Okla. bill weighs nursing home administrator requirements

Oklahoma legislators are considering a bill that would change the state requirements for becoming a nursing home administrator.

Currently, it takes a bachelor’s degree and 560 hours of training through the Board of Examiners for Long-Term Care Administrators to be eligible for a nursing home administrator position in the state. The bill would add an option in lieu of a degree to allow those with “10 years of supervisory experience, with five consecutive years of verified experience as a certified assistant administrator” to be eligible.

While the bill’s proponents say it could help fill vacancies, especially in rural areas of the state, others say the current training requirements are more effective at ensuring nursing home quality, notes an Oklahoman article.

The current regulations are more demanding for nursing home than for hospitals, Brett Coble, president of the Oklahoma Association of Healthcare Providers, told the Oklahoman. “Hospital administrators don’t have to have a four-year degree,” he said, noting that his own nursing homes have had talented employees in leadership positions who couldn’t be made an administrator because they didn’t have the collegiate requirement. “A basic four-year degree is not the end-all requirement for administrators.”

The bill passed the House and the Senate, then was sent back to the House for revisions. The House adjourned for the summer before completing the revisions, but the bill is eligible for the legislative docket in the next congressional session.

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