Nevada Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Nevada Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Most of us take the ability to verbalize our thoughts for granted. Similarly, being able to swallow food isn’t something we think about. However, for a subset of the population, either of these everyday activities can be a challenge. Developmental issues, disease, and old age can cause people to have difficulty with speech or swallowing.

Whether someone has always struggled with these problems or acquires them later, they need to be treated. After all, being able to communicate well and eat properly are essential to independent living. The professionals who treat these disorders are called Speech-Language pathologists, or SLPs.

Of course, not everyone can be an SLP. These highly-skilled professionals must complete years of schooling and education before they qualify. Therefore, you’ll need a license to be a speech-language pathologist in Nevada. Licensure ensures that each professional is properly trained and will provide competent treatment. Likewise, licensure protects the public from incompetent or fraudulent speech pathologists.

Nevada Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

While many states outline the different courses you need to take before they accept your degree, Nevada takes a more dynamic approach. Their educational requirements match up with the latest accreditation standards from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). There’s a different license type at every step of the way, culminating with a full and unrestricted license after you get board certified.

With all of that in mind, let’s look at the process.

Educational Requirements

In many states, there are specific educational requirements that outline the exact coursework that you’ll need to get a license. However, the coursework requirements are set by ASHA and its program accreditation arm. For this reason, the standards are the same nationwide. Administrative codes in other states are typically consistent with ASHA standards.

Becoming an SLP in Nevada, as with other states, requires a Master’s degree in speech pathology from an ASHA-accredited program. According to ASHA, coursework includes different science classes which are related to speech and language. You’ll also study how speech and language should work and what can go wrong. Finally, you’ll gain knowledge of different speech, language, and swallowing disorders, statistics, and evaluation.

Besides academic coursework, you’ll need to complete some practicum hours before you graduate with a Master’s degree. These clinical hours will let you first observe an SLP in treatment sessions, then let you assist. In the process, you’ll learn what happens during a session and get your first exposure to clinical practice.

In total, you need at least 36 hours of graduate courses to graduate, plus clinical experience.

Choosing the Right Program

When you choose a program, always make sure it’s accredited. Because Nevada doesn’t have any additional education standards, you’re free to choose whichever one you like. ASHA has a list of accredited programs that you can choose from. Here you can find all Nevada speech pathology degree programs (you’ll need to use the filter to see only schools offering master’s programs).

With that said, there are several things to consider:

  • What is the program’s job placement rate? You’re going to school so you can become an SLP, so you want to make sure that you have a high chance of success at getting a job.
  • How much coursework must you complete on campus? Practicum hours mean that you can’t do an SLP degree entirely online, but it may be possible to do so for purely academic courses.
  • Can you afford to relocate or commute? Relocation in particular, is expensive, but there are relatively few programs in Nevada. Make sure it’s worthwhile to spend the money.
  • Entrance requirements. Some programs require that you have a particular undergraduate background, while others are more flexible. For flexible programs, you may need to take undergraduate prerequisite courses.
  • Overall cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, and living costs.
  • Flexibility. If you need to work your way through the academic courses, take course flexibility into account.

Ultimately, choosing the right program comes down to a good “fit” between the program and the student. Make sure you’re comfortable with your choice before you apply for the best results.


As we mentioned above, there are prerequisites that you need to complete at an undergraduate level before you can take master-level courses in speech-language pathology. You’ll typically need courses in anatomy as it relates to speech and language, phonetics, language development, and an introductory topic course.

Because many people who want to enter this field take undergraduate majors that are related to speech-language pathology, this subset of applicants won’t need to take any more undergraduate courses. Other applicants may need to take a few courses before they’re allowed to participate fully. This will take more time and money, but if you want to be an SLP, then it’s worth it.

Experience Requirements

Just because you have a Masters degree in speech-language pathology doesn’t mean that you get an unrestricted license to practice in Nevada. That’s because the state of Nevada agrees with all other US jurisdictions in that you need practical experience before you can practice on your own. There are many finer points of practice that cannot be taught in the classroom. Rather, you’ll truly learn how to diagnose and treat speech and language problems by doing so in a venue where you can ask questions and get help.

In Nevada, the experience requirements vary significantly depending on the level of licensure that you want. And at the same time, some licensure levels are temporary, so you must advance to the next level. Here are the rules.

Provisional License

300 clock hours of practicum. This is the amount of experience which you will need to graduate with your Masters degree in speech-language pathology. While you earn of these hours, you’ll work directly with an SLP who has a certificate of clinical competence (CCC) from ASHA. Your supervisor will carefully document these clinical hours and report them to your school so that your degree can be granted.

You can only have his license for three years, so you’ll need to advance to the next level.

