Published Feb 5, 2004
Has anyone out there had to appear in front of the BNE? My friend and I just graduated in December and she got a letter telling her she has to appear. Why? She checked the yes box on "have you been diagnosed with bipolar". I told her I would go with her but she is freaking out and I thought maybe someone out there could tell us anything about the process or something, anything. Thank you
I worked with a nurse who was bipolar. What the board wants is to be sure the nurse is getting treatment, is stable and is not a danger to patients. She will likely need statements from her doctors supporting this.
No, I haven't been before the board. However, I can tell you that your friend didn't have to answer that question concerning Bipolar. Just because she is a nurse doesn't mean she has lost her patient rights. It is no ones business concerning her medical history. However, If I'm right, she has opened up the box. She may have to deal with the TPAP ( I'm not sure of spelling or anything else concerning this monitoring enity". All I know is that it is about the same as being on probation. Visits, money, hassles, ect. No one in their right mind wants to mess with this process. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so. Anyway, I suggest that she tell them that she misunderstood the question. Bipolar, why yes, I've been to the north and south poles. How did you know? Or how about...Yes, I am Bipolar, but my sexual orientation is my business. Sorry! Poor attempt @ humor. If she is bipolar, she needs to have her ducks in a row. Proof that she is on medication. Proof that meds are working. Written statement from primary physician and shrink as to her mental status and as to her ability to function. Proof that she has never been a danger to herself or others. Proof that she has never be committed to a mental hospital. I do have to say, I think the board is the one who should have to go before a court. Shame on them. Mental health problems are a disease, just like diabetes. Later
I agree with you as far as pt rights goes. She voluntarly put her self in the hospital, she was pregnant with 3 kids, husband left and in the 3rd level of nursing school. I would have gone a little crazy too. Anyway, I don't think they would have found out, pt records are confidential. Unfourtantly she told them and now has to appear in front of the board on March 9th. I'm going to go with her and we are going to tote in thousands of reference letters from every teacher and co worker possible!!
Thanks for both of you guys in put, I appreciate it!
Good luck...my bipolar friend is working as a RN in critical care...completely controlled on her meds and with letters from her doctors stating she is cooperative with the plan of care and STABLE, (recognizes her warning signs of possible manic phases, etc and can deal with them appropriately IF they occur) she has NO problems. Self awareness plays a HUGE role in controlling bipolar disorder, my friend tell me.
Personally I would NOT want to lie to the Tx BNE...if I had a dx of bipolar I would probably be upfront about it too .... if someone vindictive found out and reported you, I imagine it would be even TOUGHER to deal with the BNE...
the people at the BNE are hard. I DEFINATELY wouldn't want to lie to them. I've been upfront with them from the get-go and I am STILL having numerous problems with them about getting a license. I'm wishing her the best of luck.
I think the idea of "don't tell to begin with" is a good one, unless you get caught, and then you are totally screwed. Besides, this girl was honest from the get-go, and that's gotta count for something.
mattsmom81 is exactly right: all the BNE wants to do is be sure she is stable, getting regular treatment, and that she is safe. People with severe bipolar disorder are not able to manage themselves well enough to be entrusted with sharp instruments, medications, etc.
I'm not saying this is your friend's condition, angelathenurse, I'm saying this is bipolar disorder. Yes it is a disease, and yes her rights are protected, until she gave them up.
For one (and possibly I'm the only one), I applaud her honesty, which might be pointed out to the board when she goes (her honesty, not what I think about it). Also, she should bring letters from her medical physician, psychiatrist, therapist and some character-witness type letters from people who know her, her minister, etc., in case they are asked for or if things start to go down the tubes.
She should be calm and relaxed. Work with her on this. This is the most important thing. She may be safe and stable and taking her meds and all, but if she wigs out or comes apart with the board, that's not going to look good, right?
She should ONLY answer questions she is asked, and if it is a yes or no question, she should give them yes or no, AND NOTHING ELSE. If it is not possible to answer the question honestly with a yes or a no (i.e., if either answer works out to be incriminating-seeming), then she should say, I don't think I can be completely honest with just a yes or no, the way the question is stated. Could you please restate the question?
You are a good friend--go with her. You won't be allowed in, but you can be with her right up to the time she goes in, and she can know you are right outside the door. It's a comfort to be in something like that with a friend nearby.
I've been before a board and got my license after all--that was 13 years ago or so. I had been sexually harassed by my supv, and was applying for license as a marriage and family therapist. He wrote a vague, nasty letter, never mentioned my name, put his own name and license number (he was a psychologist, if you can believe that!), and voila! my license is suddenly under question. I didn't even know they were meeting about it except that I happened to be in the area and stopped in to check on why it was taking so long! (Talk about God working....)
It was a hard fight (to me), I didn't have anybody with me, but they decided in my favor a couple of months later, and I drove home with my license on the seat next to me, listening to the live testimony of Anita Hill! (Remember her? Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her some years before and she testified before Congress against him---that takes guts!).
Get your friend to join this board! We'll all be in there with her. And PM me if you like--unless you are in Texas* where I am actually licensed, I can't officially "treat" (and that would include emails, etc.!) her, but I can offer helpful advice, one person to another. And if some smarts get in there because my of years of education and experience, so what?
It's gonna be OK-- (*just looked--you are in Texas! We're safe! We can call it whatever we want! :chuckle )
J_W, DNP, APRN, CNS
The thing to remember here is that the BNE is not here to protect nurses it is here to protect the public. I know a nurse who used to work for the BNE and this person assured me that the BNE only purpose is to protect the public....
I want to thank all of you for your input. My friend appears in 1 week and she has talked to the legal counsel of the board, the lady was very assuring to her and that alone made her feel better. I go in as a character witness so I'm trying to think of any and every question possible so I can somewhat prepare myself. She has letters from her doctor and her co-workers and a few of our teachers.
I in turn take my boards on March 18th, the only way to take them earlier was to travel outside of Amarillo, I think it will be difficult enough for me to drive a few blocks and back much less 2 hours to Lubbock and 2 hours back!
Anyway, thank everyone for your input and I will let you guys know how it turns out next Wednesday!!
Yeah, I saw that. When we first started nursing school, the director got up there and told us we should all file a declaratory order, just in case there might be something..... Looked right at me. (I don't have any tats or anything!!! :rotfl:
Incidentally, this is not so. Only file a declaratory order if you absolutely have something to admit which is on the list on the BNE's site. (I don't.)
When I was counseling adolescent addicts and alcoholics, one of the things we talked about as they were getting ready for discharge was, what do you say if, say, a potential employer asks about your drug or alcohol abuse? We told them, if you are upfront about it, you will have been honest, but you probably won't get the job. It's not on your record anywhere. You have to decide who or what to tell, but we suggest as few and as little as possible.
I think that makes sense, unless there is a record (like an arrest record).
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