Physical Therapy

The practice of physical therapy includes the use of exercises and other treatments to 1) restore physical function; 2) promote fitness and health; and 3) reduce the risk of injuries. Physical therapy is the care and services provided by or under the direction of a physical therapist. Physical Therapist Assistants assist physical therapists in the practice of physical therapy.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR PHYSICAL THERAPIST LICENSURE

1.  Education
     A.  Graduation from an approved physical therapist educational program; or
     B.  Meet the requirements of training as a physical therapist in a foreign country and English proficiency
          requirements pursuant to 172 NAC 137-004. 

2.  Examination
     A. Pass the National Physical Therapist Examination (NPTE) with a scaled score that is greater than or
         equal to 600; and
     B. Pass the Jurisprudence (NE LAW) Examination with a scaled score that is greater than or equal to 600

     Effective June 23, 2012:

     If you have a license in another Jurisdiction and have not practiced within the three years preceding your
     application, you must:

     a. Retake and pass the NPTE; and
     b. Pass the Jurisprudence (NELAW) Examination

     NOTE: If you passed the NPTE within three (3) years of your application for physical therapist
     licensure to 
Nebraska, the rule above and below does not apply to you.

     If you passed the NPTE, Not Practicing: Applicants who have passed the NPTE more than three years
     prior to the time of application and who have never held a license must:

    a. Retake and pass the NPTE; and
    b. Pass the Jurisprudence (NELAW) Examination

         

Requirements for Physical Therapist Licensure

You must complete the following:

1.  Register and pay your examination fee(s) to The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) at https://www.fsbpt.org/index.asp. The following examination fees must be paid:

     A. Applicants for Physical Therapist Licensure by Examination - NPTE and NELAW examinations required;
     B. Applicants for Physical Therapist Licensure by License in Another Jurisdiction and is Currently Practicing - 
         NELAW examination required;
     C. Applicants for Physical Therapist Licensure by License in Another Jurisdiction and has not practiced within
         the three years preceding application - NPTE and NELAW examinations required; or
     D. Applicants for Physical Therapist Licensure Passed the Licensure Examination more than three years
         prior to application and have never held a license - NPTE and NELAW examinations required.

Immediately after paying your examination fee(s), you must submit the following to our office:

2.  A completed Application for Licensure as a Physical Therapist with:
     A.  Appropriate application fee;
     B.  Proof of age of majority;
     C.  Proof of citizenship or alien lawfully admitted into the United States who is eligible for a credential under
          the Uniform Credentialing Act;
     D.  Convictions (if applicable): If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, you must submit the
          required documentation listed in Section C-1 of the application

3.  Required documentation from other Agencies:

     A. Request your official Physical Therapist transcript showing proof of graduation be sent directly to our
         office;
     B. If you have or have held licensure in other jurisdictions, have those jurisdictions submit verification or
         certification of licensure to our office;
     C. If you have passed the NPTE, have FSBPT transfer your examination score to Nebraska;
     D. Foreign trained physical therapists require additional documentation:
          a.  Request submission of an evaluation of your education credentials by an approved evaluation
               service. Refer to Section E-2 of the application.
          b.  Submit proof of proficiency in the English language. Refer to section E-2 of the application.

Upon completion of the requirements listed above, our office will make you eligible to test for your
examination(s) and notify FSBPT. FSPBT will then send you your ATT (Authorization to Test) letter(s) with instructions on how to schedule your exam(s) with the Prometric Center.  

Upon receipt of your examination score(s), our office will notify you in writing.

For detailed, step-by-step instruction/procedures and fees, go to the 'Applications' link above and upload the Application for Physical Therapist License. The detailed, step-by-step instructions/procedures are the first two pages in the Application. 

