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Nursing Home Manager Career Guide

How to Become a Nursing Home Manager

Nursing homes can quickly become a “home away from home” for aging individuals. Roughly 1.4 million seniors currently reside in U.S. nursing homes, where they can receive treatment, curated meals, medication management, and general life assistance.

In the eyes of many nursing home residents, healthcare professionals can become like members of their own families. As a nursing home manager, you’ll be primarily responsible for maintaining a high standard for operations while ensuring that each patient receives the proper level of treatment, attention, care, and social interaction.

Whether you have a passion for senior care or you’re simply looking to take your nursing career to the next level, the role of a nursing home manager may be perfect for you.


A hospice nurse helps an elderly woman out of her bed.

What Is a Nursing Home Manager?

A nursing home manager satisfies all administrative responsibilities that a nursing home environment requires. You will supervise food services, ensure high levels of patient care, oversee the management of nursing home finances, and implement any new or updated healthcare regulations.

The position of nursing home manager is obtainable with a bachelor’s degree. However, qualified applicants will also need to complete hundreds of hours of supervised nursing home service before they obtain one or more certifications and pass a qualifying exam.

To start drawing your nursing career map, you should understand how the role of a nursing home manager differs from other nursing professions. Unlike nursing home administrators, nurse case managers care for clients recovering from injury or illness, in addition to their work with geriatric patients. The role of a nurse manager is also unique from that of a nursing home manager, mainly in that nurse managers work in hospital or clinical settings and provide direct supervision strictly for nursing staff.

If you’re searching for a nursing leadership career—like the operational role of a healthcare administrator—you should first take steps to understand what nursing leadership roles mean in a healthcare environment. Unlike managerial staff, leaders empower their teams by example, implementing high-level strategies and creating a long-term vision for a company’s future. 

What Does a Nursing Home Manager Do?

Nursing home managers fulfill a wide range of responsibilities. From communicating with patients and healthcare staff to organizing a nursing home’s budgets, you’ll remain busy each day on the job.

The exact responsibilities of a nursing home manager can include:

  • Ensuring effective nursing home operations daily.
  • Establishing nursing home nurse schedules in a way that allows each nurse sufficient working hours without reaching nurse burnout.
  • Implementing autonomous nursing practices that allow nurses to make decisions and implement processes without having to consult doctors or other healthcare professionals.
  • Developing nursing home goals and objectives to be shared across all nursing home departments.
  • Communicating with nursing home department administrators to ensure that each branch of nursing home operations is functioning smoothly.
  • Speaking to nursing home operations and success during investor and executive board meetings.
  • Monitoring nursing home budgets to ensure that finances are spent appropriately.

These and other responsibilities help nursing home managers find success while connecting all geriatric patients with high levels of personalized care.

What Education and Qualifications Does a Nursing Home Manager Need?

Before you can begin a career as a nursing home manager, you’ll first need to satisfy a few educational requirements. Often, this means you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management or a related field. A healthcare management degree program is a fantastic option as it allows students to learn about the intersection of business and healthcare, giving them specific insight into how healthcare organizations run, their financial needs, strategies, management practices, and more.

In order to move into a management position, a master’s degree is typically required. An MBA in healthcare management can be an ideal option for students looking to pursue a management career in a nursing home or other health field. This type of MBA program will again focus on combining healthcare best practices and business skills, giving students insight into how these two areas work together. Courses on marketing, accounting, communication, leadership, and healthcare regulation can all be expected in this type of MBA program. Similarly, a Master of Health Leadership degree could help those who need more information on the healthcare elements of business management. When determining the right healthcare leadership degree for you, consider your desired role.

Best Degree for Nursing Home Managers

Healthcare Management – B.S. Business Administration

You can become a healthcare industry leader:...

You can become a healthcare industry leader:...

You can become a healthcare industry leader:

Compare with B.S. Health Information Management

  • Time: 73% of graduates finish within 30 months.
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Health information manager
  • Community service manager
  • Clinical manager
  • Medical records manager
  • Social service manager

The online courses in this career-focused business degree program will prepare you with management-level skills and an up-to-date understanding of our healthcare delivery system.

