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Requirements to Obtain a Personal Care Home Administrator's License

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Personal Care Home Administrators--usually classified in state licensing regulations as Nursing Home Administrators for any home aside from assisted livings--safeguard and give quality to people's lives. Because of the trust and responsibility placed on them as managers, states have licensing oversight to ensure qualifications and capabilities. Most of these include national examinations and a universal standard of education in order to obtain a license in any state.

License Requirements

Most states, including Pennsylvania, California and Massachusetts require official transcripts from an accredited college or university with a minimum of a two-year associate's degree. Degrees do not have to be in healthcare or any specific subject.

Practical Requirements

Every state requires some amount of practical hours in a nursing home supervising capacity. Applicants obtaining their first licenses must go through an approved Administrator In Training internship program in which they are supervised in running a nursing home or personal care facility by an experienced administrator. Requirements for the number of hours and conditions of the internship vary by state.

In some states, like Pennsylvania, the practicum hours are reduced for licensed registered nurses and those with master's degrees in healthcare administration.

Experienced administrators seeking licenses in a new state must usually demonstrate a certain amount of time in an administrator role in the year to 18 months prior to application. As a rule, a working administrator will have an easy time licensing into another state if he or she has a clean record and a license in good standing.

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Criminal Clearance

States such as Massachusetts and many others require criminal background checks through the state's Department of Health. This may involve fingerprinting as it does in California.

National Examination

The National Association of Boards of Examination of Long Term Care Administrators is required in most states. This nationwide standard is akin to other healthcare professional licensing programs such as the NCLEX Examination for nurses and NBCOT Examination for Occupational Therapists.

License Registration

For administrations with active licenses applying to another state by endorsement, many states including Massachusetts require you to register your license with the National Practitioner Data Bank and the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank.

About the Author

Eric Feigenbaum started his career in print journalism, becoming editor-in-chief of "The Daily" of the University of Washington during college and afterward working at two major newspapers. He later did many print and Web projects including re-brandings for major companies and catalog production.

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