Chances of Nursing Board allowing me to become a nurse?

  1. Hello,

    I'll try to be brief, essentially I have schizoeffective disorder. I am very stable, no hallucinations or delusions while I am medicated.

    I am in the middle of taking nursing prereqs,
    and recently I (stupidly) went off my medications.
    Long story short I have gotten a misdemeanor for police evasion/wreckless driving in the midst of a psychotic episode. I had no reason to run from the police, and no prior criminal record. I was just very ill.

    I know that while I am medicated, I do not have episodes like the one that got me in trouble with the law. I have had a complete awakening in my life about the importance of staying on my meds. I am confident in my ability to safely practice nursing. I have zero symptoms of illness while medicated, other than a mild depression.

    Now i am stuck wondering whether or not to continue to try to be a nurse. I am not sure if the Board of Nursing will look kindly upon the criminal record, but I am also wondering if I show a period of rehabiliation, meaning no hospitalizations or episodes, if there is a chance I could get my nursing license.

    If any one has any insight or has been in a similiar situation, please let me know.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Welcome to Allnurses. I think you've identified your major problem already, and that's going off your meds. I understand why it's hard not to do sometimes; I have bipolar I and often daydream about stopping mine because I don't feel I need them. Of course, the meds are why I'm stable, and on the rare occasion when I've gone off them for a brief "holiday" I find out very quickly that being unmedicated doesn't work for me. I suspect it's the same for you with your SZA.

    So you know that your meds are essential to your well-being, and going off them again shouldn't even be an option, especially if you want to become a nurse. Yes, you will have to answer questions about your criminal history, and you may also have to admit to having a mental illness if your state's Board of Nursing asks that particular question (and most do). Be honest---you never want to get caught lying to them. But you can certainly be a nurse, even with your history. Everyone makes bad decisions. Yours was far from the worst they've ever seen. They may have some requirements that you must meet before you can obtain a nursing license, but I think you won't have too much trouble.

    I wish you the very best as you move forward with your career choice. And, STAY ON YOUR MEDS! :-)
  4. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    Welcome to Allnurses. I think you've identified your major problem already, and that's going off your meds. I understand why it's hard not to do sometimes; I have bipolar I and often daydream about stopping mine because I don't feel I need them. Of course, the meds are why I'm stable, and on the rare occasion when I've gone off them for a brief "holiday" I find out very quickly that being unmedicated doesn't work for me. I suspect it's the same for you with your SZA.

    So you know that your meds are essential to your well-being, and going off them again shouldn't even be an option, especially if you want to become a nurse. Yes, you will have to answer questions about your criminal history, and you may also have to admit to having a mental illness if your state's Board of Nursing asks that particular question (and most do). Be honest---you never want to get caught lying to them. But you can certainly be a nurse, even with your history. Everyone makes bad decisions. Yours was far from the worst they've ever seen. They may have some requirements that you must meet before you can obtain a nursing license, but I think you won't have too much trouble.

    I wish you the very best as you move forward with your career choice. And, STAY ON YOUR MEDS! :-)

    Viva hit this one out of the park. Another thing I would suggest is if you are asked to explain what happened explain with humility and insight. Say something like "This occurred because I was off my medication. I now realize that I simply cannot be off my medication and have made a personal commitment to make sure I take them every day."

    If taking pills every day is had for you. You might want to ask your doctor about some of the new long-acting meds available.

    Peace and Namaste

    Hppy
  5. by   Castiela
    your board of nursing may require you to prove you are stable before licensing/ impose limits on your registration until they are comfortable. However, I believe is would be in the form of having regular scheduled visits with a health care professional which are reported back to the board. Definitely be honest from the get go. Best of luck.
  6. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    Quote from hppygr8ful
    f taking pills every day is had for you. You might want to ask your doctor about some of the new long-acting meds available.
    I've seen Invega Sustenna, for example, be a real lifesaver. Typically it's given every four weeks. Now there is Invega Trinza which is 12 weeks in duration. There are other depot injections, but this one is the one with which I am most familiar and I've found works best with schizoaffective vs. schizophrenia.

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