Monday, June 6, 2011

The Daily Muse: Do You Have a License to Play That Guitar...In Nevada?!

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I've written before about this effort to get music therapy recognized as a licensed profession in certain states. Oklahoma was one of these states where legislation was pending, but the governor of Nevada has just signed into law the rules for state licensing of music therapists. Apparently it takes 32 pages (I imagine that is short for government paperwork!) to lay out the rules for the license. You can find the document here for your reading pleasure. 

I understand the need for state recognition in order to obtain easier access for reimbursement and state funding, but it seems like it would be nice to use the National Board Certification instead. As it stands now, you can be a great therapist practicing in any state of the union, but if you step across the Nevada state line, don't reach for that guitar! Not until you pay up, that is! I am interested to know what you think about this? Is it inevitable? Are we trying to hold back the tide if we don't go along with this state licensing movement? Perhaps it will bring more good than bad?

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  1. Hi daniell!
    There are a few different reasons that the quest for licensure has begun. The main reason, however, is that states began to have more power when it came to regulating and recognizing professions than the federal government.
    Our sister professions like pt st, ot etc all used to function solely from a national credential as well, but had state licenses created when this shift began.
    The important thing to remember too, is that while licensure does help with funding, the primary purpose is recognition of our profession and protection of consumers of our services.

  2. Thanks for your response, Natalie! I think I understand what you are saying. Too bad the only way to get recognition is to have even more government regulation and oversight of our profession. That is a good point about PT, OT, etc. I didn't know that they had also tried to go with a national certification before settling on getting licenses in each state. It will be very important for music therapists in each of these states that have licenses to continue to be involved. The people on these Boards of Health probably have little real idea what a music therapist really is or how we work. I will try to hope for the best!

    Thanks again for your input!


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