Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Robert O. Brinkerhoff

Second Advisor

Dr. Edgar A. Kelley

Third Advisor

Dr. Carol Payne Smith

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Eugene W. Thompson


The purpose of this study was to describe the positive and negative influencers perceived by men and women as having contributed to their successful attainment of the position of nursing home administrator, focusing attention especially on any differences between male and female respondents as to the influences reported.

A survey was sent to a random sample of 325 individuals (26% of 1,250) who held a license to practice as a nursing home administrator in the state of Michigan. There were 197 completed responses, resulting in a response rate of 60.6%. Of those responding, there were 86 males (43.7%) and 111 females (56.3%).

Both male and female respondents indicated that the greatest positive influencers included health care experience, personality, and the ability to communicate. The survey participants also emphasized the importance of other influences, including: (a) parents, (b) other significant persons, (c) activities in high school and college, (d) church activities, and (e) part-time jobs.

Both men and women reported lack of experience as their greatest negative influencer. Men reported lack of advancement as their second greatest career barrier. Other barriers ranked high by women included "not being taken seriously" and "not enough energy for family and job." The respondents emphasized the importance of education and training in long term care and provided numerous recommendations for future administrators.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access