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Can I be a nurse if I have depression and was admitted into mental hospital??

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by bluedelta2803 bluedelta2803 (New) New

Last year I had depression, did self harm, and then was admitted into a mental hospital. I am stable now, just got to keep taking the meds, I guess what I want to know is....will I still be able to become a psychiatric nurse in time? Or am I now automatically disqualified?

This is a question only your state Board can give you a definitive answer on. Start by going online and reading through the entire application for licensure until you get to the part where they start asking questions of the nature of criminal convictions and mental health status. Then, you might want to brave a call to the Board for any questions without divulging your identity. Just suggestions.

1 hour ago, caliotter3 said:

This is a question only your state Board can give you a definitive answer on. Start by going online and reading through the entire application for licensure until you get to the part where they start asking questions of the nature of criminal convictions and mental health status. Then, you might want to brave a call to the Board for any questions without divulging your identity. Just suggestions.

OK I will try that 🙂

"I know someone who" voluntarily admitted themself for severe depression in NJ a decade ago. No self-harm, just overwhelming emptiness and feeling unfulfilled. This person has since become an RN, is OK now and legally practicing nursing with full scope of RN license in an acute care setting.

Not sure if that is of any help to your question, but I would like to encourage you in your endeavor. You've traversed a major mountain which is just a pebble in the rearview. Now you have a boulder ahead but it is nothing compared to what you went through initially:)

beachynurse, ASN, BSN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 36 years experience.

I find it shame that Nurses can't be "human", and have human problems and issues without fear of board retribution. I am a nurse that has gone through a vicious, bitter, ugly divorce that has left me in financial ruins. I work 2 jobs just to keep a roof over my head, and have had bouts of major situational depression where I had thoughts about suicide. I have been in counseling for years, which has been so helpful, taken antidepressants, and even though I still am digging my way out of a hole, and still have bouts of depression, it is my jobs that also help me maintain my sanity. It terrifies me that my license, and or livelihood can be taken because of something catastrophic happened in my life. I pray for you that you seek out the help that you need and are able to fulfill your life dreams, we all deserve them.

FolksBtrippin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Community, Nurse Manager. Has 5 years experience.

On 5/31/2020 at 9:20 PM, bluedelta2803 said:

Last year I had depression, did self harm, and then was admitted into a mental hospital. I am stable now, just got to keep taking the meds, I guess what I want to know is....will I still be able to become a psychiatric nurse in time? Or am I now automatically disqualified?

No, you are not disqualified. The board does not have access to your medical records. I recommend that you do not disclose your mental health history, as it is your right to keep that private.

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 49 years experience.

You had a medical issue; you had it treated and you were never fired from a nursing position. Yes, you can be a psych nurse, but do wait until your depression is better because you need really good boundaries to safely work around a lot of other depressed people. But you can do that with some tincture of time.

This happened to me personally and I had to get help in a mental hospital.

I’m currently well and med free for two years; was ill for 3 years due to a traumatic past and abuse along with burnout.

I’ve been a nurse for 9 years, and worked in psych 4 years; I currently work agency school nursing and agency pediatric private duty.

Your mental health history is private and it is against the law for the job to discriminate based on disability if your disability doesn’t impact the work you do.

I would personally not disclose my mental health history unnecessarily to the Board or any job unless there is a new law supporting this.

As long as you don’t have any criminal charges against you, you should be fine.

Blessings

MeganMN

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 15 years experience.

No, it does not disqualify you at all, and if you get the help that you need and have a solid foundation of support, you will probably be a BETTER nurse! I have met many a nurse and doctor who have treated psych patients like poo. I have and always will be a strong advocate for these patients. Like many of the other posters, I have my own story to tell. I have been in health care for 18 years and a nurse for 14, and my past has helped shape the kind of nurse that I am. You will have more challenges with setting boundaries, but IMHO it will give you the opportunity of being a great advocate and nurse!