The Requirements for a Nursing Home Administrator in Florida

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Sections 468.1695 and 468.1695 of the Florida Statutes outline the requirements to work as a nursing home administrator in the state. Under the law, all administrators must gain a license before serving as the primary administrator of a skilled care nursing facility. The Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators oversees the licensing of nursing home administrators in the state.

Education and Experience

  • To qualify for nursing home administrator licensing in Florida, candidates must meet a combination of education and experience requirements. Those who hold a bachelor's degree in health care administration or another field with at least 60 credit hours of coursework related to the management of nursing homes must complete a 1,000-hour internship to qualify for licensure. With a bachelor's degree in another field, candidates must complete a 2,000-hour internship. For each year that a candidate has served as a manager at a skilled nursing facility, hospital, hospice or assisted-iving facility with at least 60 beds, she receives credit for 1,000 hours of internship training. All candidates must complete a training course on the prevention of medical errors before licensing.

Examination

  • Candidates who meet the necessary education and experience requirements for nursing home administrator licensing must pass two examinations. The first test deals with Florida's laws and regulations governing the operation of nursing homes. Developed by the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrative Boards, this examination has questions related to resident quality of life, human resources, finance, the environment of facilities and leadership and management. Both tests are multiple-choice and taken with a computer.

Endorsement

  • In some cases, candidates can receive an exemption from the examinations required for Florida nursing home administrator licensing through the state's licensing by endorsement program. Administrators who already hold a license in the field from another state, in which the requirements for credentialing are equal to or more rigorous than Florida, automatically qualify for a Florida license. Candidates must provide proof of their credentials to qualify under this option. Applicants without a license or from a state with less strict rules than Florida may also qualify for licensing by endorsement. To do so, candidates must have worked as an administrator in another state for two out of the previous five years and passed a national examination in nursing home administration, then pass the Florida test.

Renewal

  • Nursing home administrators licenses in Florida remain valid for two years. During their first licensing cycle, administrators must complete a two-hour course in the prevention of medical errors to qualify for renewal. In addition, they must participate in a one-hour training course on HIV and AIDS during the initial licensing cycle. After that, the Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators mandates that all licensees receive two hours of training in the prevention of medical errors and 38 additional hours of training in topics related to the field during each licensing cycle.

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