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Can a nurse lose license for hospitalization due to mental illness

Nurses   (7,565 Views 13 Comments)
by flava66 flava66 (New) New

430 Profile Views; 2 Posts

Hello,

I could really use some help.

I suffered from anxiety and depression about 9 months ago and was hospitalized. I am currently trying to renew my RN license and a question asks if I have ever been treated for a mental illness such as depression that would effect my cognitive abilities. Well, during the acute period of the illness yes my cognitive abilities were affected but I have since received the help I need and have the cognitive abilities back to safely perform my nursing duties.

What are the consequences of saying yes to this question.

Does the BON conduct an investigation? It doesn't seem right to penalize somebody who had a mental illness but has since received treatment.

Thank you so much nurses

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Asystole RN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

2,249 Posts; 25,231 Profile Views

What will tell you will happen is if you lie and are later found out the consequences will be harsh.

What they generally are looking for is if you have had mental health issues did you seek help and is it being controlled. Now if your episode involved violent actions they may look a bit closer but whatever you do, do not lie to the board of nursing...ever.

Lying is the difference between them just asking questions and them taking out your career.

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 9,717 Posts; 249,602 Profile Views

Hello, and welcome to Allnurses! We're glad you're here.

To answer your question: Yes, you do need to be truthful. There's always the remote possibility of getting caught, and that would be the worst thing that could happen to your career. What happens after you report your mental health status depends on your state BON; some may require that you get a statement from your doctor or therapist as to your fitness for work, while others may place you in a monitoring program. Or, they may do nothing, like my state's BON did with me when I reported my bipolar 1 diagnosis and hospitalization on my last renewal application.

All you can really do is report your situation and wait for the BON to contact you, if they do at all. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

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loriangel14 is a RN and specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

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Yes be honest but getting help for a mental health issue doesn't mean your cognitive abilities have been affected. Plus they cannot descriminate just because you were treated for a problem.

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Alex Egan has 9 years experience as a LPN, EMT-B and specializes in Home Health (PDN), Camp Nursing.

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STOP. call a lawyer familiar with the BON and the policies and procedure surrounding this type of question. We don't know, and you don't know how your state handles this issue. Pay for some good advice on how best to approach this. The BON is to protect the public and if they decide you a risk for any reason they can make you jump through hoops or restrict your practice. The system is not on your side here so a little caution can go a long way.

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19 Posts; 788 Profile Views

Absolutely not! My board asks a similar question but it specifies schizophrenia and similar diagnosis. Did you lose touch with reality or become a threat to anyone? If not then it is none of there freaking business about your depression. EVERYONE has experienced depression to a degree. Imagine if we all blurted out our personal business to the board. Nurses would cease to exist. If you tell them your business you will pay for it for years to come. Evaluations and reports that will cost you a fortune. It won't end.

The board is not your friend. They are not here to help you in personal matters. Do NOT let them in! They are nurses who place other nurses under the highest degree of scrutiny to prove their importance. Of course they do some good and weed out dangerous practitioners but they also overstep their boundaries!!!

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989 Posts; 19,654 Profile Views

I personally would not divulge the information..and I speak from experience...unless you had an issue at work that caused some sort of harm to a patient, etc. seeking treatment for depression/anxiety is no different than seeking treatment for any other illness..and would you notify the BON of that?

I agree w/a few of the other posters - it's not the BON business that you struggled with depression/anxiety - even to the point of hospitalization. If every nurse reported seeking help for depression or anxiety..the BON would be overwhelmed with reports and unless it's an extreme case - then no. I wouldn't tell. I also don't think it's their business what medications a nurse takes..the employers drug test - most of them anyway - and the BON sadly is famous, at least in GA, for not being a nurses advocate..I don't see how they would ever know either..unless you tell them. I think it's opening a can of worms that, in your case, doesn't sound like it needs to be opened. If you were unable to function, dangerous etc. then that is a different story, but otherwise..drive on.

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52 Posts; 945 Profile Views

What will tell you will happen is if you lie and are later found out the consequences will be harsh.

What they generally are looking for is if you have had mental health issues did you seek help and is it being controlled. Now if your episode involved violent actions they may look a bit closer but whatever you do, do not lie to the board of nursing...ever.

Lying is the difference between them just asking questions and them taking out your career.

They have no way of finding out without the OP volunteering this information. How would they find out without getting a subpoena for every hospital in the state?

This is another case where honestly is not the best policy.

Do not mention your diagnoses or inpatient stay in your application. They can stick you in a monitoring agreement if you do. Why would you even consider answering this truthfully? It can only hurt you, not help you, and cause unnecessary alarm. The question is designed to exclude people from licensure.

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AutumnApple has 12 years experience and specializes in M/S, Pulmonary, Travel, Homecare, Psych..

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What will tell you will happen is if you lie and are later found out the consequences will be harsh.

What they generally are looking for is if you have had mental health issues did you seek help and is it being controlled. Now if your episode involved violent actions they may look a bit closer but whatever you do, do not lie to the board of nursing...ever.

Lying is the difference between them just asking questions and them taking out your career.

Yes, be truthful.

Also want to add, if you are on any medications, you'll have to explain them so you can pass your drug screen. If you lied about your history..............

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5 Posts; 389 Profile Views

I see the question usually worded as "within the past five years, have you been dx with/tx for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, paranoia, psychotic disorder,substance abuse, depression or any othermental or emotional illness"

 

I have been licensed in 7 states & never had an issue with getting a license while having the diagnosis of bi-polar. I write a few sentences on being treated and taking medications. My doctor writes a note that I am safe to practice. In the middle of a manic episode I was seeking treatment and the psychiatrist threatened to report me to the BON, it wasn't an issue for me because they were already aware of my diagnosis. So even though your depression/anxiety is currently under control you don't know if it will become a issue in the future.

 

On my BON website I found a failure to disclose mental health got one nurse 2yrs probation and a 6,000 fine.

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Asystole RN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

2,249 Posts; 25,231 Profile Views

They have no way of finding out without the OP volunteering this information. How would they find out without getting a subpoena for every hospital in the state?

This is another case where honestly is not the best policy.

Do not mention your diagnoses or inpatient stay in your application. They can stick you in a monitoring agreement if you do. Why would you even consider answering this truthfully? It can only hurt you, not help you, and cause unnecessary alarm. The question is designed to exclude people from licensure.

Lying to a BON is generally ill advised and may actually be illegal.

A Board of Nursing is not an employer and there are states where they do have access to this information. Certain types of mental health issues are in fact reported to the government. More famously, there is debate on releasing more mental health information to government agencies concerning gun ownership.

Lying and complicity in what likely is an illegal action is a troubling sign of moral fortitude, especially when volunteering information has little to no consequence and lying has harsh consequences.

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2 Posts; 55 Profile Views

Yes. I did. It's devastating. I was in HPSP because I had gone to treatment for alcohol. Then a year later had a psychiatric hospitalization. They reported me to the board who really gave me one option: voluntary surrender of license. Never would have thought I would be so harshly punished for seeking help. It can and did happen 

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