Disqualification for Schizophrenia

  1. 0
    I have a few questions regarding disclosure of personal medical information when it comes to registering/applying for a license. If you have Schizophrenia and have been hospitalized for it several times can the board find out about it if you dont disclose it? On an application/registration for my state it asks specifically if you have this illness and says that you may be disqualified if you do. Can the FBI background checks reveal it if you lie and say you do not have the disorder? Can MEPS find out?

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 9 Comments...

  3. 0
    It seems to me that you might run a significant risk if you lie on your application about your health problem. I think your best bet is to tell the truth and send along a statement from your doctor. If the doctor says you are okay to work, how would it be different than any other treatable health concern? (I can understand that you would want to keep mental health issues to yourself though!) Good luck:wink2:
    Last edit by bookwormom on Mar 26, '09 : Reason: spelling
  4. 2
    Answering truthfully is always the best answer.


    Can it be found out if you were hospitalized prior? All it takes it to sign up for insurance or worse case end up hospitalized in the future and then having your prior history pop up. Falsifying is always grounds for being fired.
    sharpeimom and HM2VikingRN like this.
  5. 3
    Quote from lpnflorida
    Answering truthfully is always the best answer ...


    ... Falsifying is always grounds for being fired.
    Yes, and not only for being fired by your employer, but being found to have lied on your licensure application is grounds for having your license revoked.

    Many nurses have mental health issues, and that does not automatically disqualify you from licensure/practice -- the BON, which is charged with regulating nursing practice to protect the public's safety, wants to know that the individual's illness is stable/under control sufficiently to allow the person to practice safely.

    Honesty is the best policy, even if only because of the severe negative consequences of being found later to have lied. You are talking about entering a profession where people's lives depend on our honesty and integrity. You don't want to start out by demonstrating that you can't be trusted to be honest ...
    kids, HM2VikingRN, and lpnflorida like this.
  6. 0
    With HIPPA I dont see how anyone can access someones medical file without either you signing permission for them to do so or a court order. You need to talk to your psychiatrist and ask him/her if they think that your illness could interfere with your ability to perform your job safely. If someone is disabled as long as they have their disability under control and are stabilized on meds or havent had a relapse in years it may no longer be an issue.

    If you were to be accused of harming a resident in some way or incompetent, etc. and the board does an investigation and discovers you did not disclose this problem you might have your license revoked but if you were in trouble for harming a resident you might have it revoked anyways.
  7. 1
    They don't automatically refuse you a license if you mark "yes" on the question related to schizophrenia or psychotic illness. All they do, I think, is require a letter from your physician (I don't know if they require a letter from more than one doctor, or what) stating that you're stable and that they feel you are able to safely practice. A friend of mine had schizophrenia and that's how she said it worked for her, anyway. Don't falsify- it could really bite you in the behind later down the line. I don't think the BON goes looking into your medical records per se, but that doesn't mean they won't find out. I wouldn't take that chance. Better to be honest and on the up-and-up. Good luck.
    lpnflorida likes this.
  8. 2
    I vote for honesty and integrity....Not only for professional reasons but because it is part of the recovery process from mental illness...
    Cherybaby and lpnflorida like this.
  9. 2
    I agree with the above posters--tell the truth. Only disclose enough to answer direct questions, though. If your mental illness is well-controlled I wouldn't recommend divulging anything that they don't ask for. Of course, if they ask specifically about your particular illness I think you'd have to be responsible for giving that information. Lying on your resume will get you fired. Besides, you really wouldn't want to have to life your life waiting for the shoe to drop.

    I have bipolar disorder severe enough to hospitalize me twice this year for suicidal intent. So far, the State Board has not been notified. Had I failed my drug screen(which I was holding my breath on) when I entered treatment the board would likely have been notified and my license might have been suspended. So far, so good. At this point no license issues. However, if at some point my treatment program detects that I might be a danger to patients they will exercise their responsibility to notify the BON. That gives me some incentive to keep taking my meds, see my doctor regularly, go to therapy and not mis-use or abuse medication, mine or anyone else's.
    talaxandra and Cherybaby like this.
  10. 0
    I wouldn't take the risk in lying. I suffer from bipolar disorder. I am being treated for it. I have had to divulge my medications in many instances prior to starting a job. While they don't ask me straight out what my issues are, they can pretty much figure it out by looking at my med list. Don't start out your career based on lies. That is never a solid foundation and will only come back to bite you in the end. Better to be honest about it right up front. You don't have to reveal your illness to your employers...but if specifically asked during the licensure process by the Board? I would err on the side of caution and be completely upfront. Just my opinion...been there and done that.
  11. 0
    It is possible for an FBI background check to reveal your disorder. It's not a guarantee but I know it does happen.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top