Optometry

Description

In order to practice optometry in the State of Nebraska you are required to obtain an optometrist license. Optometrists examine, diagnose and treat conditions of the visual system. They prescribe corrective procedures and conserve, improve and correct vision through the use of lenses, contact lenses, prisms, orthotopic exercises, visual training and controlled visual environment. Optometrists examine patients for visual pathology or manifestations of disease and refer patients with pathological conditions to a medical practitioner and/or treat the condition if certified to do so.


Requirements for Licensure

An applicant applying for licensure by examination must meet the following requirements:

  • Have graduated from an accredited school or college of Optometry;
  • Pass Part I, Part II, Part III, and TMOD of the examination given by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) and the applicant must achieve a passing score as determined by using a criterion referenced standard setting method;
  • Pass a pdf iconjurisprudence examination that relates to the statutes that govern optometry with a minimum score of 60% or above; and
  • Have good character and have attained at least the age of majority (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2101. All persons under 19 years of age are declared to be minors, but in case any person marries under the age of 19 years, his/her minority ends).
  • Proof of Citizenship, lawful permanent residence, and/or immigration status: You must submit a copy of at least one of the following documents:
    1. A U.S. Passport (unexpired or expired);
    2. A birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal;
    3. An American Indian Card (I-872);
    4. A Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570);
    5. A Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561);
    6. Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350);
    7. A Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (FS-240);
    8. Certification of Birth Abroad (FS-545 or DS-1350);
    9. A United States Citizen Identification Card (I-197 or I-179);
    10. A Northern Mariana Card (I-873);
    11. An Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551, otherwise known as a “Green   Card”);
    12. An unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired Temporary I-551 stamp bearing the same name as the passport;
    13. A document showing an Alien Registration Number (“A#”) with visa status; or
    14. A form I-94 (arrival-departure Record) with visa status;

Applicants applying by examination must submit the following:

  • A completed original application and pdf iconcriminal background check;
  • An official transcript from an accredited school or college of Optometry showing graduation from the school or college;
  • Official documentation, sent directly to the Department, of the scores obtained on Part I, Part II, Part III, and TMOD of the examination given by the NBEO;
  • The required licensure fee;
  • A copy of the certificate of passing the Nebraska jurisprudence examination;
  • A copy of birth certificate, marriage license, driver's license or other valid verification of age;
  • A copy of the birth certificate or other valid documentation to prove citizenship.

An applicant applying for licensure by reciprocity must meet the following requirements:

  • Have graduated from an accredited school or college of Optometry;
  • Pass Part I, Part II, and Part III of the examination given by the NBEO and the applicant must achieve a passing score as determined by using a criterion referenced standard setting method:
  • Pass a pdf iconjurisprudence examination that relates to the statutes that govern optometry with a minimum score of 60% or above;
  • Have good character and have attained at least the age of majority (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2101. All persons under 19 years of age are declared to be minors, but in case any person marries under the age of 19 years, his/her minority ends); and
  • Be currently licensed to practice optometry in another state or jurisdiction.
  • Proof of Citizenship, lawful permanent residence, and/or immigration status: You must submit a copy of at least one of the following documents:
    1. A U.S. Passport (unexpired or expired);
    2. A birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal;
    3. An American Indian Card (I-872);
    4. A Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570);
    5. A Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561);
    6. Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350);
    7. A Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (FS-240);
    8. Certification of Birth Abroad (FS-545 or DS-1350);
    9. A United States Citizen Identification Card (I-197 or I-179);
    10. A Northern Mariana Card (I-873);
    11. An Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551, otherwise known as a “Green Card”);
    12. An unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired Temporary I-551 stamp bearing the same name as the passport;
    13. A document showing an Alien Registration Number (“A#”) with visa status; or
    14. A form I-94 (arrival-departure Record) with visa status;

Applicants applying by reciprocity must submit the following:

  • A completed original application and pdf iconcriminal background check;
  • An official transcript from an accredited school or college of Optometry showing graduation from the school or college;
  • Official documentation, sent directly to the Department, of the scores obtained on Part I, Part II, and Part III of the examination given by the NBEO;
  • The required licensure fee;
  • A copy of the certificate of passing the Nebraska jurisprudence examination;
  • A copy of birth certificate, marriage license, driver's license or other valid verification of age;
  • A copy of the birth certificate or other valid documentation to prove citizenship; and
  • Certification of your license from every state in which you have or have ever had a license.

Every applicant must apply for diagnostic and therapeutic certification.


Diagnostic Certification

An applicant applying for certification to use pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic purposes must complete the diagnostic section of the pdf icon Optometry Application and meet the following requirements:

Certified in another states on or before April 30, 1987:

  • Have a current Nebraska license to practice optometry;
  • Certified under standards, which are substantially equivalent to the standards in effect in Nebraska on or before April 30, 1987.