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QUALIFICATIONS FOR PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT CERTIFICATION

1.  Education:
     A. Graduation from an approved physical therapist assistant educational program

2.  Examination:
     A. Pass the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination with a scaled score that is greater than or 
         equal to 600;
     B. Pass the Jurisprudence (NELAW) Examination with a scaled score that is greater than or equal to 600

     Effective June 23, 2012:

     If you have a license in another jurisdiction and have not practiced within the three years preceding
     your application, you must:

     A. Retake and pass the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination; and
     B. Pass the Jurisprudence (NELAW) Examination

     NOTE: If you passed the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination within three (3) years of
     your 
application for physical therapist assistant certificate to Nebraska, the rule above and below
    
does not apply to you.

     If you passed the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination, Not Practicing: Applicants who have
     passed the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination more than three years prior to time of
     application and who have never held a license must:

     A. Retake and pass the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination; and
     B. Pass the Jurisprudence (NELAW) Examination

Requirements for Physical Therapist Assistant Certification

You must complete the following:

1.  Register and pay your examination fee(s) to The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) at
     https://www.fsbpt.org/index.asp. The following examination fees must be paid:

     A. Applicants for Physical Therapist Assistant by Examination - National Physical Therapist Assistant
         Examination (NELAW) required
     B. Applicants for Physical Therapist Assistant Certification by License in Another Jurisdiction and is Currently
         Practicing - NELAW Examination required
     C. Applicants for Physical Therapist Assistant Certification by License in Another Jurisdiction and has not
         practiced within the three years preceding application - National Physical Therapist Assistant and NELAW
         examinations required; or
     D. Applicants for Physical Therapist Assistant Passed the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination
         more than three years prior to application and have never held a license - National Physical Therapist
         Assistant Examination and NELAW examinations required

Immediately after paying your examination fee(s), you must submit the following to our office:

1.  A completed Application for Certification as a Physical Therapist Assistant with:

     A. Appropriate application fee; and
     B. Proof of age of majority;
     C. Proof of citizenship or alien lawfully admitted into the United States who is eligible for a credential under
         the Uniform Credentialing Act;
     D. Convictions (if applicable): If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, you must submit the
         required documentation listed in Section B-1 of the application

2.  Required documentation from other Agencies:

     A. Request your official Physical Therapist Assistant transcript showing proof of graduation be sent directly
         to our office;
     B. If you have or have held licensure in other jurisdictions, have those jurisdictions submit verification or
         certification of licensure to our office;
     C. If you have passed the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination, have FSBPT transfer your
         examination score to Nebraska

Upon completion/receipt of the requirements listed above, our office will make you eligible to test for your examination(s) and notify FSBPT. FSBPT will then send you your ATT (Authorization to Test) letter(s) with instructions on how to schedule your exam(s) with the Prometric Center.

Upon receipt of your examination score(s), our office will notify you in writing.

For detailed step-by-step instructions/procedures and fees, go to the 'Applications' link above and upload the Application for Certification as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The detailed step-by-step instructions/procedures are the first two pages in the Application.

  

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COMMENCING PRACTICE

A physical therapist assistant who is certified by the Department may not commence practice without being supervised by a physical therapist licensed in Nebraska.

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EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS

Nebraska Jurisprudence (NE Law) Examination

The applicant is required to review the Physical Therapy Statutes and Regulations; the Uniform Credentialing Act; pdficon.gif (914 bytes)Statutes Relating to Medical Records; and pdficon.gif (914 bytes)Regulations Governing Mandatory Reporting for the Jurisprudence (NE Law) examination. The passing score must be greater than or equal to 600. An applicant needs to register to take the Jurisprudence (NE Law) Examination at https://www.fsbpt.net/pt/. The NE Law study material is located above under the NELAW/Jurisprudence Exam Study Materials link. The applicant will also be mailed a Candidate Handbook CD after receipt and review of the required Application by our office. 

