Social work majors who are wondering how to become a nursing home social worker have landed on the right page! This career path is great for social work students who would like to work with elderly persons after graduation. To become a nursing home social worker, there are several steps that social work students will need to complete, and these steps are discussed briefly in the following sections.
Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work
The first step required to become a nursing home social worker is to complete a bachelor’s degree in social work program. There are many colleges and universities that offer these programs, and they typically take about four years for students to complete. Common topics that students will explore during their social work programs may include social welfare policies, human behavior, social work methodologies and research, and the social environment.
Gain Practical Work Experience
The next step required to become a social worker in a nursing home is to gain practical work experience. Graduates of bachelor’s degree programs can accomplish this through internship programs if they wish or through entry-level job opportunities. Internship opportunities are often posted in college and university job placement assistance offices. But for students who would rather obtain real-world work experience, it is best if they seek entry-level positions in a local nursing home or other long-term care facility for the elderly.
Complete a Master’s Degree in Social Work
The third step involved in becoming a nursing home social worker is to complete a master’s degree in social work program. This step is required by many states for persons who work in healthcare settings. These programs are offered by many universities and usually take about two years for students to complete. When completing these programs, students looking to work in nursing homes will want to enroll in elective courses that deal with senior issues and aging. In addition to upper-level course requirements, field work is often required of these programs.
Apply for a Clinical Care License
The final step required to become a nursing home social worker is to obtain a clinical care license. According to the Social Work Policy Institute, this is required in most states for any persons who work in healthcare facilities. Licensing requirements may vary by state, but typical requirements include two years of experience in a clinical work setting, a master’s degree in social work, and a licensing exam that is administered by the Association of Social Work Boards.
Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees
There are several steps that social work majors will need to complete before they can obtain professional positions in a nursing home. In summary, these steps include obtaining a bachelor’s degree in social work, gaining practical work experience, obtaining a master’s degree in social work, and applying for a clinical care license. By completing all of these important requirements, students will be on the right path to becoming a professional nursing home social worker.