Becoming a Social Worker in Nebraska

Nebraska licenses social workers who provide mental health services and certifies those who do not. You may enter the profession at either the graduate or graduate level; graduate training will be required for mental health practice.

Here is a guide to getting a social worker education in Nebraska and earning your credentials.

social work student

If You Are a High School Student

Step 1:

Take the courses you will need for general university admission. Meanwhile, look into volunteer and career exploration programs. Some social work schools expect you to have done a certain number of volunteer or job shadow hours before admission to upper level courses. While it may be acceptable to wait until your freshman or sophomore year of college, it doesn't hurt to start the process early.

Step 2:

Select a school. Certification at the bachelor’s level requires a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited program. If you will be pursuing clinical or advanced practice social work at the graduate level, the BSW is optional, but can bring your graduate credit hour requirement from 60 hours down to 30 or 40.

Step 3:

Apply for admission to the professional social work program once you have completed prerequisites (typically the latter part of your sophomore year). The school will set a minimum GPA, typically 2.5; this minimum will not guarantee a slot. There may be a personal statement and even an interview.

Step 4:

Complete social work courses and practicum experiences. They will prepare you as a generalist social worker. Opportunities for specialization at the undergraduate level are more limited. However, you may have the opportunity to earn an adjunctive certificate in a field like gerontology.

Step 5:

Apply for certification as a Certified Social Worker (CSW). No exam is required at this level.

You may opt for full-time employment as a CSW or continue your studies at the master’s level. You will have the most options if you return to school within about five years. Some advanced placement students are able to earn dual graduate degrees in the time it takes a nonsocial work major to earn one.

Find more detailed Nebraska Social Work Licensure information here.

If You Have a College Degree

Step 1:

Prepare to apply to a Master of Social Work (MSW) program. Make sure you have some experience before application, either as a volunteer or paid worker. Allow plenty of time to prepare essays and gather references.

Step 2:

Select the most appropriate program. Nebraska social work schools offer different concentrations and sub-concentrations. You may pursue an advanced generalist concentration (for example, community organization, program evaluation, legislative advocacy), or a clinical one.

The Simmons College School of Social Work ([email protected]) is the nation’s oldest school of social work and is offering an innovative Online Master of Social Work program. You can complete this CSWE-accredited Master's in Social Work program in as little as 15 months. There is no GRE required for acceptance to this program. Request information.

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers a CSWE-accredited online Master's in Social Work. The GRE is not required to apply to the [email protected] program. A Bachelor's degree is required. Learn more about this program.

Fordham University's top-ranked School of Social Work offers an online MSW program that prepares students for relevant, integrated practice with all populations. GRE scores not required. Request information today.

Capella University is now offering an online Master of Social Work that is in CSWE candidacy status. The MSW program helps prepare students to enter the general or clinical practice role (in most states). Capella also offers an online Doctor of Social Work. Click Here to contact Capella University about their Master of Social Work program or Doctor of Social Work program.

Step 3:

Complete your studies. If you have a BSW, you will move very quickly into advanced studies and concentration courses. If your undergraduate degree was in another field, you will spend a year (or the part-time equivalent) completing foundations courses.

Step 4:

Apply to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for the appropriate credential. If you will not be providing clinical services, apply for Provisional Certification as a Master Social Worker (PCMSW). If you will be providing clinical services, apply for the PCMSW and the Provisionally Certified Mental Health Practitioner (PLMHP) credential.

Step 5:

Take a position and work under supervision until you have accrued at least 3,000 experience hours.

Step 6:

Take the appropriate examination. If you are pursuing Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP) licensing in addition to social worker certification, you must take the clinical examination through the Association of Social Work Boards.

If you are applying for nonclinical certification as a Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW), you may take either the clinical or advanced generalist examination.

Find more detailed Nebraska Social Work Licensure information here.