In a move to open doors to experienced, non-degreed long-term care employees, Oklahoma State Senator Greg Treat (R-Oklahoma City) has proposed that the four-year college degree requirement for nursing home administrators be dropped. The bill was passed by the Oklahoma State Senate and has moved the Oklahoma House of Representatives, who have a similar bill in committee for consideration.
Tulsa World reports that this bill is opposed by the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners for Long-Term Care Administrators. Executive Director of the Board, Gaylord Z. Thomas commented: “To lower the standard for people that are overseeing the care of our elderly is just ridiculous.”
Instead, Thomas adds, the board should require specific healthcare-related degrees, such as healthcare business, for nursing home administrators instead of dropping the requirement. If approved, he feels that qualified applicants will turn away from the position because lower standards often translate into lower pay.
Treat, on the other hand, defends the bill saying people who have years of nursing home experience should have the opportunity to advance. They still would be required to take the Board’s certification test. He told the Tulsa World reporter: “I think that if the board has confidence in their training…, then they shouldn’t have another false hurdle that may prevent certain qualified individuals that would be excellent administrators from even getting a chance….”
Previous attempts to eliminate the four-year degree requirement for Oklahoma nursing home administrators have failed.