Mental Health and Social Work Practice

Professions & Occupations

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What you need to know


​Guidance: Health Care Workforce Executive Orders Expired June 30, 2023

Executive Orders pertaining to Health Care Workforce expired on June 30, 2023. Click here for more information. ​


​Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen has issued Executive Order 23-18 - Criminal Background Checks - replacing the previous Executive Order 23-13.

NEW: Executive Order 23-18, effective 12/22/23, replaces​ Executive Order 23-13 and will expire on July 1, 2024.

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen recently signed Executive Order 23-18 to avoid a healthcare workforce shortage emergency. This Executive Order replaces Executive Order 23-13 and relates to criminal background checks by fingerprint and only affects licensing for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, licensed independent mental health practitioners, occupational therapists, and occupational therapy assistants.   

Types of credentials issued by Nebraska:

  • Provisionally Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (PLMHP) is a person who needs to obtain 3,000 hours of supervised experience in mental health practice in Nebraska.
  • Provisional Certification as a Master Social Worker (PCMSW) is a person who needs to obtain 3,000 hours of supervised experience in social work in Nebraska.
  • Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner includes diagnosis and treatment of major mental illness/disorders, without supervision or consultation.
  • Licensed Mental Health Practitioner does NOT include: Diagnosing major mental illness or disorder except in consultation with a licensed independent mental health practitioner, qualified physician or licensed clinical psychologist.

For information on exemptions from Licensure, please see Regulations: 172 NAC 94​

Certification Types (title protected):

  • Certified Professional Counselor
  • Certified Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Certified Master Social Worker
  • Certified Social Worker (no exam required)
  • Marriage and Family Therapists and Master Social Workers require specific supervision requirements. See the regulations for complete requirements

CMSW or CSW: Anyone may provide “social work" activities/services. Social work activities do not require certification (or licensure); however, you must be certified in Nebraska in order to represent yourself as a Social Worker in Nebraska. 

Social work is the professional application of social work values, knowledge, principles, and methods in all areas of social work practice. CSW's cannot practice privately, independently, or autonomously and cannot provide mental health services.

*Adding a certification to your license allows you to use a different title - it does not offer a different scope of practice/activity.  


​Counseling Compact for Professional Counselors

On 4.19.2022 Governor Ricketts signed LB 752, which enacted the Interstate Counseling Compact law. The Counseling Compact will offer eligible Nebraska licensed independent mental health practitioners who also hold a current/active professional counselor certificate a new method for providing services in other member states. 


The Compact Commission convened for the first time in October of 2022. The Commission adopted initial bylaws and rules to carry out the Compact. The Commission also provides for the creation of an interstate licensure data system allowing for rapid verification of practitioners' good standing and sharing of disciplinary information among member states. 

This activation process generally takes up to a year or longer. 


If you are interested in learning more about the Counseling Compact and future activities, please click here

Examination Information

The examination required is determined by the area of your degree and what type of credential(s) you apply for in Nebraska. See section 010 of the regulations​.

For information relating to the NBCC examinations (NCE and NCMHCE), click here​​.

How do I register to take an examination?

The testing registration process is a two-part process.

  • Submit completed examination application to our office. If you've not already sent us your official transcript and verification of Master's Practicum/Internship, you must do so now. Typically within two weeks, you'll receive a letter of authorization from our office.
  • Follow directions provided on our authorization form to complete your registration directly with the appropriate testing service.
  • You'll receive your test results at the site/after you complete your test.
  • Your test scores are automatically forwarded to this office, if you received approval to test through this office.


Renewal, Continuing Education & Reinstatement

NOTE: The following information does not relate to provisional credentials.

Expiration Dates and Continuing Education:

  • The expiration date is September 1 of even-numbered years.
  • CE: 32 clock hours
  • All licensees and certificate holders must complete at least 4 hours of CE in ethics each renewal period.
  • LIMHPs must complete at least 6 hours of CE relating to diagnosis and treatment of major mental disorders each renewal period.  

Nebraska does not review or approve CE offerings. 

If your credential expires, use the following to reinstate:

Office of Behavioral Health & Consumer Services
Department of Health & Human Services/Division of Public Health/Licensure Unit 
Phone Number
(402) 471-2117
Fax Number
(402) 742-1106
Mailing & Physical Addresses

DHHS Licensure Unit

Attn: Mental Health

PO Box 94986

Lincoln NE 68509-4986


Nebraska State Office Building

301 Centennial Mall South

14th & M Streets, 3rd​ Floor

Lincoln NE 68508

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed federal holidays.