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Licensing and Certification Program

Nursing Home Administrator

The Nursing Home Administrator Program (NHAP) is governed by the Health and Safety Code Sections 1416 through 1416.84 and must assure that the health, safety, security, and rights of the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) residents are safeguarded by setting standards for licensing of nursing home administrators (NHAs), administering a training program for NHAs, testing and issuing licenses, and administering an enforcement program for disciplinary action against NHAs.
NHAP continues to strive for excellence in ensuring that California Nursing Homes are managed by qualified professional NHAs.

Verification of Nursing Home Administrator License Link

How to Renew a Nursing Home Administrator License

How to Apply for a Nursing Home Administrator License

Administrator-In-Training (AIT) Program

Important Dates

How to Renew a Nursing Home Administrator License

To renew a nursing home administrator license, the licensee must submit the renewal fee, continuing education (CE) certificates, and the completed License Renewal Form (CDPH 512) at least thirty (30) days prior to the licensee's expiration date.

The License Renewal Form (CDPH 512) is automatically mailed to the licensee's address of record approximately sixty (60) days prior to the Licensee's expiration date by the NHAP. Contact NHAP via e‑mail at NHAP@cdph.ca.gov if the CDPH 512 is not received or if a duplicate is needed.

When completing the CDPH 512, the licensee is given the choice between an Active and Inactive renewal. A request for an Active license renewal denotes that the licensee is requesting to maintain the license status and the right to continue to work in the state of California as a licensed nursing home administrator. A request for an Inactive license renewal allows the licensee to maintain licensure status, but the licensee is not allowed to work as a nursing home administrator while in the Inactive status.

Renewal Process for Requesting an Active License Renewal

To request an Active renewal, proof of the licensee's program-approved continuing education hours are required pursuant to Health and Safety Code 1416.42(b).

To renew in the Active status, the licensee must submit:

  • A completed renewal form (CDPH 512) with the Active box checked,
  • Certificates proving completion of 40 program approved continuing education units, 10 of which must be in the area of patient aging, completed within the previous two year licensure period, and 
  •  The appropriate renewal fee found at NHAP website: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHCQ/LCP/Pages/NHAPFees.aspx

                         

Renewal Process for Requesting an Inactive License Renewal

The certificates for continuing education hours are not required when the licensee requests to renew in the inactive status.

To renew in the Inactive status, the licensee must submit:

                         

Process for NHAs requesting to move an Inactive License to Active

An Inactive license is subject to the same two year renewal period as an Active license and can be moved to Active status at any time during that two year period.

To request an Inactive license be moved to Active status, the licensee must submit:

  • A completed CDPH 510, and
  • Certificates proving completion of 40 program approved continuing education units, 10 of which must be in the area of patient aging, completed within the previous two year licensure period pursuant to Health and Safety Code 1416.42(d).

 

 

NHAP’s Role after Receiving a Renewal Request from an NHA

The NHAP processes renewal requests in the order they are received. In the event that a renewal request is incomplete, the NHAP will issue a letter indicating the next steps needed to renew the license. Please be advised that if the application is incomplete, this may cause a delay in the renewal process, which may leave licensees without a valid license. As a reminder, the licensee cannot work as a NHA unless they have a valid license pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 1416.6(a).

Any renewal request that is submitted after the expiration date is subject to a delinquent fee pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 1416.42(c).

The NHAP cannot process a renewal request if the Licensee has any outstanding citations or fines pursuant to Health and Safety Code 1416.70(b)(6).

Once a completed renewal request is processed, a license is printed and mailed to the address of record within fourteen calendar days.

A license which is not renewed by the licensee's expiration date is delinquent and all practice rights are terminated. Failure to renew a delinquent license within three years of expiration date will result in license cancelation. Once a license has been canceled, the only way for the licensee to be licensed again is to go through the initial application process and meet all initial licensure requirements.

Process for Renewing a Delinquent License

To renew a delinquent license into the active status, the licensee will need to submit:

To renew a delinquent license into the inactive status, the license will need to submit:

 

How to Apply for a Nursing Home Administrator License

 To become licensed as a nursing home administrator, applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be a citizen of the United States or legal resident of reputable and responsible character;
  • Pass the nursing home administrator license examination, which consists of a written state exam and an on-line national exam;
  • Pass a criminal history review;
  • Pay the licensing fees; and
  • Be in compliance with any judgement or order of support.

