Regional Quality Assurance Nurses are primarily responsible for providing leadership, support, and direction to multiple healthcare facility locations throughout a specific region within the United States. Regional Nurses oversee all clinical operations of the facilities in their region, ensures that company policies and procedures are carried out and that regulatory compliance standards are being met. The position of Regional Nurse is as much a support role, as it is a leadership role. Regional Nurses work alongside the management teams at each building to develop and implement processes, identify and resolve issues, while also managing staff. The daily tasks of a Regional Nurse generally include:
Regional Quality Assurance Nurses enjoy a position in which they have the ability to make an impact on the success of their facilities and staff. Strong candidates are devoted to educating on best practices, have an in-depth understanding of local, state, and federal regulations, and are passionate about providing exceptional care to the residents they serve. A nurse in a regional role, will travel multiple times per month to make in-person visits to each of the organizations they oversee. Depending on the geographic locations of their region, this travel could include driving long distances or flying, and staying away from home overnight. Regional Nurses are uniquely positioned for opportunities to develop clinical programs, improve facility ratings, establish standards of care, and act as the primary contact for facility leadership personnel. As such, nurses in this role experience a vast amount of responsibility, but also enjoy a very rewarding career that offers measurable outcomes.
Since Regional Quality Assurance Nurses have a variety of responsibilities, several different job titles have naturally evolved to best describe each individual’s most prevalent duties. These titles include:
Strong candidates for a Regional Nurse position will have at minimum of a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing, an active and unencumbered state RN License, three to five years of supervisory experience, and at least one year of experience as a Director of Nursing. This individual will need to have extensive knowledge of local, state, and federal regulatory compliance standards and medical practices within the scope of long term care. While travel requirements can vary from role to role, a good candidate will need to be able to travel often and willing to travel immediately if an unexpected need should arise in one of the facilities they are responsible for. Above all, a strong Regional Nurse candidate needs to possess an innate desire and passion for long-term care, the well-being of the senior residents they serve, and the success of their staff.
Due to state regulatory standards, there are several annual requirements of Regional Nurses that will need to be kept up-to-date. Those requirements include: an annual background check, tuberculosis screening, physical, Basic Life Support Certification (BLS), and annual assessment completion through Prophecy Health. Additionally, each state requires a minimum number of completed working hours, and/or a minimum number of completed Continuing Education Credit hours (CEU’s) in order to renew an RN license each year. There are several resources available to RN’s to ensure they meet these requirements, such as their state Board Of Nursing or Nurse.com (Powered by Relias), which offers a list of Nursing CE Requirements By State.
The National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) offers a certification exam to medical professionals as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ). This certification requires renewal every two years and completion of continuing education credits.
Salary.com notes that someone in a Regional Nurse position can expect a salary range between $87,000 and $113,000 annually. Salaries can vary widely depending on geographic location, census of facilities managed, education, certification, and previous experience. Due to the increase in demand for long-term care nurses in senior living and nursing facilities, the salary requirements for Regional Nurses is expected to increase as well.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for Medical and Health Services Managers, such as Regional Quality Assurance Nurses, is very good! The need for Regional Nurses is expected to grow by 18% from 2018 to 2028, which exceeds the growth rate for most other occupations.
This is due, in part, to the fact that of an aging population that is living longer and staying active. Changing hospital policies are also driving the need for long-term care professionals. Hospital stays are becoming shorter, creating an increase in admissions to Skilled Nursing Facilities. The need for long-term care professionals is rising to meet this demand. Regional Nurses will see their roles become even more important in the coming years as census sizes grow in the nursing centers they serve.
Be sure to check out nurse.org to keep up to date with changes in the profession, find education opportunities, link up with nursing associations and organizations, as well as career guides to help you on your way.
LeaderStat helps the nation’s top long-term care and senior living organizations fill Regional Nurse positions. We have suggestions on how to advance your career into the Regional Quality Assurance Nurse field, and our senior living recruiters can be an invaluable resource to help you find the right position.
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