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Licensed Counselor Requirements in Nevada

Nevada’s professional counselors are licensed as Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors, or LCPCs, by the Board of Examiners for Marriage & Family Therapists & Clinical Professional Counselors. The process involves education, examination, and supervised practice. If you begin your career in Nevada, you will be licensed first as a Licensed Clinical Counselor Intern.

The information below provides a comprehensive guide to pursuing counseling licensure in Nevada. If you have any questions or to make sure you are on the right path, contact the Board of Examiners for Marriage & Family Therapists & Clinical Professional Counselors at 702-486-7388 or email nvmftbd@mftbd.nv.gov

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education requirements

Required Education

In order to become a counselor, you will need a degree at the master's or doctoral level. You should enroll in a program that is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), or one that has very similar standards. You will find CACREP-accredited programs in Nevada at the University of Nevada. The Las Vegas location has a master’s level mental health counseling program; the Reno location has a doctoral level counseling program as a well as a master’s level program in marital and family counseling.

Capella University, offers three online CACREP- accredited master's programs: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, and School Counseling. Click here to contact Capella University and request information about their programs.

Non-CACREP degrees may also be deemed acceptable by the board. The board notes that acceptable degrees include a mental health counseling internship and practicum; students must have appropriate supervision while completing these requirements.

Acceptable programs must also include core counseling content. When you apply for intern status, you will document three semester hours, or four quarter hours, in the following areas:

  • Human development (including sexuality)
  • Individual counseling theories
  • Individual counseling techniques
  • Lifestyle and career development
  • Ethics and professional studies
  • Group dynamics, counseling, and consulting
  • Diagnosis and assessment
  • Social and cultural foundations
  • Research and evaluation
  • Alcohol and substance abuse

You will also document three courses in supervised practice (totaling nine semester hours).

Learn more about selecting a Master's in Counseling program here.

lpc testing

Testing

You must take a written licensing exam before you can get professional status. You may opt for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination or the National Counselor Examination. Both are available through the same organization: the National Board for Certified Counselors. Both cost $195 and have similar registration procedures. You will need to have board approval before you can register for the exam. If you are in a CACREP-accredited program, you may test as early as your final semester. You will need to take the exam some time before your licensure as a Clinical Professional Counselor Intern expires. (If you don’t pass on a first attempt, you’ll need to wait three months.)

Exams are scheduled during a two week period each month. You will need to submit your request a full two months in advance. You can find a list of test dates on the site of the Nevada board: Test Dates

You will send your Testing application to the following address:

NBCC Assessment Dept.
PO Box 7407
Greensboro, NC 27417-0407

You may email questions about the testing process to nbcc@nbcc.org.

Supervised Practice

You will need to become a registered intern before beginning client service. Once you’re registered, you will report your progress twice each year.

You must work under supervision for a total of at least 3,000 hours. The 3,000 hours must include at least 1,500 hours of direct client service work and at least 300 hours of supervision.

You may get credit for various professional development and counseling-related activities, but maximums do apply. If your supervisor approves it, you may credit up to 50 hours of training and up to 200 hours of teaching activities.

You should not have more than 20 hours a week of direct client work.

At least 160 of your supervision hours must be by an approved primary supervisor and at least 40 by a secondary supervisor. The secondary supervisor does not necessarily have to be a Nevada approved supervisor.

You may choose to work part-time, but experience requirements must be met within six years.

Your supervisors will fill out six month reports. At the end of your period of supervised work experience, your primary supervision will fill out an evaluation, noting how many hours you have spent in different work activities and whether s/he feels that you have made sufficient progress for independent licensure.

The Application Process

Before you can be licensed, you will need to be fingerprinted and have a background check done. The board notes that this process can take four or five weeks. The board recommends that you take the fingerprint card to a police precinct -- it does not have to be a local one. Once you have your prints, you'll send them to the board for processing, along with a copy of your driver's license and a money order for $51.25 made out to the Department of Public Safety. The prints do not necessarily have to arrive at the same time as your other application materials.

Click Here for the Application (PDF Format)

The application package will include a copy of applicable statutes. You will be asked to attest to whether you have read them.

You will need to get three professional references on official letterhead.

You'll need to write a check or money order for $75.00.

Applications are to be sent to:

MFT & CPC
P.O. Box 370130
Las Vegas NV, 89134-0130

Out of State Applicants

If you currently are licensed and in good standing in another jurisdiction, you may be eligible for full professional licensure in Nevada, but this is dependent on a review of your credentials.

You will be asked to include, on the application, a list of all licenses you have held during the prior ten years.

You will send a copy of your license and a license verification form, as well as documentation of supervised experience. The board may choose to grant full or partial credit for your supervised experience, or to deny it. The Nevada board notes that credit is not given for clinical experience that was obtained while a candidate was working toward licensure in fields other than clinical professional counseling.

Other Professionals who can be Licensed as Counselors in Nevada

Professionals in related fields may be licensed as counselors if they meet the stated requirements. The American Art Therapy Association reports that art therapists can be licensed as counselors within the state.

Professionals in some related fields have a separate licensing process. Nevada alcohol and drug counselors obtain a different credential.

License Maintenance

As an LCPC in Nevada, you will need to fill out some paperwork each year. You'll answer questions about ethics and professionalism and child support status. If you're on active status, you'll pay $150 and attest that you have completed 20 CEUs.

Additional Information

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 becoming a counselor in Nevada.

You may call the Board of Examiners for Marriage & Family Therapists & Clinical Professional Counselors at 702-486-7388 or email nvmftbd@mftbd.nv.gov.

Nevada Mental Health Counselors Association

Nevada School Counselor Association

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*Most states require completion of a CACREP accredited master's in counseling program or a program
that covers very specific curriculum in order to be licensed as a counselor. It is recommend that you follow up
with your state licensing board to review specific educational requirements and determine whether a
program meets your state's counselor licensure requirements.