Becoming a Phlebotomist in Nebraska
Nearly all areas of the healthcare industry are growing, which means any career in this field provides job security and a good income. If you don’t have four years or more to devote to a degree, consider an allied health career like phlebotomy.
A phlebotomist is the person who draws your blood in the doctor’s office, medical lab or donation center. They help you feel calm and comfortable and ensure the samples are organized and there are no errors. A career in phlebotomy provides that hands-on patient experience without a lengthy education. In less than a year you could be a phlebotomist in Nebraska.
Nebraska Phlebotomy Requirements
Like most other states, Nebraska has no laws regarding training or licensing for phlebotomists. In order to start working in this field, you should have a high school diploma or GED and enroll in and complete a phlebotomy program. Many community colleges have these programs, and they take less than a year to complete.
Although there are no state requirements, employers have their own. Always check before you apply. Some may require a certain number of clinical hours, which you can get in most post-secondary programs, or national certification.
Some hospitals, labs or medical centers hire people with no education or experience and train them in phlebotomy. This isn’t typical, however, and it could make it more difficult to earn a national certification credential. Completing a post-secondary program is the preferred path to this career, even if it does include some on-the-job training.
Schools for Phlebotomy in Nebraska
A few colleges in Nebraska offer certificate or diploma programs to prepare you for a career in phlebotomy:
- Bryan College of Health Sciences. This school in Lincoln offers an affordable and quick course in phlebotomy. You’ll complete 24 hours of training over eight weeks. The cost is just $250 plus other fees. The downside to this program is that there is no clinical experience. You may need more training on the job after hiring.
- Southeast Community College. Also in Lincoln, Southeast’s phlebotomy program is an eight-week, two-credit course. You will not get clinical experience, but again the course is affordable at just $215 and takes only eight weeks to complete. On-the-job training is necessary.
- Nebraska Methodist College. In the Omaha area, try Nebraska Methodist’s phlebotomy training program. The program includes 180 clock hours and an externship. Completion of this program prepares you to pass the exam for national certification through the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
National Phlebotomist Certifications
You do not have to be certified to work as a phlebotomist in Nebraska. Holding a credential from a national organization has benefits, though. It puts you ahead of other job seekers with out certification; it may help you earn a higher salary; and some employers do require it. Several organizations are recognized nationwide and offer certification:
- American Medical Technologists
- American Society for Clinical Pathology
- National Center for Competency Testing
- National Healthcareer Association
- National Phlebotomy Association
Certification requirements vary by organization but often include an exam and work experience. For example, the American Society for Clinical Pathology certification includes an exam, an application fee of $135 and the completion of a training program with 100 hours or more of clinical experience.
Salary and Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that phlebotomy is a growing career. From 2018 to 2028, job growth is 23 percent, which is faster than average. In Nebraska the growth is 17 percent, still very high with 120 new phlebotomy jobs added every year.
Salaries for phlebotomists average $35,510 per year and $17.07 per hour across the U.S. The averages in Nebraska are $33,110 per year and $15.92 per hour. Those earning in the top ten percent in the state make more than $42,000 per year.
Finding Phlebotomy Jobs in Nebraska
As a growing field, finding a first job in phlebotomy should not be difficult. Most phlebotomists work in hospitals or medical labs. They may also work for physicians and any type of medical center as well as the Red Cross or an insurance company.
In Nebraska, these are some of the recent job listings for qualified phlebotomists: medical screener/phlebotomist, BioLife Plasma Services, Omaha; phlebotomist, Maxim Healthcare Services, Lincoln; phlebotomist, Physicians Laboratory, Lincoln; and phlebotomist -nights, Grand Island Regional Medical Center, Grand Island.