies and procedures.

Nursing home administrators must also manage the budgetary and financial operations of the facility. They need to ensure they are getting paid for the services they provide from insurance companies and Medicare, as well as the budget for the facility. Managing the budget allows for equipment to be purchased and for the hiring of staff.

Facility maintenance is another responsibility of nursing home administrators. Ensuring equipment is in working order, and the facility and staff are safe are paramount. Frequent rounding in the facility is beneficial to not only touch bases with staff and residents but to also monitor the facility for any safety needs.

Another responsibility for nursing home administrators is to promote the facility. Nursing homes are part of healthcare delivery, but it is also a business. With any business, marketing is needed to keep afloat. Promoting differences between nursing facilities as well as finding a "niche market" aids in bringing in business. For example, advertising as specializing in memory care or mentally disabled individuals helps give the facility an edge in the healthcare market.

It is also the responsibility of the nursing home administrator to keep up-to-date on standards of care, government regulations, and legislation that affects this branch of healthcare. Not doing so can lead to inadequate care and possible legal ramifications

Nursing home administrators must also handle day-to-day tasks such as handling patient and employee grievances, maintaining patient privacy consistent with current HIPAA laws, and managing and promoting infection control.

While working as a nursing home administrator is challenging, it is also very rewarding. Assisting patients as they transition from the inpatient setting or for long-term care is a critical part of the healthcare continuum, and it takes someone who can multi-task, is organized, and who has a keen business sense to get the job done.