A health-care administrator license is useful when you want an administrative career in health care, especially in long-term care, home health, acute care, and hospice care. The good news is a health-care administrator license may not be required for all specialty areas, although if you have one, employers may consider you more qualified than someone without one. The process of obtaining a health-care administrator license varies from state to state.
Most health-care administration licensing applications require minimum education requirements. The most common requirement that you would need is a bachelor’s degree in health-care administration, nursing, human resources or business management. Occasionally, a licensing agency will require a master’s degree in health-care administration. If your degree does not reflect a curriculum like the one required by the licensing agency, you may need to take additional core classes in health-care administration, such as regulations, compliance and epidemiology.
Each state has a different process to apply for a health-care administrator license. Contact your state licensing board and ask for further instruction. Applications are often thick packets of information, so you need to take your time reading through the application prior to completing it. Oh ... and most applications require an application fee.
An internship is one way to gain experience in health care, especially prior to committing your time and money for a health-care administrator license. Some states even require that applicants work in an internship capacity or under the supervision of a licensed administrator as an administrator-in-training. These positions are rare and often are unpaid; however, your experience during an internship will be like gold for your career in health care.
As with most licensed professionals, the health-care administrator candidate must complete and successfully pass a national examination. These examinations are particular to each health-care specialty. For example, the long-term care administrator candidate must pass the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards. In addition to a natonal examination, some states require you to complete a state health-care administration licensing examination.
Dr. Kimberly Perkins is a seasoned leader in health care administration with experience in independent, assisted, skilled nursing, critical access, rural health, and memory care services. Perkins has performed in a music video by the Assisted Living Federation of America. Having lived as an undercover nursing home resident, she understands firsthand how to provide care to those in need.