Nebraska isn’t the first state that most people think of when they are considering where to live, but it is well worth thinking about if you want to become a dental hygienist in the Midwest or Great Plains region. Bordered by Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming, it is home to around 1.9 million residents. The largest city in the state is Omaha, while the capital is Lincoln.
One nice thing about Nebraska is that you have your choice of climates. If you prefer humid weather, consider moving to the eastern part of the state. If on the other hand a semi-arid climate appeals to you more, you can move to the western half of Nebraska.
What can you see and do while you are living and working in Nebraska? Even though the state is not a tourist magnet, it does have quite a few attractions. For example, there is the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, which contains the largest indoor rainforest and desert ecosystems on the planet. Then there is the beautiful Lauritzen Gardens, which span 100 acres. And of course there is the famous Chimney Rock National Historic Site.
Career Outlook and Salary
Doubtless you want to know what you can earn in Nebraska and what the job opportunities are like for dental hygienists before you decide to make the state your home. So let’s have a look at what the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has to say on the subject.
The mean annual wage for dental hygienists across America is $73,440. In Nebraska, it is lower, coming in at around $66,490. Since Nebraska’s overall cost of living is significantly lower than the nationwide average however, this lower salary is simply a reflection of that. You will be earning less here, but you will also be spending less, so this salary can ultimately be considered to be competitive. Hygienists in some of the surrounding states make even less.
How many dental hygienists are working in Nebraska? As of May 2016, the number was around 1,240. With a 19% growth rate, this profession is quickly expanding in Nebraska and around the country, so you should find job openings in the coming years.
If you want to become a dental hygienist in Nebraska, you need to meet these requirements:
- You need to have passed a clinical exam within the past 5 years. The only acceptable exam which is listed right now by the Board is CRDTS.
- Pass the Jurisprudence Exam with a minimum score of 75%.
- Provide identification paperwork.
- Pass an accredited program in dental hygiene and submit your official transcripts. They must be in a sealed envelope.
- Pay the appropriate license fee. This can vary quite a bit depending on the month and the year.
- List any and all convictions on your record along with explanations and court records.
- If you have held licenses in other jurisdictions, you must submit verification.
- If disciplinary action has ever been taken against you, you must submit relevant documentation.
- Take and pass the National Board exam and have the agency submit your scores directly to the Board.
If you are ready to get started on the path to becoming a dental hygienist in Nebraska, then check out the list of colleges in the state which are offering accredited programs in dental hygiene.
Central Community College
Dental Hygiene Program
P.O. Box 1024, 550 S. Technical Blvd.
Hastings, NE 68902-0000
University of Nebraska Medical Center
College of Dentistry
Department of Dental Hygiene
4000 East Campus Loop South, Room 2117
Lincoln, NE 68583-0740