How to Effectively Manage Long-Term Patient Care Facilities


patient healthcare manager

Long-term patient care facilities have been in the spotlight during the coronavirus pandemic. Frontline workers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, Alzheimer’s care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and continuing care retirement communities are getting notice—and credit—for the very difficult jobs they do every day. But those staff members who work directly with patients and residents can’t do it all on their own. They need proper training, instruction, and management. They need a safe and secure environment for them and their facility’s residents. They need genuine and passionate leadership. It’s never been more apparent. That’s where managers and directors come in.

As a manager at a long-term care facility, you would need a combination of hard and soft skills. You’ll need to be kind, compassionate, caring, respectful of others, and a good leader. But to be a truly effective manager, you’ll also need to know about healthcare regulations, licensure and certification requirements, organizational structure, fiduciary responsibilities, and how to build, train, and run a diverse staff.

Do you think you could do the job?

What Skills do You Need to Effectively Manage Long-Term Patient Care Facilities?

Whether you’re an entry-level manager or an experienced professional, there are innate skills you’ll need to do your job well. You may already possess some of the most important of these.

Soft Skills You May Already Have:

  • Empathy and compassion for others
  • Respect for an elderly population
  • Effective Leadership
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to get along with diverse populations
  • Exacting attention to detail
  • Top-notch organizational skills
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Fairness
  • Decisiveness
  • Analytical thinking
  • Time management skills
  • Respect for patient confidentiality
  • Patience
  • Calm demeanor

If you’ve checked off most of these soft skills, you may be a good fit for long-term care management. But how can you learn the ins and outs of running an actual facility? It’s critical work that requires a wide range of knowledge and skills. You’ll need to know how to manage a budget, maintain a facility, run a staff, and so much more, all while placing resident needs as your top priority.

You Can Learn Concrete Long-Term Care Management Skills in a University Program:

  • Healthcare management and evaluation
  • Quality assurance and improvement
  • Law and the regulatory environment
  • Healthcare policy and ethics
  • Financial accounting
  • Billing and record keeping
  • Negotiations
  • Supervisory skills
  • Electronic health software
  • Medical inventory management
  • Building and grounds maintenance
  • Sales and marketing

To become a manager of a long-term patient care facility you will generally need a bachelor’s degree and experience working in this type of community. With a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management, you can take many different directions in your career. In addition to managing a long-term care facility, you could be a patient finance manager, health insurance manager, a healthcare department manager or a physician practice manager.

If you’ve ever considered a healthcare career that impacts seniors, it may be time to step up and make a difference. There is a critical need for medical and health services managers now. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics job growth for the field is expected to be much faster than average through 2029. And the mean salary for managers in the field is $100,980.


At National American University, we offer a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management that will teach you the skills you need for a rewarding career. Do you already have some experience or a certificate in a medical field? You may be able to transfer those credits to your degree program so you can start ahead. Call 800-209-0182 to speak to a counselor or fill out the form to request more information.


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