Mental Health and Social Work Practice

 
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What you need to know

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Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has issued Executive Order 22-04 - Criminal Background Checks

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts recently signed Executive Order No. 22-04 to avoid a healthcare workforce shortage emergency. This Executive Order 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.   


​​​​​​​​Nebraska ​​​​​​​​​​​​​Governor Pete Ricketts has issued Executive Order 22-05

​Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has issued Executive Order 22-05, to expire on December 31, 2022. Executive Order 22-02, which is currently scheduled to expire on September 30, 2022, shall remain in effect through December 31, 2022 and the identical statutory waivers and conditions contained within Executive Orders 21-12 and 21-15 that were extended by Executive Order 22-02 shall remain in effect through December 31, 2022,​ except that Medication Aide renewals will no longer be deferred after March 31, 2022. You can view the Executive Order here​​​. See all Governor's Executive Orders 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.  


FAQs


​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. 

WHEN WILL THE COMPACT BE OPERATIONAL?

The Compact Commission will convene for the first time in October of 2022. The Commission will adopt initial bylaws and rules to carry out the Compact. The Commission will also provide 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. 

MORE INFORMATION: 

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 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.

Examination

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.