Bipolar Nursing Student

Nurses Disabilities



I've made an account just to get help with my predicament. I'm really in dire need of advice from anyone that can spare it. Thank you in advance if you take the time.

I have my associates degree in Pre- Nursing because I was planning on starting a BSN program this semester. I worked hard and got accepted but I'm not able to start the program because I was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder after two severe manic episodes that resulted in hospitalization. Since then, I've been going to work and trying my best but on some days my body just won't get out of bed. I know that I couldn't be a nurse under conditions like this- it's just psysically impossible. I know it's early and my medication isn't sorted out fully yet but I also know that even when you're doing everything right, this disorder can significantly impact your ability to operate which can be detrimental in the case of a nurse.

TLDR: I was just diagnosed as Bipolar. Should I still pursue nursing?

Specializes in ED, psych.


I'm sorry you're going through this.

Yes, you can be a nurse with *well managed* bipolar disorder. Self care is critical, and knowing your triggers is crucial. I was diagnosed over 10 years ago with Bipolar 1; after time, med management, therapy and identifying those triggers (sleep being the biggie for me), I am a successful nurse (knock on wood) in a neuro ICU. I also hold a per diem job in the psych nursing world, and I find I'm damn good at it.

But only you know what your limitations are. Take it day by day, even hour by hour. Any disorder can limit a nurse, not just mental health. It's how we take care of it that counts. And if it's too much, that's ok too.

I've seen more than a few posts from nurses who have bi-polar disorder. I agree with above-once you are WELL REGULATED, then you should be good to go. Nursing school and the career of nursing is very, very stressful. Only you can decide if you're up to it.

Good luck whatever you decide. I hope you get the proper treatment so that you can move forward successfully.

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Welcome to Allnurses! We're glad you're here.

I remember when I was first diagnosed with bipolar I. I was gobsmacked, even though I'd suspected it for some time, and sometimes I still have trouble accepting the diagnosis. It laid waste to a good portion of my life---I lost my career, my home, and a sizable amount of my dignity before I found the right combination of medications and therapy. It's *hard* to have bipolar; one has to think ahead on absolutely everything and learn to anticipate changes in their mood and behavior. Developing insight is one of the toughest tasks, we bipolar patients tend not to see it when we're ill. It sounds like you're working on that, which is good. It will take time to get to a place in life where you feel comfortable with who you are as a person, especially if you're young, and BP just makes it that much tougher.

That being said, you don't have to let bipolar determine your future. A good many nurses with the disorder, some of whom are here on AN, enjoy successful careers, and I hope you'll hear from them in this thread. They have coping skills that enable them to withstand the stresses of nursing---and it IS stressful---and maintain a good work/life balance. I hope you'll be encouraged, because it's possible to become a nurse and thrive, even while battling mental illness. You just have to be self-aware and work hard at being stable, which means following your treatment plan and staying as healthy as you can be through adequate sleep, exercise, good diet, and recreation.

Wishing the very best for you on your journey. Viva

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