The role of a nursing home administrator's education in influencing quality of care in US nursing homes

Tajudaullah Bhaloo, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Nursing home literature links poor management practices to poor quality of care and resident outcomes. Since Nursing Home Administrators (NHAs) require an array of skills to perform their role, it is important to explore what makes a NHA effective. This research fills a gap in the literature and provides a possible option to improve the quality of care in nursing homes. Purpose of the study. The study examines whether NHAs with advanced education (defined as a Masters degree or more) are associated with better quality of care in licensed nursing homes (NHs). Design and Methods. Data was derived from the CDC’s 2004 National Nursing Home Survey, which is a representative sample of NHs across the US. A Donabedian- inspired structure-process-outcomes study model was created to explain how education relates to quality of care. Quality of care was defined as onsite oral care, employee influenza vaccination rates and staff recognition programs. Statistical analyses included multivariate logistic regression; covariates included facility-level variables used in similar peer-reviewed research but also included select measures from the Area Resource File to control for county-level factors. Results. Descriptive and analytical analyses confirm that NHAs with a Bachelor’s degree, Associate degree or high school diploma perform less well than NHAs with a Masters degree or more. NHAs with advanced education are more likely to have onsite dental care and recognition programs for staff than NHAs with a Bachelor’s degree (or less). Also NHAs with less than graduate education are more likely to provide off-site dental care. Employee vaccination rates are not impacted by education. Adding certification, tenure or years of experience to a NHA with advanced education gives them an advantage. In fact, certification and experience alone do not have a positive relationship to care indicators; however adding these to advanced education produces a significant result. Implications. This research provides preliminary evidence that advanced education for the NHA is associated with better quality of care. If future research can confirm these findings, there is merit in revisiting the qualifications. Education can be a legitimate option to support quality improvement efforts in US nursing homes.

Subject Area

Gerontology|Educational leadership|Aging|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Bhaloo, Tajudaullah, "The role of a nursing home administrator's education in influencing quality of care in US nursing homes" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3459835.