Nebraska

United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

Original Editor - Your name will be added here if you created the original content for this page.

Top Contributors - Joshua Rose and Elaine Lonnemann  



Temporary License Requirements/Availability

Temporary licensure is not available in Nebraska.

Requirements for License

To Practice PT in Nebraska a person must obtain a license. The requirements are as follows:
• Graduate from an approved PT education program
• Pass licensure exam and jurisprudence exam with a minimum scaled score of 600 each
• Be of good moral character and be no younger than 19 years old—the age requirement can be avoided if the candidate is married
• Submit a completed application and all of its required documents to the Department of Health and Human Services (See link below for practice act and full details)

Supervision

In Nebraska a PT cannot provide general supervision for more than two PTA's at any time during their work day. All services provided by the PTA are under the general supervision of the PT through either onsite direction or telecommunication. All documentation in the medical record must be made under the name of the care of the directing PT, and if the PT is going to be unavailable, he/she must transfer supervision to another licensed PT who can accept the responsibility. The PT must do all evaluations and must do a re-evaluation at least once every 30 days. The PT must provide the final documentation for discharge, but the PTA may assist in the discharge process by providing subjective and objective reports.

A PT may provide general supervision for a PTA in a satellite clinic. Satellite clinics include:
• 1. Rehabilitation facilities
• 2. Acute care facilities
• 3. Skilled nursing facilities
• 4. Nursing homes
• 5. Schools-based settings
• 6. Outpatient clinic
• 7. Home health
• 8. Client preventative facilities

In a satellite situation, the PT must visit the satellite clinic at least once every 30 days. The PT must also provide final documentation for discharge; the PTA may assist in providing subjective and objective reports. A PT must not establish a satellite clinic knowing it will be operated solely by a PTA.

An unlicensed PT aide, trained by a PT, may provide non-treatment and treatment related services under the supervision of a PT. Non-treatment related tasks including clerical, housekeeping, facility maintenance or patient transportation services related to the practice of physical therapy such as:

  • Transporting patients
  • Assisting a patient in preparation for treatment
  • Removing and applying assistive and supportive devices
  • Other non-treatment related tasks

An aide may perform treatment related tasks when treatment is initiated by a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant and only under direct supervision. A physical therapy aide:

  • Must not solely provide an intervention
  • Must receive training from a physical therapist for all treatment related tasks that the aide will perform
  • Must receive supervision, orders, and directions only from a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant
  • Must be knowledgeable of the preparation of equipment and accessories and all other operational activities relevant to equipment and accessories necessary for treatment.


Physical Therapy Students

Documentation is not readily available relating to the supervision or responsibilities of PT students, however, there is a section in the practice act relating to services provided by PTA students. It states:

        "All patient care services delivered by a physical therapist assistant student, working under the clinical instruction of a physical therapist assistant must be rendered under the direct supervision of a supervising physical therapist or physical therapist assistant."

Continued Competence

By November 1 of each odd numbered year, the PT and PTA must complete the required amount of acceptable continuing education (CE) for the preceding 24 month period (Please see link below for full characteristics of "acceptable continuing education").  Each PT must complete 20 hours of CE, and each PTA must complete 10 hours of CE for each 24 month period.  Each PT and PTA must also:

  • Complete the Nebraska Law Tutorial with a score of 100%
  • Submit to the department of health and human services attestation of continuing competency requirements
  • Maintain documentation of attendance including

          (1) A signed certificate;
          (2) The course brochure or course outline; and
          (3) Completed Nebraska Law Tutorial documentation

  • Submit a completed application for waiver of the continuing competency requirements pursuant to 172 NAC 137-022.04A if applicable


Does the Act appear restrictive? Why/Why not?

The act does not appear to be restrictive.  It typically states what is allowed, instead of what is not allowed, and in some instances it goes as far as to say "other related tasks" or beginning lists of appropriate actions with "such as."  There are sections that say "must not," however by and large, the act does not appear restrictive. 

Is there anything unusual about this act?

The act does require candidates for licensure to be "of good moral character" but does not give any description of what that means.  In the same section it also states that a candidate must be "of age of majority" meaning 19 or older, and then it goes to say that if one is married, then they are also not considered a minor.  It is curious why PT students would not be mentioned in the practice act, when they are such an important part of the evolution of PT practice.  After a brief survey of the 107 page document, there were not a significant number of unusual things about this practice act. 

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)

References

http://www.sos.state.ne.us/rules-and-regs/regsearch/Rules/Health_and_Human_Services_System/Title-172/Chapter-137.pdf


References will automatically be added here, see adding references tutorial.


Disclaimer:   Informational Content is assimilated from the state practice act is a resource only and should not be considered a  substitute for the content within the state practice act.  All state practice acts can change and it is recommended that you refer to the original resource in the link above.