Master of Health Leadership

A master's focused on managing comprehensive, value-based care,...

A master's focused on managing comprehensive,...

A master's focused on managing comprehensive, value-based care, directly in line with innovations in health and healthcare.

  • Time: 78% of grads finish within 18-24 months. 
  • Tuition and fees: $4,240 per 6-month term.

Examples of careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Managed care executive
  • Director of integrated care management
  • Health center manager/clinic manager
  • Director of integrated facilities

Your rich experience in a health-related field can mean more when you bring a master's level of understanding to the problems that organizations need to solve.

Compare degrees
This program is not the only degree WGU offers designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees by clicking the button below.

Compare Similar Degrees

MBA Healthcare Management

Prepare for a career leading private or public healthcare...

Prepare for a career leading private or public...

Prepare for a career leading private or public healthcare organizations.

  • Time: Graduates can finish within 12 months.
  • Tuition: $4,530 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Administrative director
  • Chief financial officer
  • Other executive-level roles

Healthcare is big business in today's complex economy.  Steer your career with this specialty MBA.

Compare online business degrees

This program is not the only online business degree WGU offers that is designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees by clicking the button below.

Compare Similar Degrees

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No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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A nurse helps an elderly woman stand from a chair.

What Skills Does a Nursing Home Manager Need?

In communication with nursing home employees and patients, budget allocation, and installation of new procedures, a nursing home manager regularly depends on a wide variety of skills to be successful.

  • Team leadership. The ability to inspire a team by example, as you lead all nursing home employees toward solutions that improve long-term outcomes for all patients.
  • Business management. The ability to facilitate successful nursing home operations and to correctly inform all nursing home departments on correct procedures.
  • Staffing. The ability to maintain a high-functioning nursing home staff by onboarding new employees and releasing employees whenever necessary.
  • Instruction. The ability to teach new and existing nursing home employees whenever a policy needs to be integrated, updated, or altogether changed.
  • Public speaking. The ability to confidently address groups of patients, nursing home employees, or executives.
  • Technological proficiency. The ability to correctly use all necessary pieces of technology, including any computers, tablets, phones, and online tools.
  • Problem-solving. The ability to creatively solve problems that patients or nursing home staff members might face.

These and other skills can help make you into a successful nursing home manager, and equip you to solve any issues that might come across your desk.

What Is the Salary of a Nursing Home Manager?


As with many healthcare careers, your exact role will heavily affect your earning power. The exact income of a nursing home manager can vary, based on factors that include your employer, employer’s location, employer’s private or public funding, years of experience, education, and obtained certifications.

In general, the salary of a nursing home manager can average $55,481, with a range of roughly $35,000 to $82,000 earned each year.


What Is the Projected Job Growth?


A positive job outlook is one of the main reasons why you should consider obtaining a healthcare management degree. The employment of health services managers, in general, is expected to grow 32% from 2019 to 2029, as populations continue to age and require greater levels of care.

With the natural aging of the baby-boomer generation, nursing homes will face an increased demand for long-term treatment and quality care. The demand for nursing home managers should grow in parallel, creating multiple avenues for growth in the nursing industry.

Where Do Nursing Home Managers Work?


Nursing home managers typically work onsite in a nursing home environment, where it’s easier to oversee all operations. However, depending on your employer’s nursing home type, you might work in a wide variety of potential locations.

The locations where a nursing home manager can work often include:

-Assisted living facilities, where communities of senior adults receive tailored care.

-Skilled nursing facilities, where individuals can receive 24-hour care from trained healthcare professionals.

-Memory care facilities, where adults with specific memory impairments receive treatment that improve their outlook.

-Adult homes, where adults live in temporary or long-term facilities if they are unable to function independently.

Nursing Home Manager FAQs

The salary of a nursing home manager ranges from about $35,000 - $82,000 with an average salary of $55,481.

A nursing home managers typically work onsite in a nursing home environment to oversee the operations of the facility.

Interested in Becoming a Nursing Home Manager?

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