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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Nursing Home Administration Licensure

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Nursing Home Administration as a Career

The field of nursing home administration offers an exciting blend of challenge and satisfaction. Successful operation of a nursing home requires strong management ability integrated with a deeply felt commitment to humane care. The role of administrator is complex, heavily affected by law and regulation and demands a high level of interpersonal skill as well as technical administrative competence. Persons who qualify can expect increasing demand for their services as the nation's older population continues to grow and require long-term health care.


A license is required to administer a nursing home in each of the 50 states. In the State of Minnesota, requirements for licensure as a nursing home administrator are established by the Minnesota Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators, 2829 University Avenue S.E., Suite 440, Minneapolis, MN 55414-3245; telephone 651-201-2730. Licensure is granted only by the Board of Examiners and all decisions regarding individual qualifications are made by this board. Requirements for licensure include a baccalaureate or higher degree, satisfactory completion of specific board-approved academic course work, a practicum and passing scores on national and state examinations. Applicants for this license are strongly advised to have direct contact with the Board of Examiners before pursuing any component of an educational program.

The Educational Program for Licensure at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Courses which meet educational requirements for licensure are not restricted to students in this program and are generally available without special permission beyond normal prerequisites. However, admission to the practicum is selective and open only by application to and permission of the program director. For this reason and in order to avoid errors in planning and completing requirements, early and frequent contact with the program director is essential.

Courses numbered 400 and lower are undergraduate; courses numbered 500 and higher are graduate level. Information regarding when courses are offered is supplied by the department and subject to change. Contact the program director or the department offering the course for current scheduling information. The required educational content areas and board-approved MSU courses are as follows:

Nursing Home Administration License Preparation Program

(21-27 credits)

Subpart 1:  Organizational Management

(Choose 3 credits)

  • MGMT 330  Principles of Management (3)
  • HLTH 659  Health Care Administration (3)

Subpart 2:  Managerial Accounting

(Choose 3 credits)

  • ACCT 210    Managerial Accounting (3)
  • MBA 630  Accounting for Managers (3)

Subpart 3:  Gerontology

(Choose 3 credits)

  • GERO 200  Aging:  Interdisciplinary Perspectives (3)
  • GERO 600 Gerontology Theory and Practice
  • SOC 404/504 Sociology of Aging (3)

Subpart 4:  Health Care and Medical Needs

(Choose 2-3 credits)

  • NURS 340 Gerontological Nursing (2)
  • HLTH 455/555 Health and Aging (3)

Subpart 5:  Nursing Facility Services

(Choose 3 credits)

  • GERO 480/580 Nursing Home Administration (3)*

* This course satisfies the requirements for both Subpart 5 and 7

Subpart 6:  Human Resources

(Choose 3 credits)

  • MGMT 340 Nursing Home Administration (3)
  • POL 662 Seminar:  Human Resources Management
  • MGMT 642 Developing Human Resources

Subpart 7:  Regulatory Management

(Choose 3 credits)

  • GERO 480/580 Nursing Home Administration (3)*

* This course satisfies the requirements for both Subpart 5 and 7

Subpart 8:  Information Uses

(Choose 3 credits)

  • MGMT 200 (3)**

** This course has a prerequisite:  ISYS 190

Subpart 9:  Practicum

(Choose 1-6 credits)

  • GERO 498/698 Nursing Home Administration Practicum (1-6)***

***A 400 hour practicum is typically required (6 credits), but credit for life experience may be granted by the Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administration.  Practicums are arranged individually.


The practicum is an intensive participative learning experience conducted within a licensed nursing home under the supervision of a licensed administrator and the MSU program director. It provides opportunity for the administrator-in-training to gain first-hand knowledge of the complex role of nursing home administrator through observation, study and participation in the daily life and activities of the facility. The practicum is normally conducted in one of several area facilities which participate regularly with MSU in the preparation of nursing home administrators. The minimum number of clock hours normally required for the practicum is 400 at the rate of at least 20 hours a week for one semester. Any reduction in this number of hours (e.g., for prior experience) is to be determined by the Board of Examiners in consultation with the MSU program director. This is an unpaid practicum and requires prior application and registration for four semester credits of Gerontology 498 or 698. The following prerequisites apply to the practicum:

  1. The applicant for practicum shall be of good character, legal age and suitable for employment as a nursing home administrator. This judgment is made by the MSU program director and, as required, consultation with members of the preceptor panel of cooperating nursing home administrators.
  2. The practicum is normally not available to persons who have not completed required courses for licensure through MSU.
  3. All course work requirements for licensure are to be completed prior to the practicum.
  4. Application for the practicum should be made to the Aging Studies Program director one semester ahead of the time at which the practicum is to begin.

For instructions and forms for setting up the practicum, go to the Internship/Practicum site on the Aging Studies webpage.

Degree Programs and Licensure

At Minnesota State University, Mankato, the Nursing Home Administration licensure program is often pursued as a part of a broader program of study leading to either a bachelor's or a master's degree. When this is done, it is recommended that the degree program include substantial work in gerontology, business, health science, and sociology with major and minor chosen from among these fields of study. At the graduate level, the Master of Science in Aging Studies is a frequently selected option.

For schedules of courses, contact the registrar at Minnesota State University, Mankato 507-389-6266, or check the Aging Studies Program website.

For program information contact:

Donald Ebel
113 Armstrong Hall
Minnesota State University
Mankato, MN 56001
Phone: 507-389-5188