National Physical Therapist/National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination

Applicants are required to pass the National PT/PTA Examination with a scaled score that is greater than or equal to 600. To be eligible to sit for the national examination the applicant must apply to the Licensure Unit for licensure/certification to practice as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. Applicants must also register and pay online to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy for the national examination at: https://www.fsbpt.net/pt/. Additional information regarding the national PT/PTA examination can be found at www.fsbpt.org. Applicants are not eligible to take the National PT/PTA examination prior to graduation. If you have passed the national PT/PTA examination, requests to have your scores transferred to Nebraska can be made at https://www.fsbpt.net/pt/

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REINSTATEMENT INFORMATION

1.  Individuals previously credentialed in Nebraska who seek the authority to return to practice in Nebraska
     with a valid Nebraska credential, whose credential has expired, been placed on inactive status, voluntarily
     surrendered unrelated to discipline or non-disciplinary revocation may apply for reinstatement at any time. 
     These applicants must:

     A.  Submit a completed reinstatement application
          1.  Physical Therapist Reinstatement Application; or
          2.  Physical Therapist Assistant Reinstatement Application

     B.  Obtained acceptable continuing education hours within the 24 months immediately preceding
          submission of reinstatement application
          1.  Physical therapists require 20 hours of acceptable continuing education
          2.  Physical therapist assistants require 10 hours of acceptable continuing education

     C.  Submit the appropriate reinstatement fee with the reinstatement application

     D.  Pass the Nebraska Law Tutorial with a score of 100%

     E.  If you are or have been credentialing in another jurisdiction (state), have the jurisdiction(s) submit
          a verification/certification of your credential to our office.

2.  Individuals whose credential was suspended or limited may apply for reinstatement at any time. An
     individual whose credential has been revoked may apply for reinstatement after a period of two years has
     elapsed from the date of revocation. An individual whose credential was voluntarily surrendered may apply
     for reinstatement according to the order entered by the Director. To apply for reinstatement, the individual
     must contact the Licensure Unit for further direction. Phone: 402-471-2299.

 

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FEES

pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Fee Schedule

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APPLICATIONS

These forms may be completed online, however, they cannot be submitted via e-mail due to the fact that all applications and forms require original signatures. If you complete the form online, you must print the form and mail it to the address below.

Fees (if applicable) are payable to the "Licensure Unit".

Licensure Unit
PO Box 94986
Lincoln, NE68509-4986

pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Application for Licensure as a Physical Therapist
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Application for Certification as a Physical Therapist Assistant
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Duplicate/Reissue Form
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Name Change Form
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Physical Therapist Reinstatement Application
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Physical Therapist Assistant Reinstatement Application

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RENEWAL INFORMATION

Physical Therapist Renewal:   

All physical therapists' licenses expire November 1 of each odd-numbered year. The Department shall send each licensee, at least 30 days prior to November 1 of each odd-numbered year, a renewal notice at the licensee’s last known address of record. A physical therapist must pay the renewal fee and attest to completion of 20 hours of acceptable continuing education taken during the preceding 24 month period. The licensee may also choose to place his/her license on inactive status by returning the completed renewal notice. Commencing on November 1, 2009 each physical therapist and each physical therapist assistant must successfully complete the Nebraska Law Tutorial before November 1 of the renewal year. The Nebraska Law Tutorial is a free, online open book tutorial developed by the Board for the purpose of assuring that all physical therapists and physical therapist assistants understand the Physical Therapy Practice Act and the Physical Therapy Regulations, 172 NAC 137. Successful completion means a score of 100%. Each licensee or certificate holder is required to maintain a copy of his/her Nebraska Law Tutorial Examination.

Physical Therapist Assistant Renewal:   

All physical therapist assistant certificates expire November 1 of each odd-numbered year. The Department shall send each certificate holder at least 30 days prior to November 1 of each odd-numbered year, a renewal notice at the certificate holder’s last known address of record. A physical therapist assistant must pay the renewal fee and attest to completion of 10 hours of acceptable continuing education taken during the preceding 24 month period. The certificate holder may also choose to place his/her certificate on inactive by returning the completed renewal notice. Commencing on November 1, 2009 each physical therapist and each physical therapist assistant must successfully complete the Nebraska Law Tutorial before November 1 of the renewal year. The Nebraska Law Tutorial is a free, online open book tutorial developed by the Board for the purpose of assuring that all physical therapists and physical therapist assistants understand the Physical Therapy Practice Act and the Physical Therapy Regulations, 172 NAC 137. Successful completion means a score of 100%. Each licensee or certificate holder is required to maintain a copy of his/her Nebraska Law Tutorial Examination.