An applicant applying for certification based on being certified in another state on or before April 30, 1987 must submit the following:

  • A completed original application;
  • Verified documentation from an accredited school/college of optometry of successful completion of a course of study for using pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic purposes, which included at least 100 hours of lecture, clinics and examination as outlines in 172 NAC 120-011.01B item 3.a.(8).(a) through(g);
  • Verification as outlined in 172 NAC 120-011.01B item 3.b.(1) through (11) from another state that the applicant is duly certified to use pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic purposes;
  • Documentation from the proper authority of the standards maintained there, and the laws and rules and regulations relating to certification to use pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic purposes in effect at the time the applicant was certified; and
  • The required certification fee.

Certification after April 30, 1987:

  • Have a current Nebraska license to practice optometry;
  • Have graduated from an accredited school/college of optometry after August 25, 1989;
  • Satisfactorily completed an approved course [an approved course must meet the requirements listed in the regulations at 120-011.01C1 item 2a(1) through (4)] in pharmacology provided by an accredited school/college of optometry;
  • Pass an approved examination, which covers ocular pharmacology for the use of pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic purposes administered by the NBEO.

An applicant applying for certification based on certification after April 30, 1987 must submit the following:

  • A completed original application:
  • Official documentation of passing the approved examination; and
  • The required certification fee.

Therapeutic Certification

An applicant applying for certification to use pharmaceutical agents for therapeutic purposes must complete the Therapeutic section on the pdf icon Optometry Application and meet the following requirements:

  • Have been certified by the Department upon recommendation of the Board to use pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic purposes and meet the following criteria:
  1. Have graduated from an accredited school/college of optometry after August 25, 1989;or
  2. Satisfactorily complete the educational requirements as stated in 172 NAC 120-011.02A item 1.b.(1) and (2); and
  3. Pass the Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease (TMOD) administered by the International Association of Boards (IAB) or the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO).

An applicant who graduated prior to August 25, 1989 must submit the following:

  • Name;
  • Address, including city, state and zip code;
  • Nebraska optometry license number;
  • Name of accredited optometry school/college attended;
  • Date of graduation;
  • Official documentation from either IAB or NBEO for their passing TMOD score;
  • Date the applicant sat for the TMOD;
  • Verified documentation from the accredited school/college of optometry of successful completion of the didactic education and supervised clinical training including the number of hours of supervised clinical training by the applicant; and
  • The required certification fee.

An applicant who graduated after August 25, 1989, must submit the following:

  • Name;
  • Address, including city, state and zip code;
  • Nebraska optometry license number;
  • Name of accredited optometry school/college attended;
  • Date of graduation;
  • Official documentation from either IAB or NBEO of a passing TMOD score;
  • Date the applicant sat for the TMOD; and
  • The required certification fee.

In order for an applicant to qualify for a therapeutic certification, the applicant must also meet the requirements to treat glaucoma.

Procedures for Use of Pharmaceutical Agents Other than Oral for the Treatment of Glaucoma:

An applicant who graduated prior to January 1, 1996, who are applying for Nebraska optometry license after July 15, 1998, must meet one of the following:

  • Proof of having a current optometrists license in another state which includes glaucoma certification and provide documentation of the educational requirements for glaucoma certification in that state;
  • Proof that the applicant has met requirements for a Nebraska therapeutic certification within two years immediately preceding the date of the application for updated therapeutic certification; or
  • Proof that the applicant has met requirements for a Nebraska therapeutic certification, but it has been longer than two years ago, so the applicant has also completed a glaucoma refresher course of at least ten hours that has been approved by the Board and provide documentation of the glaucoma refresher course the applicant has completed.

Examination Requirements
Every applicant is required to take the pdf iconjurisprudence examination for optometry.


Fees

pdf icon Fees


Applications

pdf icon Application 
pdf icon Criminal Background Check
pdf icon Name Change Form
pdf icon Duplicate/Reissue Form


Renewal Information

All optometry licenses expire on August 1st of even-numbered years. Applicants for renewal must meet the following:

  • 32 hours of approved continuing education;
  • Pay the required renewal fee; and
  • Answer questions about discipline and conviction history

Continuing Education

Optometrists are required to obtain 44 hours of approved continuing education within the 24 month preceding the expiration date.

