Quote from wantobern
i was just wondering if a nurse seek treatment for their mental illness, can a nurse lose their license?
if you are concerned about this, check with your state's board of nursing.
as far as i know, losing one's license is based on behavior. you did something you should not have. or, you didn't do something you should have.
simply having a mental illness is not a behavior.
having said that, if the mental illness causes the nurse to act in a way that places herself, her patients, or others in an unsafe situation (med errors, drunk driving, other legal difficulties, etc.), there may be grounds for discussion.
if a nurse finds herself struggling with depression or any other mental condition, the best thing she can do is to seek out a competent and trustworthy practitioner to help her evaluate her condition and consider treatment options. she need not confide in her employer at this stage. hipaa laws should afford her some measure of privacy while she explores both her needs and the possibilities available to fill them.
depending on the severity of her illness and/or the types of treatment involved, she may, at some point, want to speak with her nurse manager and discreetly share whatever information is necessary. then again, there may be no need to do this. it would depend on what might be visible and questionable to her supervisor/coworkers.
even when confiding in someone it's best to reveal information on a need-to-know basis. say the nurse is put on a med that initially makes her run to the bathroom once an hour. she can tell the n/m just that--that she's on a med that causes urinary frequency. no need to name the med or say what she's taking it for.
if the mental illness is something that may be obvious to others, giving a simple, non-apologetic explanation to the n/m might be in order. for instance, if the nurse is struggling with depression, she might tell her supervisor that she has been going through a series of personal events or losses that have motivated her to speak with a therapist. then, if co-workers come to the n/m with comments or complaints that so-and-so doesn't seem like herself lately, the n/m can say that she's aware of the situation and they don't need to worry. again, this would be warranted only if the symptoms of the mental illness would be noticeable on the job.
to get back to your original question, just having a mental illness is not something that should cost you your license. (good grief, how many of us would lose our jobs if that were the case!) in fact, the americans with disabilities act might afford some protection for anyone who is treated badly because they have an illness of any kind.
i hope this information is helpful. feel free to ask for more if this doesn't address your concerns.
i wish you well.