The Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers issues three types of social work license. Candidates can get Licensed Social Worker status, or LSW, by completing an approved undergraduate or graduate program and passing an exam and background check.
A social worker who completes a post-master internship and passes an additional licensing exam may be granted a higher level license; this allows them to practice independently. The LSW may become either a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) depending on the training. LCSWs may diagnose and treat mental disorders.
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A person can be licensed as an LSW with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a social work program accredited by the CSWE. However, only those with master’s degrees have the option of continuing their training and becoming independent or clinical social workers.
You may also want to read the article "Master’s Degree in Social Work: Developing Skills and Competencies" if you have any questions about Master's of Social Work programs.
Nevada will accept either the ASWB baccalaureate or master’s level examination. Candidates with master’s degrees should take the ASWB master’s level exam if they will be continuing their training as interns. Otherwise, the baccalaureate exam is adequate.
The application packet should include the required fees: $100 for initial licensure and $40 (nonrefundable) for processing of the application. It can be found on the “forms” section of the Board site (Click Here to find the LSW application).
The Board will send the applicant two fingerprint cards. The applicant will submit fingerprint cards along with a certified check or money order made out to the Department of Public Safety.
An exam fee (currently $230) must be paid to the ASWB.
There are two different sets of circumstances in which provisional LSW licenses are issued.
If a social work graduate has completed all other requirements but has yet to take the exam, they may work under a provisional license. However, the social work degree program graduate will need to take and pass the exam within 60 days. There is an additional $75 charge for provisional licensing.
A graduate who has completed a degree in a related field and decides to go back to school for a CSWE accredited social work degree may work under a provisional license while in school. In this case, the license is good for three years.
A prospective LISW or LCSW should enroll in an CSWE accredited graduate program and complete all steps for licensure as an LSW. Once licensed at this level, one may seek employment in the form of an internship. The internship experience should meet the learning objectives published by the Nevada Board. Internships must be pre-approved – prior to commencing, a social worker turns in an LISW or LCSW application and an internship application. A supervision agreement, supervisor’s plan, and job description are required. A $140 application fee should be remitted at this time. (Click Here to find the LICSW and LCSW application forms)
An intern must work a total of 3,000 hours under the supervision of an LISW or LCSW before they can be licensed at the independent level. Requirements should be completed over a period of two to three years. Interns fill out quarterly progress reports in cooperation with their supervisors; ongoing evaluation is a part of the process.
If an LSW seeks licensure as a clinical social worker, they must be supervised by a clinical social worker – an LCSW. The place of employment must be an appropriate clinical site. At least 2,000 hours must relate to the psychotherapeutic process.
The LISW license is dependent on passing the ASWB advanced generalist exam. The LCSW license is dependent on passing the ASWB clinical exam. The exam fee is currently $260.
Licenses must be renewed annually. Continuing education is required on a biannual basis.
If you are still in High School, hold a High School Diploma/GED, or hold a bachelor's degree, check out suggested steps to take along the path to become a Social Worker in Nevada.