List of acceptable continuing education:

  • State and National meetings
  • Formal education courses related to the practice of Optometry
  • Continuing education courses sponsored by an Optometric college/school
  • Home study courses with testing mechanism: (limited to 8 hours during the 24 month renewal period) examples include, but are not limited to, professional journal articles, the profession related Internet courses, CD/ROM courses, videotape courses, and audiotape courses.
  • CPR certification or re-certification (limited to two hours during the 24 month renewal period)
  • Practice management courses (limited to four hours during the 24-month renewal period) 

Examples of non-acceptable subject matter include, but are not limited to, education provided by a business entity for the purpose of promotion of their products or services.

The Nebraska Board of Optometry only accepts CE credits which meet the criteria for acceptable continuing education programs as outlined in section 004 of Title 172 NAC 120 Regulations Governing the Practice of Optometry.   


Name and Address Change

To request an address change, you can contact the Office of Medical and Specialized Health at (402) 471-2118 or E-Mail at dhhs.medicaloffice@nebraska.gov. If you wish to change your name on your credential, you must mail a pdf iconwritten request with your signature notarized along with a copy of the legal document verifying name change to:

Licensure Unit
Medical And Specialized Health Section
PO Box 94986
Lincoln NE 68509-4986


Duplicates/Reissue

Duplicates : A duplicate large license or small license card may be requested at the time of initial licensure. A $10.00 fee, per document, is required.

Reissue: A large license and/or small license card may be reissued when the licensee requests: additional documents; replacement of original document(s) due to loss, mutilation or destruction; or replacement of document(s) due to a name change.

To request a reissued license, you must submit a pdf iconrequest for reissuance, and include a fee in the amount of $10.00 per document. Submit said request to:

Licensure Unit
Medical and Specialized Health Section
PO Box 94986
Lincoln NE 68509-4986


Rules and Regulations/Statutes

pdf icon 172 NAC 120
pdf icon UCA
pdf icon Mandatory Reporting


Contact Information

Office Address:

Licensure Unit
State Office Building
301 Centennial Mall South, (14th and M Street)
3rd Floor
PO Box 94986
Lincoln, NE 68509

Phone
: (402) 471-2118
Fax: (402) 471-8614

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (central time)
Monday through Friday

Other Related Contacts

Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO)
200 South College St., Suite 1630
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 970-2710
(704) 970-2720
http://www.arbo.org/
National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
200 S. College Street, Ste 1920
Charlotte, NC 28202
800-969-EXAM
704-332-9565
704-332-9568
http://www.optometry.org/
American Optometric Association (AOA)
243 N. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63141
(800) 365-2219
http://www.aoa.org
Nebraska Optometric Association (NOA)
1633 Normandy Court, Ste. A
Lincoln, NE 68512
(402) 474-7716
http://nebraska.aoa.org

 


Brochures/Newsletters/Resource Guides

Chemical Dependency in Healthcare Professionals


Verification/Certification
To request either a certification or verification or your license, contact Tressa Waterman at (402) 471-2118.  All requests must be made in writing.

Certification

  1. Fee - $25.00
  2. Certification includes:
    1. Name
    2. Profession
    3. License number
    4. Issuance date
    5. Expiration date
    6. Whether the license was granted by examination, waiver, or reciprocity
    7. When requested, the grades acquired by the subject for issuance of a license
    8. Whether disciplinary action has been taken against the license. If so, the type(s) and date(s) of the action will be included.
    9. SEAL of the State Department of Health & Human Services

Verification

  1. Fee - $5.00
  2. Verification includes:
    1. Name
    2. Profession License Number
    3. Expiration Date
    4. Department Staff Signature

A verification does not include the SEAL of the State Department of Health & Human Services nor information relating to discipline, school, or examination.

This information can also be obtained by checking the website at: http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/lis/lis.asp


Listings and Labels

You may purchase listings/labels and diskettes of health related professions and occupations by contacting Carla Hartl at carla.hartl@nebraska.gov or by telephone at (402) 471-0178. You may also print the listing/labels request form and fax it to the Licensure Unit at (402) 471-3577.


Licensee Assistance Program

The Licensee Assistance Program (LAP) is an assessment, education, referral, case management, and monitoring service designed to help licensees, certificate holders, and registrants of the State of Nebraska work through substance abuse/addiction problems.

The LAP services are free. However, in some cases treatment from a community resource agency may be needed. If further assistance is needed, the LAP Coordinator will help refer the Licensee to the most appropriate agency. When a treatment referral is made, those expenses become the responsibility of the Licensee.

This program was authorized by pdf iconNeb. Rev. Stat. 38-175 and is funded by licensing fees.

LAP telephone number: (800) 851-2336 or (402) 354-8055. You may also visit their website at www.lapne.org.


Complaints

How do I file a complaint?  To file a complaint, see the Investigations Unit web site at www.dhhs.ne.gov/reg/investi.htm

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