 There are three ways an applicant can qualify for the nursing home administrator license examination:

1. Have a master's degree in nursing home administration or a related health administration field. The master's program in which the degree was obtained must have included an internship or residency of at least 480 hours in a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility;
2.    Have a current valid license as a nursing home administrator in another state and meet the education requirements in California when the applicant was originally licensed based upon the table below:

Prior to 7/1/73None
From 7/1/73 to 6/30/7430 semester units
From 7/1/74 to 6/30/7545 semester units
From 7/1/75 to 6/30/8060 semester units
From 7/1/80 to presentBaccalaureate degree

 
3.    Have completed an NHAP approved Administrator-In-Training (AIT) program with an NHAP certified Preceptor

The NHAP provides the written state examination at least four times a year. The online national examination is provided by the National Long Term Care Administrator Board (NAB).

Link to exam dates page

How to Apply to the State Exam for Master's Applicants

 Applicants may qualify for the nursing home administrator examination if they have received a Master's degree in a healthcare related field and the Master's degree curriculum required an internship of at least 480-hours. Applicant qualifications are set forth in Section 1416.22(a) of the Health and Safety Code.

Applicants wanting to use their Master's education to be considered to take the nursing home administrator examination, must submit:
1.    Completed the Master's or Reciprocity Application for Nursing Home Administrator Examination (CDPH524);
2.    Completed Live Scan Form (BCIA 8016);
3.    A recent photograph clearly picturing your face that is approximately 2" by 2", similar to a passport photograph;
4.    A copy of one of the following:

  • Passport; or
  • State issued identification card (e.g. driver's license); or
  • Permanent resident card; 

5.    The appropriate non-refundable application fee established by the Program, which can be found on the NHAP website; and
6.    An official transcript from your college/university provided in an unopened envelope. The NHAP will return transcripts that appear to be opened without reviewing them.

    • If your units earned or degree/credentials were not conferred in the United States, you must acquire a credential equivalency evaluation in lieu of providing an official transcript. The two credential evaluation services that NHAP accepts are:
      1. International Education Research Foundation Inc. (310) 258-9451
      2. Academic and Professional International Evaluations, Inc. (562) 594-6498
    • You only have to provide the transcript indicating you were awarded an academic degree (baccalaureate or higher) regardless of the number of universities or colleges you attended.
    • Your transcript must bear the official seal of the school.
    • Do not send diplomas, copies of diplomas, certificates of attendance at seminars, or letters of recommendation.
    • Your Master's degree must be in a healthcare related field and an internship of at least 480 hours must have been required as part of the curriculum for completion of the degree. 


      Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 1416.24(b), completed applications to take the state exam must be submitted 30 days prior to the date of the exam you are requesting to take.

 

How to Apply for the State Exam for Reciprocity Applicants

 You may qualify for the nursing home administrator examination if you have a current valid license as a nursing home administrator in another state and meet the education requirements in California when you were originally licensed based upon the table below:

Prior to 7/1/73None
From 7/1/73 to 6/30/7430 semester units
From 7/1/74 to 6/30/7545 semester units
From 7/1/75 to 6/30/8060 semester units
From 7/1/80 to presentBaccalaureate degree

 
Applicant qualifications are set forth in Sections 1416.22(a)(1) and 1416.22(a)(2) of the Health and Safety Code.

Applicants that want to use Reciprocity to be considered to take the nursing home administrator examination, must submit:
1.    Completed the Master's or Reciprocity Application for Nursing Home Administrator Examination (CDPH524);
2.    Completed Live Scan Form (BCIA 8016);
3.    Verification of nursing home administrator license in all states the applicant is licensed in;
4.    A recent photograph clearly picturing your face that is approximately 2" by 2", similar to a passport photograph;
5.    A copy of one of the following:

  • Passport, or
  • State issued identification card (e.g. driver's license), or
  • Permanent resident card; 

6.    The appropriate non-refundable application fee established by the Program, which can be found on the NHAP website; and
7.    An official transcript from your college/university provided in an unopened envelope. The NHAP will return transcripts that appear to be opened without reviewing them.

  • If your units earned or degree/credentials were not conferred in the United States, you must acquire a credential equivalency evaluation in lieu of providing an official transcript. The two credential evaluation services that NHAP accepts are:
    1. International Education Research Foundation Inc. (310) 258-9451
    2. Academic and Professional International Evaluations, Inc. (562) 594-6498
  • You only have to provide the transcript indicating you were awarded an academic degree (baccalaureate or higher) regardless of the number of universities or colleges you attended.
  • Your transcript must bear the official seal of the school.
  • Do not send diplomas, copies of diplomas, certificates of attendance at seminars, or letters of recommendation.

