Campus ImagesYour years of hard work have paid off; you have your diploma in hand. The big question is, what do you need to know to start working?

It’s up to each of us to review state licensure guidelines and understand the requirements for temporary or permanent licensure, as well as license renewal requirements. When updates are made to our state practice acts, the state boards are obligated to post the changes on their website or send all licensees a newsletter. To preserve our licensure and our licensee status while delivering the best clinical practice, we must be aware of updates in the state in which we are working.

Keep in mind the following points:

  • Know the rules in your state regarding temporary licensing. Does your state offer temporary licensing? Are there alternative requirements you must meet?
  • Know the duration of the temporary license. When does it expire?
  • Know that national certifications such as NBCOT for OTs and ASHA CCC/CFY for SLPs are separate and distinct from your state license. You must apply for both certification and license. Securing the NBCOT or ASHA CCC/CFY does not enable you to work in a specific state without a state license.
  • Know all the forms you AND your supervisor must complete in order to secure a temporary or permanent license.
  • Know whether you have to have a hard copy of a temp license or simply proof that you submitted a complete application.
  • Know the specific supervision requirements for your discipline in your state and check the state practice act regularly, as all information is updated online.
  • Know the consequences or next steps in the event you fail an exam (for example, know if you can extend your temp license, or if you must stop working immediately when receiving a non-passing score). Know how many times you can take the exam.
  • Know that there are different names for a temporary license in different states. Temporary licenses and related terms may include the following, depending on your state: Interim Practice, Registration, Provisional, Conditional, Interim Permit, Limited License, Confirmation, Required Professional Experience or Supervised Professional Practice.

For additional information:

OT/OTA:
http://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/State-Policy/Licensure/How-To.aspx

PT/PTA:
http://www.apta.org/Licensure/

SLP/CFY: 
 http://www.asha.org/certification/SLPCertification/