Nevada Occupational Therapist School
By Mat Lindenberg, allied health world contributing writer
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How to Become an Occupational Therapist in Nevada
If you're interested in becoming an Occupational Therapist in Nevada, you couldn't have picked a better time. The career is coming into high demand, and that is only going to increase over time, as both the population, and the average age, continues to rise.
The first thing you should, if you're considering entering this career, is to try and enter into a job shadow program that will allow you to observe and follow around, an Occupational Therapist as he or she goes about his daily work.
If you're still interested, then you'll need to start researching and planning for your secondary education. You'll eventually have to earn a master’s degree from a nationally accredited Occupational Therapy program, but first you'll have to get you'll have to get a bachelors degree in a relevant field.
It generally takes about three to four years to earn a bachelors degree. You should try and take as many medical and science related courses as possible. The choice of degree is largely up to you, but you will definitely want to gravitate towards something relevant, like a Health and Wellness or Human Physiology degree.
You should start considering what online or Nevada occupational therapy schools’ master’s programs you're going to apply to pretty early. There are quite a few, but not too many that admission isn't quite competitive. There are, at the time of this writing, no schools with such programs in Nevada, though that could change in the time it takes you to earn your bachelors degree.
When you pick, apply, and ultimately begin attending one, you can expect the masters program to be quite intensive. You'll spend a lot of time interning and working with instructors and experienced OT's to actually care for patients, and learning about the very specialized, but wide range of topics, Occupational Therapists need to be versed in.
After you graduate, with your masters’ degree in Occupational Therapy, you need to take a nationally certifying exam, the NBCOT. This test, given and assembled by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy, combines both multiple choice and general knowledge questions with descriptions of situations you might find yourself in, and you'll have to explain how you would handle them. The exam costs $500 dollars, and can be repeated every 45 days if you don't pass at first.
After you've passed the NBCOT, you're ready to start the final step- applying for licensure from the State of Nevada Board of Occupational Therapy. You'll need to have your transcripts and NBCOT scores sent in, provide proof of identity, fill out the application packet, and provide a licensing and processing fee.
How long it takes to process depends on the time of year and your information, but the board specifies about a month turnaround. When you've been approved, and your names been added to the registry, you are now eligible to work in the state of a Nevada a licensed Occupational Therapist.