Social Work License Requirements in Nevada
Students interested in becoming a social worker in Nevada should understand the requirements and responsibilities for each of the licenses available: Licensed Social Worker (includes both LBSW and LMSW), Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Independent Social Worker. In addition to the eligibility requirements for each type of license, aspiring social workers can learn about Nevada’s continuing education requirements and how to receive licensure in Nevada after practicing in another state.
Social Work Licensure Requirements in Nevada
Aspiring social workers in Nevada have three license options from which to choose. Applicants need either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in social work to become a Licensed Social Worker (LSW). Provisional licenses may be granted for 60 to 90 days for students who haven’t yet graduated from a program, or who are waiting to take the exam. This social work license allows graduates to work at an agency or organization.
The Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) credential places social workers at an advanced practitioner level, without the ability to provide therapy to patients in a clinical setting. In this field, social workers can develop service programs, perform conflict resolution, consult on programs, conduct staff development training and design organizational policies and procedures.
To work in a clinical setting, applicants must become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). This requires either an MSW or Ph.D. in social work and post-graduate work experience. Candidates also need their LSW license before they can apply for their LCSW license. With this license, social workers can diagnose and treat patients with mental and emotional disorders.
Licensed Social Worker
Nevada allows for flexible education requirements for the Licensed Social Worker (LSW). Candidates can become either a Licensed Bachelor of Social Work (LBSW) or a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW). The LBSW requires a bachelor’s degree in social work, while the LMSW requires a master’s degree in social work; degrees must be from a program approved by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Next, candidates need to fill out an application through the Board of Examiners for Social Workers. This includes information on background and employment history, as well as screening questions. The cost is $40 for the application fee and $100 for the initial license fee. Applicants can receive a 50 percent discount on the initial license fee if they or their spouse are active members or veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Applicants are also required to pass the appropriate exam from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Those who have a bachelor’s degree will take the Bachelors exam, while those with a master’s degree can take either the Bachelors or Masters exam. Once they have received approval to take the ASWB exam from the Board, applicants may be granted a 90-day “provisional license,” allowing them to practice social work before taking the exam. When the Board receives notice of an applicant’s passing exam score and has approved their application and background check, an LSW will be awarded.
Licensed Independent Social Worker
Earning a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) credential allows social workers to practice independently as an advanced practitioner, although not in clinical social work or mental health therapy. An MSW from a CSWE accredited program is required for the LCSW license. Once graduates have earned an MSW, an application can be submitted to the Nevada Board of Social Workers. The total price for application and initial licensing fees is $140, although a discount applies for active duty military members, veterans and spouses. Applicants also need to pay $36.75 to have fingerprints processed as part of the background check. A provisional license may be granted to allow applicants to continue working while waiting to take their exam.
The Advanced level of the ASWB exam must be passed in order to receive an LISW and independently practice Nevada social work. Applicants need to accumulate 3,000 hours of post-graduate social work experience that has been approved by the Board. Supervision for these hours must come from an Independent or Clinical Social Worker. The supervisor must be currently licensed and in practice for at least three years. Once the Board receives notice of an applicant’s passing exam score and has approved their application and background check, an LISW will be awarded.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Social workers in Nevada need additional credentials to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), which enables them to practice social work in a clinical setting. They must already hold an LSW license, and need to have either a master’s or doctoral degree in social work from a CSWE accredited program. The license requires two applications: the LCSW application and the internship application. The application and initial licensing fees total $140 and the military discount also applies. Applicants also need to submit fingerprints for a background check, along with an additional $36.76 for processing.
The LCSW license requires a minimum of 3,000 hours of post-graduate work experience in a clinical setting. Of those hours, 2,000 must pertain to diagnosing and treating mental and emotional conditions. The remainder of the hours can be completed in other clinical social work areas. Supervision must come from a Clinical Social Worker (CSW). Applicants for the LCSW license must also pass the ASWB’s Clinical exam. A provisional license may be granted to applicants, allowing them to continue working for up to 60-days before taking their exam. Once the Board receives notice of an applicant’s passing exam score and has approved their application and background check, an LCSW will be awarded.
Social Work License Reciprocity in Nevada
Social workers who are licensed in another state can apply to for Nevada licensure by submitting a licensure by endorsement request and an application fee. This involves completing the general application appropriate for their level of licensure. In addition, they will need to submit a State Endorsement Form, which requires the applicant to provide their name, date of birth, license number, and social security number. They will then need to send the form to their licensing state; this agency will need to complete the rest of the form, which requires them to provide the applicant’s license information, ASWB test scores, supervised experience, and whether the license is valid and in good standing. Once the Board receives the information and approves the applicant, they will receive their ”Endorsed” license.
Licensing Renewal and Continuing Education Information
Continuing education requirements for Nevada social work vary depending on the type of license held. LSWs need at least 30 hours of continuing education every two years. Two of those hours must focus on suicide prevention and awareness. Four hours must focus on ethics in the field of social work and 10 hours must be in the social worker’s field of practice. For those holding an LCSW or LISW license, at least 36 hours of continuing education is required every two years. Two hours must be in suicide prevention and awareness, four hours must focus on ethics in the field of social work and 12 hours must be in the social worker’s field of practice.