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Nebraska psychologists are licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services (http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_mhcs_psych_psych.aspx). Licensure is dependent on attainment of a doctoral degree, fulfillment of pre- and postdoctoral supervised practice requirements, and completion of a multi-step examination process.
While accruing postdoctoral supervised practice hours, an individual holds a provisional license.
Education must take place at the doctoral level. The program must be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or deemed equivalent to an APA-accredited program. Nebraska will look for more than minimum program length or coursework in core competency areas. The program equivalency form considers many aspects of the program, from facilities to faculty hiring policies (http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Licensure/Documents/APAProgramEquivCriteria.pdf).
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If a candidate’s education does not meet standards, in most cases, the candidate will need a respecialization program.
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Two years of supervised practice are required; the first year is internship, the second, postdoctoral practice.
The internship is normally APA-accredited. Non-APA internships are acceptable if it can be documented that they meet equivalent requirements. There must be three on-site psychologists who can act as supervisors. There will need to be at least two intern positions. There will need to be a minimum of four total hours of supervision each week, at least two of them individual. The internship may not commence until after practicum has been completed.
The internship may be completed in 12 to 24 months. (An exception is school psychology; here ten months is acceptable.)
Postdoctoral supervised practice is also 1,500 hours, but is completed while under state regulation. At least 1,000 of the hours are to be in areas defined as direct service. Direct service includes case conferences and treatment planning, but does not include supervision hours. (Other examples of activities that are not considered direct service are classroom teaching and managed care reviews.)
A provisional license is issued for two years. Under normal circumstances, requirements are to be complete within 24 months. The license may be reissued one time. The licensee will need to submit another application.
A candidate may take the EPPP after educational and internship requirements have been met and while working under provisional licensing. It will be necessary to submit an examination application. The Department will send registration information. The EPPP is administered at Prometric sites throughout the United States; in Nebraska, it is offered in Omaha, Nebraska, and Columbus. Eligible candidates will receive a letter which will invite them to complete the next part of the registration process.
Payment of the $600 fee grants the candidate a 60-day testing window; the exam can be scheduled at any authorized site, but slots may fill well in advance. The Board receives EPPP scores on a monthly basis and will report them to the candidate.
Candidates seeking additional information may turn to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) or Professional Examination Service (PES).
The state-constructed examination has two parts: a written jurisprudence examination and an oral examination. The passing score is set at 80%. The jurisprudence examination is completed at home and brought to the oral examination. It covers psychology practice, state and federal law, rules, and ethics. It includes some concepts that are typically taught in general psychology coursework, for example, child abuse, dual relationships, dangerousness, and standards for using human subjects in psychological research. Candidates should be expected to be asked five random questions from the written exam.
There are six oral examinations scheduled for 2014: in January, March, May, July, September, and November. A candidate turns in a short application when ready to take the examination; the application must be in by the first Monday of the intended month.
The oral examination is short: about 15 minutes.
An in-state candidate first applies for provisional licensing when preparing to begin postdoctoral practice. The applicant will need to document age (at least 19) and lawful presence. Internship verification and transcripts are to be sent directly by third parties. There is a $50 fee to register supervision (and $10 to add or change a supervisor).
Application forms are available online (http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_mhcs_psych_psych.aspx#Applications).
Licensing fees are prorated based on the stage of the renewal cycle.
A senior psychologist (licensed 20 or more years) will need to provide evidence of having been licensed based on a doctoral degree, but will not need to demonstrate that all current licensing standards were met.
Psychologists may be eligible for reciprocity if one of the following conditions is met: They hold a Certificate of Professional Qualification or National Register of Health Services Providers credential, or live in a jurisdiction that is part of the ASPPB reciprocity agreement. Other participating jurisdictions include (as of November 2014) Arkansas, Manitoba, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ontario, and Texas.
In order to be eligible for reciprocity, psychologists must have at least one year of active practice in the jurisdiction where they hold licensing and must have been in active practice at least three of the preceding five years; time spent in an internship or residency can be counted toward the latter requirement. Reciprocity candidates submit applications, but some are not required to fill out all sections.
Other out-of-state residents apply by requirements. They are generally expected to have completed postgraduate practice requirements within the same 24 month period that in-state candidates do, but are not necessarily held to identical standards for supervised experience.
A reciprocity candidate may be granted a temporary license to practice while going through the state examination process. The fee is $50.
An out-of-state psychologist who will be practicing a total of 30 or fewer days in the year may be granted a temporary practice letter.
If you are still in High School, hold a High School Diploma/GED, hold a bachelor's degree, or hold a master's degree check out suggested steps to take along the path to become a Licensed Psychologist in Nebraska.
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_mhcs_psych_psych.aspx)
Questions about the licensing process may be addressed to 402-471-4905.
The Nebraska Psychological Association is an additional resource, but does not handle licensing matters (http://www.nebpsych.org).