Nebraska Psychology Licensure Requirements

Working as a licensed psychologist in Nebraska is one of the top career goals for many people both in and out of the Cornhusker State. With a strong economy that continues to thrive despite larger economic struggles nationwide, Nebraska is a prime location for many people seeking to develop and establish a career in psychology. As the state continues growing, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has set forth specific standards to ensure that the practice of psychology is at the highest standard possible.

While these standards are excellent for psychologists and citizens of the state, it can make it difficult for many people looking to earn their license as a psychologist. At Psychology Degree 411, we’ve created a roadmap so that you can easily navigate through the complex process of becoming a psychologist in Nebraska. Some of the most common questions we receive include:

» How do I become a Psychologist in Nebraska?
» I have earned a PhD or PsyD and I am ready to learn how to get a Psychologist License in Nebraska.
» Why does Nebraska require fingerprinting and criminal background checks to become a licensed Psychologist?
» What are Nebraska’s Supervised Professional Experience Rules and Regulations?
» What Psychology exams are required in Nebraska?

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in Nebraska

As you embark on your journey to becoming a psychologist in Nebraska, there are three major benchmarks that you must achieve. They are educational requirements, gaining experience, and passing the official examination. Here’s where it all begins:

1. Earn a BS in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Psychology.

Earning your BS and master’s degrees in psychology sets the foundation for a successful career that’s dedicated to lifelong success in psychology. These degrees are all prerequisite requirements before you can earn your doctorate, which is what will give you the expertise and experience needed to become a professional, licensed psychologist.

2. Earn a PhD or PsyD in Psychology.

The State of Nebraska requires all psychologists to have a PhD or PsyD in psychology. Because you’re working with the mental health, hygiene, and well-being of many people, it’s important that you scientifically and medically understand what you’re doing – and earning your doctorate degree gives you this invaluable knowledge. Furthermore, the internship and residency experiences will allow you to learn more about the practice of psychology and how to effectively work on the job.

If you’re not sure where to begin looking for doctorate programs, don’t worry – you’re not alone. With so many options throughout the state and the nation, it can be difficult to choose the right doctorate program for you. At Psychology Degree 411, we understand the incredible quality that Nebraska programs have to offer, so we’ve compiled a list of psychology programs offered in Nebraska. Feel free to browse through these offerings to determine whether one program might be that perfect fit.

3. Get Licensed to Practice Psychology in Nebraska.

Completing your education is important, but it isn’t enough to practice as a psychologist in Nebraska. You must now become licensed to practice in the state. Here’s how:

Nebraska Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete a Background Check and Fingerprint Procedures.

The State of Nebraska is serious about protecting the integrity, quality, reputation, and professionalism of the practice of psychology. It is for this very reason that all aspiring psychologists must submit to a background check. This will ensure that you don’t have any criminal history that is indicative of your inability to work as a public servant in this regard. A fingerprint scan must be taken, to check against criminal databases.

This basic background check ensures the safety of the people seeking psychological help. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or convicted of a felony, it is still possible to become a psychologist in Nebraska. However, you must complete this Misdemeanor or Felony Conviction or Discipline Paperwork for review.

Furthermore, if you are already licensed and you receive any criminal charge or legal discipline, you must report it to the state of Nebraska within 30 days.

2. Complete Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Requirements.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services understands the need for experience beyond the classroom. There’s only so much that classroom learning can accomplish. Though you can learn the theories and principles, there are incredible learning opportunities in a real-life working environment. Thus, the State of Nebraska requires Supervised Professional Experience (SPE), which allows trainees to see their education applied in a real world setting.

Suddenly, theories and principles are brought to life in a real-life practice with real people – all sorts of people – under the supervision of a practicing, licensed psychologist.

Predoctoral Professional Experience Requirements

Before earning your doctorate degree, the state of Nebraska requires at least one year of SPE. This full-time year should equate to 2,000 hours worth of experience.2 In order for this internship, research, or teaching opportunity to count towards SPE, it must meet the standards set by the American Psychological Association.1 The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services also details the specific methods in which SPE can be earned.2

Postdoctoral Professional Experience Requirements

After earning your PsyD or PhD, you must complete an additional 2,000 hours – or 1 full-time year – of SPE under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.2 This will give you the opportunity to smooth the transition from your educational years to practicing as a professional psychologist in Nebraska. This experience must be confirmed by the Dean or Registrar from the institution where you received your doctorate degree. In order for this SPE to qualify, both the institution and your supervisor must verify the experience.

Verification of Required Experience

The SPE requirement takes a lot of time, so you want to ensure that every hour is counted towards what’s expected of you. The American Psychological Association not only details the required experience but also discusses how to ensure this experience is appropriately documented.1

3. Pass The Nebraska Psychology Licensing Exams.

In order to practice psychology in Nebraska, you must prove to the state that you have the knowledge necessary to effectively serve patients and clients. You must score 500 or higher on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology – EPPP.

This timed examination is 225-multiple choice questions long. Since this test is a make-or-break point for many applicants, we strongly encourage you to sign up for the EPPP practice exam. This will ensure that you’re prepared to handle the pressure of answering 225 questions in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

4. Submit an Application for Psychologist Licensure in Nebraska.

Now it’s time for you to submit an application to earn your well-earned license. Complete the Application for Psychologist Licensure in Nebraska, and be sure to mail it to:

Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Public Health – Licensure Unit
301 Centennial Mall South – PO Box 94986
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4986

Additional Requirements and Information

If you follow the overview as described here on Psychology Degree 411, you’ll experience a smooth ride as you earn your psychology license. If you’d like to learn more about practicing psychology in Nebraska and the requirements of the licensure process, review the licensing information provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. It describes:

  • The types of licenses available for psychologists
  • Being able to detect alcohol and substance abuse
  • Coursework focusing on child abuse
  • Standards for authoring or reviewing a psychological oriented publication
  • The total cost and breakdown of licensure in Nebraska

1. American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/internships.aspx
2. State of Nebraska: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Documents/Psychology.pdf