Mental Health and Social Work Practice

Professions & Occupations

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

​​​​​​​​​​Governor Ricketts has issued Executive Order 21-12

On August 26, 2021, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts issued Executive Order 21-12 (expiring December 31, 2021) which provides waivers of specific statutes and applicable regulations due to a hospital capacity emergency.  You can view the Executive Order here​

Renewal Update as of 8/26/21

​License types (click here for list​​) that were deferred per Executive Order 20-10 had their expiration dates extended to 10/31/21 and must be renewed by that date.

On August 26, 2021, Governor Pete Ricketts issued Executive Order 21-12 which suspends the Continuing Competency/Continuing Education requirements as a requirement for renewal for the following professions: medicine and surgery (MDs), advanced practice nursing, emergency medical services, mental health, drug and alcohol counselors, nursing, osteopathic medicine and surgery (DO), pharmacy, perfusion, psychology, respiratory care, and surgical assistants.  The Continuing Competency/Education questions remain on the renewal application and will be processed regardless of how you answer the questions. 

NOTE: If the license has already been renewed, this deferral and extension does not apply. ​

To renew, click here​. After the renewal processing is complete, the license will reflect the next regularly scheduled expiration date. Click here to print a wallet card ​to verify the renewed license.

New regulations effective July 12, 2021

View 172 NAC 94, regulations relating to Independent Mental Health Practitioners, Mental Health Practitioners, Marriage and Family Therapists, Professional Counselors, and Social Workers, in the regulations and statutes box on the right side of this page.

For a brief summary of the regulation changes, click here.

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.  


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 teh 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, 1st Floor

Lincoln NE 68508

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