Inactive means that you cannot practice but may represent yourself as having an inactive license. To change from inactive to active status you must meet renewal requirements which are in effect at the time status change is requested.

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CONTINUING COMPETENCY

On or before November 1 of each odd-numbered year, each physical therapist and each physical therapist assistant who is in active practice must:

     A.  Complete continuing education hours to renew a physical therapist license or physical therapist
          assistant certificate during the preceding 24 month period. Each physical therapist must complete 20
          hours of continuing education and each physical therapist assistant must complete 10 hours of 
          continuing education during the preceding 24 month period. For more information regarding acceptable
          continuing education see the rules and regulations pertaining to physical therapy.

     B.  All physical therapists and physical therapist assistants must successfully complete the Nebraska Law
          Tutorial before November 1st of odd-numbered years for the renewal of his or her credential. The
          Nebraska Law Tutorial is a free (click Tutorial in blue to follow the link to the Tutorial) online, open
          book tutorial developed by the Board for the purpose of assuring that all physical therapists and
          physical therapist assistants understand the Physical Therapy Practice Act and the Physical Therapy
          Regulations, 172 NAC 137. Successful completion means a score of 100%. Each physical therapist and
          physical therapist assistant is required to maintain a copy of his or her Nebraska Law Tutorial
          certificate.

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NAME AND ADDRESS CHANGE

To change your address go to the Licensure Unit web page to ‘UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS (DEMOGRAPHICS)’ at http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/crl/crlindex.htm or contact Irene Eckman at (402) 471-2299 or e-mail at irene.eckman@nebraska.gov.   If you wish to change your name on your Credential, you must mail a pdficon.gif (914 bytes)written request with your notarized signature along with a copy of the legal document verifying name change to:

Licensure Unit
Physical Therapy
PO Box 94986
LincolnNE68509-4986

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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 pdficon.gif (914 bytes)request for reissuance, and include a fee in the amount of $10.00 per document. Submit said request to:

Licensure Unit
Physical Therapy
PO Box 94986
LincolnNE68509-4986

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RULES AND REGULATIONS/STATUTES

pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Regulations relating to the Practice of Physical Therapy - 172 NAC 137 Updated August 2012
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Statutes relating to Physical Therapy
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Statutes relating to the Uniform Credentialing Act
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Regulations relating to Mandatory Reporting
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Mandatory Reporting Forms

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NE LAW/Jurisprudence Examination Study Materials

pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Candidate Information Booklet for NE Law Examination
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Nebraska Law Examination Content Outline
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Statutes relating to Physical Therapy
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Statutes Relating to Medical Records
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Regulations relating to the Practice of Physical Therapy - 172 NAC 137
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Statutes relating to the Uniform Credentialing Act
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Statutes relating to the Uniform Credentialing Act for Mandatory Reporting
pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Regulations relating to Mandatory Reporting

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BOARD INFORMATION

The pdficon.gif (914 bytes)Board of Physical Therapy advises the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health, Licensure Unit on all issues related to the regulation of physical therapy. Board member composition and length of terms follows:

Membership: 3 physical therapists
1 public member
Length of Term: 5 years, no more than 2 consecutive full 5-year terms.
Professional Requirements: Been actively engaged in practice of his/her profession in the State of Nebraska, under a license issued in this state, for a period of 5 years just preceding his/her appointment.
Public Member:
  1. Be a resident of this state who has attained the age of majority;
  2. Represent the interests and viewpoints of consumers; and
  3. Not be a present or former member of a credentialed profession, an employee of a member of a credentialed profession, or an immediate family or household member of any person presently regulated by such board.

