Nebraska Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) Guide - 2022

AKA: Nebraska CMSW License

Last Reviewed: May 5th, 2022

Nebraska Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) Licensure Process

You can move up the salary ladder by becoming a certified master social worker. You can use this degree to take on a variety of roles, including case management coordination, research, and program development. Because this certificate requires specialized skills and knowledge, you’ll have to take some additional steps to earn the title.

Education Requirements

You need a master’s or doctoral degree in social work before becoming a CMSW. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the accrediting body, so it’s helpful to choose a program from its directory. Nebraska has multiple schools offering accredited master’s degree programs, so that you can select between them. Here you can find all the schools offering social work degree programs in Nebraska. If you want to take your courses online, you’ll need to select the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

While choosing a CSWE-accredited program is the most straightforward route to take, you also have the option of going to school elsewhere. However, you’ll need to submit a syllabus from each class you completed with your application. Then the licensing unit will determine if the program meets the requirements. Thus, it’s much easier to choose an accredited school out of the gate.

Experience Requirements

You need to complete at least 3,000 hours of post-master’s supervised work experience on your path to becoming a CMSW. After completing the hours, you’ll need to fill out the post-master’s supervised experience verification form to receive credit. This form details your work experience and must include your supervisor’s signature.

Examination Requirements

The state requires that you take and pass the licensing exam through the Association of Social Work Boards before getting certified. First, you will complete your application and submit it to the board. Then the board will approve your request to take the test, at which point you can register for the master’s exam and pay the $230 fee. You can register for the exam and pay the fee online.

Background Check Requirements

You will not have to provide fingerprints or undergo a background check when applying for certification. However, you are required to disclose any misdemeanor or felony convictions on your record. If you’re unsure if you have any convictions, check with the criminal and traffic courts. Keep in mind that you don’t have to list all infractions, such as parking tickets. Instead, the state is only interested in misdemeanor and felony convictions.

Having a conviction doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from working as a CMSW. However, you’ll need to provide supporting documentation that explains the circumstances. Additionally, if you’re on probation, your probation officer will need to provide a letter that includes your current status and probation terms.

Also, include any information about treatment programs you’ve completed if your conviction was due to drugs and alcohol. Showing that you’ve taken steps to avoid problems in the future can go a long way in pursuing the licensing unit to approve your application.

U.S. Citizenship/Lawful Presence Requirement

You must provide proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence to get your certificate. If you’re not a U.S. resident, you can show eligibility to work by providing a copy of your permanent resident card or other supporting documents.

Applying for Licensure as a Certified Master Social Worker

If you are currently earning your post-master’s experience, you can apply for a provisional license. Otherwise, you will fill out the Examination Information application so you can sit for the exam and obtain your certification.

In both instances, print out the application, fill it out, and send it back with the supporting documentation. You can mail the application to:

Department of Health and Human Services

Licensure Unit

P.O. Box 94986

Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4986

The application fee is $125, but you might qualify for a waiver. First, the state doesn’t charge applicants under the age of 26. Additionally, low-income individuals can avoid paying the fee. You must meet one of two criteria for this. The state can waive the fee if:

  • You are currently on a public state or federal level public assistance program
  • Your household’s adjusted gross income is less than 130 percent of the federal poverty line

Finally, you can waive the fee if you’re part of a military family. This includes active-duty service members, their spouses, and honorably discharged veterans. Also, you can have the fee waived if you’re the surviving spouse of a member of the military, as long as you have yet to remarry.

With two options for becoming a social worker in Nebraska, you can choose the career path that makes the most sense for your situation. You might decide to start as a certified social worker before continuing your education. On the other hand, you might go straight for the certification you want to keep for life. Either way, it’s much easier to become a social worker in Nebraska than in other states, so it won’t be long before you get to start your new career.