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Becoming Licensed

  • What are the eligibility requirements to become a licensed nursing home administrator in Minnesota?

    Our standard advice is to review the information under the "Applicants" tab at the BENHA website at and suggest you download or print both the application form and course review requests, as both documents guide you in determining what items require completion. All application forms give direction to complete the five minimum licensure requirements: 

    1. Bachelor’s degree.
    2. Eight specific long term care course requirements. If you believe you’ve covered the course topics listed for each course in a previously completed academic course, you may seek waiver status for the course by using the Course Review Request forms and following the listed procedures.
    3. 400 hour practicum.

    You must have a completed application for licensure on file with BENHA before you will be approved by board staff to sit for the
    4. state examination and
    5. national exam.

  • Are there different paths to become licensed?
    There are four different approaches to licensure:

    A. Examination Track: For the new college graduate who complete all courses, the practicum, state and national exams.

    B. Experience Track: This track takes into account previous health care/elder care experience, previous college course completion, with additional course work to fill educational gaps on an individualized basis, with state and national exams.

    C. Endorsement Track: Recognizes administrators entering Minnesota from states with similar requirements.

    D. ACHCA Certification Track: National Certification from the American College of Health Care Administrators. 
  • I’m a new college graduate from an accredited NAB or state approved program. How do I apply?

    Option “A” is typically for new graduates recently awarded a bachelor’s degree which meets the course requirements from a NAB or Minnesota board accredited college. These colleges are listed in the Option “A” form, with the approved course(s) listed for each requirement. Graduates from the list of approved college LTC Administration programs meet the academic and practicum requirement. 

    Steps for a successful application:
    1. Complete Online Application “A”
    2. Request an official transcript upon degree completion. If you are applying prior to the end of your academic experience, the board will accept a student transcript or unofficial confirmation from the program advisor to be followed up with an official transcript.
    3. Upon receipt of the application, information to apply to sit for the state and national examinations will be provided to you.

  • I didn’t graduate from an approved program but earned a BA/BS and a few courses may meet the requirements. How do I apply?

    Option “B” is typically for an individual with a baccalaureate degree in an ancillary field who require only a portion of the Minnesota required courses or seeks a reduction in practicum hours. Courses not currently approved must be reviewed and approved by the board through the Course Review process as found in Option B. 

    Steps towards a successful Application:
    1. Complete Option “B” online application
    2. Submit official transcript showing at minimum a Bachelors’ Degree.
    3. Submit evidence/requests for eight academic courses completed using the forms in Option B.
    4. Submit evidence of required practicum using forms found in Option B.
    5. Upon receipt of the application, information to apply to sit for the state and national examinations will be provided to you. 

  • I have a college degree, have taken college courses very similar to those required, and don’t want to repeat any I’ve already taken. How do I waive those similar courses?

    The website provides you the “Course Review Request” forms for candidates to petition the board and seek waiver of similar courses required for all candidates. The instructions provide the individual course requirement and need to be filled out completely. You may call the office for a preliminary review of previously Board-approved individual courses. 

  • I have worked in health care for many years. Do I need a full 400 hour practicum?

    The board allows for certain reductions in the 400 hour requirement based on previous health care employment. The document to review is found under Course Review and also Option B of the Application which provides credit for previous work experience. At this time, Assisted Living experience does not count towards a reduction in the practicum hours. 

  • How long is the application for licensure valid?

    The application is valid for 18 months. You must complete all requirements or a new application will be required after 18 months.

  • What do I need to submit to get my license endorsed from another state?

    Option C lists out the requirements on the application and includes the following: 

    1. Complete Option “C” application
    a. Facility name, location, services offered, with dates of employment which must be two years in the past five years in one jurisdiction.
    b. Documentation from each facility showing clear evidence of administrative dates and role.
    c. Copies of the two most recent CMS 2567s or surveys of the facilities outlined in Option C
    d. License verification from each state applicant has held licensure sent directly to the board office.
    e. License verification, including NAB scores from original state of licensure (or from PES).
    2. Upon receipt of the application, information to apply to sit for the state examination will be provided to you. 

  • What is the ACHCA Certification track to licensure?

    The American College of Health Care Administrators offers a certification program that BENHA has accepted as meeting the state of Minnesota requirements. If a candidate provides ACHCA verification, the academic and practicum experience is waived. 

    Steps to complete for a successful application:
    1. Complete Option “D” online application
    2. Request ACHCA verification be sent directly to the board office.
    3. Upon receipt of the application, information to apply to sit for the state examination will be provided to you. 

  • I’m a new graduate from an approved BENHA/NAB college. How do I proceed?

    Use Option A, which basically has the candidate request an official transcript from your college when all courses and the practicum are officially recorded. You’ll receive instructions how to sit for the state and national exams once the application is received. 

  • I’ve completed continuing education on the same subject as the course requirement; does that count towards the course completion?

    No. Per rule, each course must be completed for academic credit at an accredited post secondary college and must be documented on an official transcript. Continuing Education will, however, benefit you when completing the required courses, and life experience is always beneficial. 

  • What colleges are approved by BENHA/NAB?

    Minnesota’s approved colleges are found on the Board's website, listing contact numbers and the college’s websites under the Applicants tab. The NAB approved colleges are listed on that webpage as well.

  • Do I need an official transcript?

    We can accept an unofficial email from an approved college advisor until your grades are posted. An official transcript must be sent directly to the BENHA office unopened. Please ask your advisor to update our office upon course completion, if you desire an expedited process due to pending employment. 

  • What must be submitted when applying for licensure?

    There are four tracks to licensure and each one has a slightly different approach to the final board record. All board files contain an official transcript (s), work history or resume, state and national examination official results. The board staff will individualize the essential documents you need with the initial review of the application. A licensure data sheet is emailed upon submission of any item found acceptable. 

  • What are the application fees?

    A. $150.00 for a full application. All fees are non-refundable. 

    B. $100.00 if you have previously submitted an education review ($50) and you submit a full application within one year of the education review. 

  • Can I get licensed before I finish my college degree?

    No. You may complete all the requirements and be license eligible prior to the completion of your college degree, but the board will require official notification from the college that you have been awarded a BA/BS before issuing your first license. With that notification, the board staff can process the license within 24 hours. Initial licensees will request an official transcript from their college, which must arrive prior to the first renewal of your license. 

  • Do I apply with all of the supporting evidence needed for licensure or should I apply and then send in the requirements in piecemeal as I complete them?

    Either way. Most candidates find it easiest to make application and then respond to the undocumented items listed on the Licensure Data Sheet. Board staff will mail an update with your formal application and email each time another item is completed so candidates can see when official documents are approved and view their current status.