 
Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 1416.24(b), completed applications to take the state exam must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the date of the examination requested on the application.

After NHAP Approves Your State Exam Application

 Once your application is approved, you will receive an approval letter in the mail that provides you with the date and time of the state examination you were approved to take. Seating is limited for these examinations and we do not accept "walk-ups" on the date of the examination. Please pay attention to the time listed in your approval letter. If there are enough approved applicants, an afternoon examination may be held and your approval letter will provide you with the time of the examination you were approved for.

On the day of the examination, NHAP staff start checking in approved state examination takers 45 minutes before the examination is schedule to begin. Approximately 15 minutes prior the examination, NHAP staff provide instructions for taking the examination. Once the examination begins, test takers have two (2) hours to complete the examination.

Pursuant to Health and Safety code section 1416.34(c), the NHAP will provide your examination results in a timely manner through the mail within 90 days of the examination. Exam results are not available via telephone or e-mail.

Applicants who are unable to pass the state examination after three attempts are required to take an NHAP approved re-training. The re-training is required to be completed before a fourth attempt can be approved by the NHAP.

How to take the National Examination

 Applicants for a nursing home administrator license must pass, or have previously passed, the national examination. The NHAP approves applicant's access to take the national examination at the same time that we approve the applicant's eligibility for the state examination. Applicants do not need to wait for the results of the written state exam before attempting the national examination.

The national examination is computer-based and can be scheduled through the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB).

Applicants applying through Reciprocity are required to submit a verification form from each state they are currently licensed in, which includes the passing score for the national examination, and do not need to retake the national examination.

To apply to take the national examination:
1.    Go to the NAB website (http://www.nabweb.org/) and fill out appropriate information and pay the national examination fee.

  • A NHA Information for Candidates Handbook can be downloaded from this website. The handbook is a 38-page document that provides step-by-step instructions, FAQs, sample test questions and other important information. If you do not have access to a computer or an e-mail account, you can contact the NHAP for a hard copy of the handbook and a paper application.
  • To apply on-line, you must have a valid credit or debit card, an e-mail address, an Internet connection (DSL or modem), and an Internet-capable PC with an attached printer. PSI will send an e-mail to you confirming receipt of the application.
  • The NAB will confirm your eligibility to take the examination with the NHAP. After your eligibility has been confirmed by the NHAP, you will be approved to take the examination.

2.    You will receive an 'Authorization to Test' letter via email. This letter will provide instructions on how to sign up for the national examination. You can apply using the toll-free telephone number or website provided in the letter.
3.    The national examination is administered through PSI Test Centers,which has many sites located throughout California. You will be given 60 days to schedule and take the examination. You will select the time and location that is most convenient for you. If you do not schedule and take the examination within 60 days, all fees will be forfeited. There is no exception to this policy.

Pursuant to Health and Safety code section 1416.34(c), the NHAP will provide your examination results in a timely manner through the mail within 90 days of the examination. Exam results are not available via telephone or e-mail.

Applicants who are unable to pass the national examination after three attempts are required to take an NHAP approved re-training. The re-training is required to be completed before a fourth attempt can be approved by the NHAP.

Administrator-In-Training (AIT) Program

 An applicant may qualify for the AIT program if they have the appropriate education or work experience requirements and pass the criminal background review. The eligibility requirements for an AIT program are set forth in Sections 1416.55(c) and (d) of the California Health and Safety Code.

To qualify for the AIT program, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and meet one of the following:

  1. Have a doctorate degree in medicine and a current valid license as a physician and surgeon;
  2. Have a baccalaureate degree;
  3. Have ten years of full-time work experience and a current valid license as a registered nurse. At least the most recent five years of the 10 years of work experience shall be in a supervisory or director of nursing position.
  4. Have ten years of full-time work experience in any department of a skilled nursing facility, an intermediate care facility, or an intermediate care facility/developmentally disabled with at least 60 semester units (or 90 quarter units) of college or university courses. At least the most recent five years of the 10 years of work experience shall be in a position as a department manager.
  5. Have ten years of full-time hospital administration experience in an acute care hospital with at least 60 semester units (or 90 quarter units) of college or university courses. At least the most recent five years of the 10 years of work experience shall be in a supervisory position.

