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How to Become a State Nursing Home Inspector

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State nursing home inspectors conduct on-site inspections at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to determine whether they are in compliance with state and federal standards of health care. They must have a background in nursing or another health care field, as well as excellent written communication skills and the ability to interpret laws and regulations related to health care. They must enjoy travel since the position requires traveling from facility to facility.

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Attend nursing school. Most states prefer hiring licensed registered nurses for these positions. While some states accept an associate’s degree, most prefer a bachelor’s degree. Being proficient on a computer is also required.

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Get experience in a nursing home or similar facility. To be a nursing home inspector, you have to have significant knowledge of the industry which can best be obtained by working in it. Plan to spend at least two years working in the field as a nurse or related health care professional. Be sure to stay on top of the changing state and federal laws and regulations related to nursing homes. Knowledge in this area will be essential when transitioning to an inspector position.

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Determine hiring policies. Since nursing home inspectors fall under the jurisdiction of each state’s Department of Health or related agency, you need to check with them to determine hiring requirements. All states have official government web sites with job listings that describe specific requirements unique to your state.

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Submit your application following your state’s guidelines for applying for state jobs. Have references available that can vouch for your understanding of nursing home laws and regulations and your ability to be objective and thorough in your investigations.

Tip

When looking for open positions, keep in mind that not all states use the title “Nursing Home Inspector." In some states, they call the position “Medical Facility Inspectors” or “Long-Term Care Nurse Surveyors” or other similar titles.