Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators

Article 28-D of the New York State Public Health Law (Practice of Nursing Home Administration) directs the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health to appoint a Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators (BENHA). The Board is authorized to establish standards for the examination, licensure and registration of nursing home administrators and standards for the issuance, revocation and suspension of nursing home administrator licenses. The Board is also responsible for the investigation of written charges and complaints filed with the Board relating to any nursing home administrator and the assessment of civil penalties or other disciplinary actions.

Board members must, by law, meet specific criteria. The Board has 13 members, all of whom must be citizens of the United States and residents of New York State. The Board must include one physician, one hospital administrator, one professional registered nurse, three nursing home administrators employed in proprietary nursing homes and three nursing home administrators employed in voluntary nursing homes, each of whom must have not less than five years' experience in the care of chronically ill or infirm aged patients. Three members must represent the public. One member must be appointed from a college providing training for nursing home administrators. A member's term expires upon a change of status. Each member appointed from a profession requiring licensure or registration to practice in New York State must be so licensed and/or registered. The Board has also adopted additional eligibility criteria.

The Board plays a critical role in the Department's efforts to promote high quality nursing home care in New York State. Nursing home administrators are, in effect, the chief executive officers of health care organizations and, as such, are responsible for the health, safety and well-being of the most vulnerable New Yorkers. The Board works to ensure that nursing home administrators are thoroughly educated, trained and experienced before they are granted a license and registered to practice in New York State.

The term for each seat is three years. The Board meets at least two times annually in Albany. Occasional needs may dictate additional meetings. Meetings are structured with a Public Session, which is webcast, and an Executive Session, which is closed to the public. Business typically conducted during Executive Session includes disciplinary actions involving licensed nursing home administrators and determinations on whether specific applicants for licensure have satisfied the requirements for licensure. Board members are eligible to receive an honorarium for participating in full meetings and are reimbursed for travel expenses.