 To apply for the AIT Program applicants must first find a skilled nursing or intermediate care facility administrator who possesses a valid preceptor certificate. Applicants can send an e-mail to NHAP@cdph.ca.gov to obtain the current list of approved preceptors in the counties they wish to train. The preceptor will work with the applicant to develop a 1,000-hour training outline based on a pre-training assessment of the applicant's education and work experience.

In addition to finding a preceptor, applicants are required to submit their fingerprint images for a criminal history review by filling out the Request for Live Scan form (BCIA 8016) and taking it into a live scan vendor. If an applicant does not live in California, they can send a completed fingerprint card along with an application and we will submit it to the Department of Justice. Only Live Scan fingerprints completed in California can be accepted. Criminal history reviews previously processed by another state agency or past employers do not satisfy the NHAP's criminal history review requirement.

Once an applicant has their AIT training outline and completed BCIA 8016, submit them to the NHAP along with:

  1. A completed CDPH 502 Application for AIT Program, which is located on the NHAP website;
  2. An outline of a 1,000-hour training program prepared by the applicant's preceptor based on an assessment of the applicant's individual needs;
  3. Completed Live Scan Form (BCIA 8016).
  4. A recent photograph clearly picturing the applicant's face that is approximately 2" by 2", similar to a passport photograph;
  5. A copy of one of the following:
    • Passport; or
    • State issued identification card (e.g. driver's license); or
    • Permanent resident card; 
  6. The appropriate non-refundable AIT fee established by the NHAP, which can be found on the NHAP website;
  7. A copy of the applicant's Registered Nurse (RN) License or a copy of the on-line verification printed from the licensing entity's website if they qualify under the basis of ten years work experience as a RN; and 
  8. An official transcript from the applicant's college/university provided in an unopened envelope. The NHAP will return transcripts that appear to be opened without reviewing them.
    1. If the applicant's units earned or degree/credentials were not conferred in the United States, the applicant must acquire a credential equivalency evaluation in lieu of providing an official transcript. The two credential evaluation services that the NHAP accepts are:
      • International Education Research Foundation Inc. (310) 258-9451
      • Academic and Professional International Evaluations, Inc. (562) 594-6498
    2. Applicants only have to provide the transcript indicating they were awarded an academic degree (baccalaureate or higher) regardless of the number of universities or colleges they attended.
    3. Transcripts must bear the official seal of the school.
    4. Do not send diplomas, copies of diplomas, certificates of attendance at seminars, or letters of recommendation. 



    Please allow approximately 30 days from the date the application was received for processing time.
     

The applicant's AIT training does not start until the NHAP issues an approval letter. Hours worked prior to the NHAP issuing its approval are not counted toward the 1,000 hours.

The applicant's preceptor is responsible for submitting evaluation reports to the NHAP within 10 days of completing each quarter, or every 250 hours, of the 1,000 hour AIT training program. The preceptor must indicate the appropriate quarter on the evaluation report form, changes that were made to the program, and attach any supporting documentation, if necessary.

The preceptor can make minor program changes to the AIT program (e.g., small changes to the training hours per week, outline changes, etc.). However, major changes to the AIT program must first be approved by the NHAP prior to the change taking effect (e.g., 10 hour per week change or more, Preceptor and/or facility changes, etc.).

The applicant must inform the NHAP if the program is put on hold for 30 days or more, and request approval to restart the program. Please allow up to 30 days processing time for all program change requests.

Once the AIT program is complete and the preceptor has sent in the final evaluations, the applicant is eligible to apply to take the nursing home administrator license examination.

Nursing Home Administrator Forms  

AIT Forms

Examination Forms

  • CDPH 503 (PDF) Application for Nursing Home Administrator State Examination
  • CDPH 505 (PDF) Application for Nursing Home Administrator National Examination
  • CDPH 520 (PDF) Re-Examination Application for Nursing Home Administrator State Examination
  • CDPH 521 (PDF)Re-Examination Application for Nursing Home Administrator National Examination
  • CDPH 523 (PDF) Special Accommodation Request for Examination
  • CDPH 524 (PDF) Master’s or Reciprocity Application for Nursing Home Administrator Examination

License Forms

Preceptor Forms

Continuing Education Forms

Renewal/Change of Facility/Replacement License Forms

Live Scan Forms

Contact Us:

Mailing Addresss:

Nursing Home Administrator Program
P.O. Box 997416, MS 3302
Sacramento, CA 95899-7416

Phone Number: (916) 552-8780
Fax Number: (916) 552-8777

Email: NHAP@cdph.ca.gov

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