The Role of the Nursing Home Director

The role of the nursing home administrator is to supervise, plan, develop, monitor and maintain appropriate standards of care throughout all departments in the nursing home. The nursing home administrator must have effective communication, leadership, and business skills in order to be successful. Due to the difficulty and high demands of this position, there is a high turnover in nursing home administrators in Indiana and across the country, especially in nursing homes that have a history of giving poor care.

What are the nursing home administrator’s responsibilities?

  • Plan and direct operations of the nursing home based on policies established by the owner or governing board.
  • 24/7 responsibility for all aspects of care provided to residents and for the nursing home’s environmental functioning.
  • Direct the hiring and training of employees.
  • Direct the activities of the medical, nursing, technical, clerical, laundry, housekeeping, maintenance, social service, activity, and volunteer staff.
  • Maintain and develop standards, policies, programs, and operating procedures which comply with federal and state regulations.
  • Administer budgets and service rates.
  • Prepare official reports for the nursing home’s governing body and state and federal agencies.
  • Attend meetings with staff, families, the governing body, insurance companies, and Medicare and Medicaid administrators.
  • Interview families of persons seeking admittance to the nursing home.

Questions to ask the nursing home:

  • How long has your administrator been employed by this nursing home (if it has been for a short time, ask how long the last one was employed; if there is high turnover in the administrator position, this may also reflect substandard care)?
  • What kind of training does your administrator have?
  • Is your administrator a member of any professional organizations that provide resources and support to nursing home administrators to help ensure their effectiveness?
  • Who is responsible for the administration of the nursing home when the administrator is not available (often it is an assistant administrator or the director of nursing)?
  • How long has your administrator been licensed in the state of Indiana?


The American Healthcare Association

American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging

American College of Health Care Administrators