Does your state require mental health reporting?

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    This has been a common question here lately on AN. So, I started this thread in hopes that 50 people (plus DC, if there's a license for DC) from each of the 50 states, plus DC, could share whether there is a mental health/chemical dependency question and how it is worded. Please no repeats (the hope is that everyone can find their state and if/how the question is worded). Moderators, if this is against TOS, please remove. Use your own judgment and/or call your state board for further questions regarding the question and other questions on the application. I will start.

    State: Virginia
    Is there a question regarding mental illness/chemical dependency? Yes
    How is it worded? "Do you have a mental, physical, or chemical dependency condition which could interfere with your current ability to practice nursing?" (I have asked the Board of Nursing to clarify and I was told that if you have a mental illness/chemical dependency, you must report. It is not an opinion question.)

    Again, please no repeats. Virginia has been done.
    IHopeIGetIt likes this.

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  2. 41 Comments...

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    Oregon is very ambiguous: "Do you have a physical, mental, or emotional condition that impairs or may impair your ability to practice nursing safely?"

    IMO, if it hasn't affected your practice, isn't affecting it now, and your crystal ball isn't predicting whether it ever will, I say leave it alone.
    tyvin and wish_me_luck like this.
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    State: Alaska
    Is there a question regarding mental illness/chemical dependency?: Yes
    How is it worded?: "Within the past five years, have you been or are you currently being treated, or on medication
    for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, paranoia, psychotic disorder, substance abuse, depression
    (excluding situational or reactive depression) or any other mental or emotional illness?" (there are a couple other questions after this regarding physical illness and addiction)
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    State: Arizona
    Is there a question regarding mental illness/chemical dependency?: No
    How is it worded?: There is not a question on there regarding mental illness; however, it does ask about if you have been in a monitoring program or peer assistance program in any other states.
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    State: Colorado
    Is there a question regarding mental illness/chemical dependency?: Yes
    How is it worded?: In the last five years, have you been diagnosed with or treated for a condition that significantly disturbs your
    cognition, behavior, or motor function, and that may impair your ability to practice as a professional nurse safely
    and competently including but not limited to bipolar disorder, severe major depression, schizophrenia or other
    major psychotic disorder, a neurological illness, or sleep disorder? (there is also a question about chemical dependency/addiction following this question on the application).
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    State: Connecticut
    Is there a question regarding mental illness/chemical dependency?: No
    How is it worded?: There is not a question. There's questions related to convictions and disciplinary actions with licenses.
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    TEXAS (BON pointed out to me that all replies become a public record. No HIPPA protection for nurses!)
    *Within the past five (5) years have you been diagnosed with, treated, or hospitalized for schizophrenia and/or psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, paranoid personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, or borderline personality disorder? (You may answer "No" if you have completed and/or are in compliance with TPAPN for mental illness OR you've previously disclosed to the Texas Board of Nursing and have remained compliant with your treatment regime and have had no further hospitalization since disclosure.)
    *In the past 5 years, have you been addicted or treated for the use of alcohol or any other drug? (You may answer "No" if you have completed and/or are in compliance with TPAPN.)
    wish_me_luck likes this.
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    State: Delaware
    Is there a question regarding mental illness/chemical dependency? No, for mental illness. Yes, for chemical dependency.
    How is it worded? No question for mental illness. Chemical dependency question is straight forward. There is also a "duty to report" question/clause in there.
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    I agree the questioning on licensure is ambiguous. My state just asks " Do you have or have you ever had a safely practice nursing?

    First...its not many that have never had a bout of depression or a broken something....And second....what type of nursing are they referring to? Bedside nursing which requires good musculoskeletal health or a non-clinical role you could do from a wheelchair.?? If you are walking, talking and arent holding an assault weapon cocked and ready to fire on yourself or the human race.....check "no" and move on. Unfortunately we nurses are not afforded the luxury of protection from invasion of our health privacy and job discrimination like our patients. Only you know if you are safe. Let your concious be your guide. It is no ones business what medications you are on.
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    State: Georgia
    Is there a question regarding mental illness or chemical dependency?: No
    How is it worded?: There was not a question. There is a question regarding disciplinary action.

    Zobu, first, what state are you in? Second, I agree with that. But, I know personally, I have been in patient 3 times. I don't know about other states, but in VA, there's mandatory reporting if a healthcare provider goes in patient. If you lie and you end up in patient, then you could get your license suspended or you can be disciplined.

    I disclosed. I did it because I would rather be honest. Plus, for my own health. The fact is I have been in patient 3 times. I don't know what the future holds--I may need it again sometime many years from now. I don't know what situation I might find myself in that I could become suicidal or feel the need to go in patient again. I would like to have that option to get help. That's another reason I disclosed. I didn't want to put myself in a situation that I could be disciplined/license suspended for not disclosing and then, needing to get help later. I feel like you back yourself into a corner.

    It is awful to have to be put in this situation, but it is what it is. All the more reason to get mental health awareness out there and maybe, try and overturn all the mental health questioning on applications. At least keep them private, if they must ask. Most go public, if you disclose.

    Anyway, this is a topic for another thread.

    I am trying to put a comprehensive list together with this thread, so people can just look their state up on the list or the state they are moving to or for license renewal purposes.
    Last edit by wish_me_luck on Jan 23, '13

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