Standard License

After you’ve been a practicing SLP for at least a year, you can apply for a standard license. The experience requirement for this step is that you must have a CCC-SLP. Obtaining one requires you to meet several different criteria, but for the purposes of experience, you’ll complete the ASHA clinical fellowship.

An ASHA clinical fellowship is similar to a residency for doctors. You will spend at least 36 weeks working with a more experienced SLP who already has their CCC-SLP. During that time, you must complete a full 1260 hours of in-clinic experience. You will also spend 18 hours observing your mentor and be observed by your mentor for another 18 hours. This gives you a chance to ask questions and your mentor the opportunity to improve your skills.

By this point, you should feel much more confident in your practice.

Other Licenses

Nevada has two other license types. These are called the limited license and the temporary license. Both of them have the same basic requirements as a standard license, though the application process is a little bit different.

Testing Requirements

Like other states, Nevada has testing requirements. Right now, they have a jurisprudence exam under development, which will eventually be required. This basically covers the laws and regulations surrounding clinical practice as an SLP.

However, the main exam to become an SLP in Nevada is called the Praxis-II in speech-language pathology. It is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the same company that gives the GRE you’ll take for admission to graduate school. The Praxis-II exam questions are developed by ASHA.

ASHA has a helpful guide to the examination, including how to sign up, test preparation, and other related materials. You can find it on their website. Notably, ETS is moving away from in-person testing. Therefore, you can choose to take it from the comfort of your own home or at an in-person center. If you’d rather go to a testing center, you’ll have to call ETS to find the nearest location.

Background Requirements

If you want to be an SLP in Nevada, you must meet certain background requirements. As part of the application process, you will have to attest that you are not behind on any child support payments or at least that you have an agreement with the court to catch up.

Similarly, you will have to meet the Board’s background requirements. Technically, there is no published standard of what criminal convictions will disqualify you from getting a license. Rather, the Board considers various factors related to your offense, such as how it reflects on your ability to practice as an SLP, and how long it’s been since you had a conviction.

Technically, there is no formal criminal background check. But you will have to reveal any convictions on the application form. Then, the Board will determine if you are suitable. If you have any criminal record, there’s a way to find out if it is likely to disqualify you from getting your license. This is called a pre-licensing determination, and you can apply for it through the Board’s website. We highly recommend that you follow this process before getting your Master’s degree.

Application Process

Nevada’s SLP license application process is almost exclusively online. You have to go to their website and fill out an application through their online system. Ideally, you should also pay the fees electronically, though they will accept a personal check through the mail. Similarly, you will upload many of the documents to your application file, rather than sending a man. The big exception to this rule is with initial provisional licenses, where you’ll need to have ETS send your Praxis score report. As a side note, you’ll also have ETS send that report to ASHA as part of your CCC process.

For an initial licensure or an upgrade to a standard license, you’ll need the following:

  • A photograph or copy of your drivers license in
  • Educational transcripts, including your bachelor’s and Master’s degrees
  • Praxis test scores
  • Verification of any out-of-state license you may have an
  • Proof of military service, if applicable.

A quick word about military service. If you are a veteran or military-affiliated, you can declare this to the Board. It’s worthwhile doing so because you may be able to get expedited service, and there is a fee discount. This is especially useful if you or your partner are being transferred to Nevada from out-of-state.

For all types of licensure except a provisional license, you will also include a copy of your certificate of clinical competence. Also, once you have your CCC-SLP, you won’t have to send a copy of your Praxis scores. This is true whether you’re getting one of the temporary practice licenses or a standard license. Additionally, you will include documentation for any adverse license actions that you thought from another state or any criminal history.

Finally, let’s look at the fees. To get an initial provisional or standard license, it’ll cost $250. However, if you start with a provisional license, then it’ll cost $50 to convert it into a standard license. Renewals for both types are $100.

According to the Board, it takes 3 to 5 business days to process most applications. There may be exceptions for complicated situations, such as a criminal record. Once you’re approved, you’ll get an email from the board, which includes a PDF copy of your new license. If you haven’t heard about your license within a couple of weeks, it’s worth following up.

Both standard and provisional licenses are valid for one year.

Practicing in Schools

For people who want to practice in schools, there’s a different process. Nevada’s speech pathology and audiology board doesn’t regulate these professionals. Instead, they are certified through the Department of Education as a type of special education teacher.

According to ASHA, the standards are much less stringent. You only need a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders, and you’ll need a teacher’s license. However, if you have a license in another state or a CCC-SLP, getting the endorsement is easy.

Keep in mind that if you practice in schools, you don’t need a Nevada SLP license. However, you can’t practice outside the schools without one. When you consider that you still have to take the Praxis, it may be worthwhile to get a general license anyway. This provides more job flexibility than simply relying on your teacher’s license.