Nebraska Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Nebraska Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

If you live in Nebraska and are considering a career in speech-language pathology, then you have come to the right place. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have a very rewarding and fulfilling career helping others manage their communicative disorders.

Communication is key to our everyday interactions. Many of us take the ability to communicate effectively for granted. But anyone who has ever experienced a communication handicap due to an illness or a condition they were born with, understands just how meaningful it is to have clear and concise communication with others.

SLPs do more than improve communicative disorders, they improve the patient’s quality of life. They work hard to treat social and cognitive communication disorders and educate the patient’s family so the client can continue to have successful therapy sessions. The patient’s support system is critical to helping them overcome daily challenges.

You can find SLPs working in hospitals, schools, residential care facilities, rehabilitation clinics, and other settings they may be needed. So, if you are attentive, detail-oriented, organized, compassionate, and creative, you’ll find the world of speech-language pathology intriguing. Keep reading for more information on the steps you’ll need to take to become a licensed SLP if you live in Nebraska or plan on relocating to the state soon.

Nebraska Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

In Nebraska, the Department of Health and Human Services issues licenses to speech-language pathologists. Licenses are renewed every two years according to the state’s rules and regulations for the occupation.

Education Requirements

Obtaining a master’s degree or higher from an institution accredited by the American language hearing association (ASHA) is required for SLP licensure. Most SLP programs require two letters of academic reference, a graduate record examination (GRE) score, and a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0.

Upon entering the SLP program you will be expected to have taken prerequisite courses including the Fundamentals of Communicative Disorders, Articulation Disorders, Aphasia Management and Treatment, and the Science Of Language. These courses will prepare you for the rigorous graduate-level coursework ahead.

Your core coursework will consist of the following classes:

  • Research Methodology
  • Voice Disorders
  • Language Disorders and Special Populations
  • Fluency Disorders

ASHA accreditation is extremely important as it is the organization responsible for ensuring the standards of practice for speech-language pathology.

Experience Requirement

Upon graduation, you will be required to fulfill a professional work experience where you’ll gain 1,260 hours of direct patient care. This experience is called a clinical fellowship (CF) and you can either work full or part-time. Full-time workers typically finish the experience within 36 weeks, while it takes part-timers 72 weeks to complete.

The CF is supervised by a licensed SLP who will monitor your performance and offer feedback throughout. During the CF your duties will include consultations, record keeping, assessments, and other direct clinical work with patients.

The supervisor will submit documentation to the Department to verify the successful completion of the CF once it ends.

Testing Requirement

Praxis Exam 5331 is the national test required for SLP licensure. The exam assesses the knowledge and skills you’ve obtained to be sure you’re prepared to enter the field. The test is available all year round and computer-based, so you can take it at home or one of the many test centers in Nebraska.

It’s recommended that you review The Praxis Tests Information Bulletin before registering for the exam. Here you’ll find information on how to schedule the exam, what to expect on test day, fee information, and basic policies.

Scheduling the test is simple and straightforward when done online. If you run into any issues you can refer to the Online Registration FAQs. Registration can also be completed over the phone or by mail.

Create an account on the Praxis website to successfully register by phone. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) administers the exam and can be contacted at (800) 772-9476. There is a $35 surcharge incurred to register over the phone and it must be paid at least four days before you sit for the exam.

If you choose to register by mail you’ll need to first complete a Test Authorization Voucher Request Form. You’ll receive a voucher number in the mail about three weeks after your request is processed. included with the voucher number will be instructions on how to register.

Those who need to retake the test have to wait a minimum of 28 days before rescheduling. You can use the time to brush up on your studying by taking advantage of the resources available online. Choose one or all of the following prep materials to help you prepare:

Taking the test at home may be a better option for busy individuals as the tests are available seven days a week. Just be sure you meet the Equipment and Environment requirements before signing up. If you prefer to take the test at one of the Prometric test centers or other qualified locations, simply perform an online search for the one nearest you on the ETS website.

The test consists of 132 multiple-choice questions that are graded on a scale of 100-200. A score of 162 is needed to pass. After completing the exam your scores will be available through your Praxis account and any institution you requested to receive the score during registration will receive the results as well.

Background Checks

SLP applicants are required to undergo a criminal background check (CBC) as a condition for licensure. It is a fingerprint-based check performed by the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP). fingerprint cards are available at State Patrol offices or any law enforcement agency in the state. Another way to obtain the fingerprint card is to contact the Licensure Unit and request one be mailed to you. The phone number is: (402) 471-2118.

Be sure to fill the fingerprint card out completely and do not sign it until the law enforcement officer taking your fingerprints has verified your signature against the form of ID you provide. Send all fingerprint cards to:

Criminal Identification Division
4600 Innovation Drive
Lincoln, NE 68521

Live Scan Is another way you can have your fingerprints taken at an NSP location. this is an electronic capture that is available to all Nebraska residents applying for an SLP license.

A state criminal background check is performed using the submitted fingerprints. Applicants are responsible for the $15.50 processing fee. The state criminal background check results are available in approximately 7 to 10 business days.

Application Process

The licensing application packet is available online and needs to be mailed to the Department. A completed packet includes the following items:

  • $140 licensing fee
  • A copy of your driver’s license, birth certificate, state ID, or government ID showing you are at least 19 years old
  • Proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S.
  • Conviction information if applicable
  • Fingerprints for criminal background check
  • Official transcript from an accredited SLP program; or
  • ASHA certification

Licensure fees can be waived if you are a young worker, a low-income individual, or a member of a military family. Young workers are those considered between the ages of 18 to 25. A low-income individual is someone receiving federal public assistance from the following programs:

  • Medical Assistance Act
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Anyone on active military duty, a military spouse, an honorably discharged veteran, or their spouse, and un-remarried surviving spouses of deceased service members are also eligible to have license fees waived.

Temporary licenses are required before beginning your clinical fellowship, and these applications can also be found on the Department’s website. The licenses are valid for 18 months or until the CF is completed. Except for ASHA certification, you’ll be required to submit the same documents needed for permanent licensure along with your PRAXIS score.

Once your CF is over you must immediately apply for a permanent license. If you do not, you can face a penalty of $10 each day up to $1000 for each day you practice unlicensed.

There are also provisional licenses which are valid for 30 days. You may apply for this certification while waiting for the Department to approve your application for permanent licensure if you meet Nebraska’s SLP qualifications. During the 30 days, you’ll need to work under a licensed SLP and register with the Department before beginning to practice. This license fee is also $140.

Provisional licenses are also available for those who meet all SLP licensure requirements except for passing the national exam. Once you pass the exam your license will be issued. However, if the exam is not passed before the license expires you will not be able to continue practicing until you receive a passing score and are granted a permanent license.

Mail all application packets to:

DHHS Licensure Unit
Attention: Audiology/Speech-Language Pathology
P.O. Box 94986
Lincoln, NE 68509-4989

If you have any questions, contact the Department at: (402) 471-2299 or