The pdficon.gif (914 bytes)Board of Physical Therapy meets at least 1 time per year – see Board meeting schedule for meeting dates and times. Meetings are open to the public, with the exception of investigational matters. Minutes of meeting are available here or by contacting Bill Wisell at (402) 471-2299 or by e-mail at bill.wisell@nebraska.gov

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BOARD OF PHYSICAL THERAPY ADVISIORY OPINIONS

pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Nebraska Board of Physical Therapy Opinion on Sharp Wound Debridement

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CONTACT US

Office Address:

Mailing Address Physical Address
Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Public Health
Licensure Unit
PO Box 94986
Lincoln, NE 68509-4986
Nebraska State Office Building
301 Centennial Mall South
14th and M Streets
3rd Floor
Lincoln, Nebraska

Phone: (402) 471-2115
Fax: (402) 471-3577

Office Hours:

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

Physical Therapy Licensing Questions:

Irene Eckman, Health Licensing Specialist
Phone: (402) 471-2299
e-mail: irene.eckman@nebraska.gov

Physical Therapy Scope of Practice Questions:

Rene Tiedt, Program Manager
Phone: (402) 471-2299
e-mail: rene.tiedt@nebraska.gov

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OTHER RELATED CONTACTS

Nebraska Physical Therapy Association
PO Box 540427
Omaha, NE 68154-0427
Phone: (402) 491-3660
e-mail: npta@npta.org
www.npta.org

Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
Administrative Offices
124 West Street South, 3rd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314-2825
Phone: (703) 299-3100
fax: (703) 299-3110
www.fsbpt.org

Exam Application Processing &
Score Transfer Service
509 Wythe Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 739-9420
Fax: (703) 739-9421
www.fsbpt.net/pt/TransferScores.cfm

American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1488
Phone: (703) 684-2782 or (800) 999-2782
TDD: (703) 683-6748
Fax: (703) 684-7343
www.apta.org

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BROCHURES

pdficon.gif (914 bytes) Chemical Dependency in Health Care Professionals

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CERTIFICATION/VERIFICATION

Certification and Verification information can be obtained by checking the website at: www.dhhs.ne.gov/lis/lisindex.htm

OR

To request either a certification or verification or your license to be sent to another state licensing agency, send your request in writing along with the proper fee to the our office. Checks should be made payable to Licensure Unit.

Certification - This is required by all states that are requesting a 'verification' of your license to be mailed to them. A Nebraska certification of licensure to another jurisdiction is the only request that will include whether a license is in good standing or has had disciplinary action, which is information required by all jurisdictions.

  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. Examination information, if available
    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 Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services

Verification - Verification does not include the SEAL of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, nor does it include information relating to discipline, school, or examination.

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

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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 pdficon.gif (914 bytes)Neb. Rev. Stat. § 38-175 and is funded by license fees.

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

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COMPLAINTS

How do I file a complaint?

To file a complaint, see the Investigations Division web site: www.dhhs.ne.gov/reg/investi.htm

 

To file a complaint, see the Investigations Division web site:

What activities must be reported by a licensee, certificate holder, or registrant? Every credentialed person who has first-hand knowledge of unlicensed, illegal or unethical activities is required to report (includes self-reporting) within 30 days of the occurrence. Failure to report may result in discipline. To view additional information relating to mandatory reporting, click on the options below:

Mandatory Reporting shall not apply:

  • to the spouse of the person,
  • to a practitioner who is providing treatment to such person in a practitioner-patient relationship concerning information obtained or discovered in the course of treatment unless the treating practitioner determines that the condition of the person may be of a nature which constitutes a danger to the public health and safety by the person's continued practice, or
  • when a credentialed person who is chemically impaired enters the Licensee Assistance Program authorized by pdficon.gif (914 bytes)Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-172.01 except as provided in such section.

How is a complaint reviewed, and what is the disciplinary process?

The following provides information relating to the complaint, investigative, and disciplinary process.

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