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Did I shoot myself in the foot by disclosing?

Disabilities   (4,543 Views | 13 Replies)
by ceebeeaitch ceebeeaitch (New) New

853 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Hey, so...

I have bipolar 2. I was diagnosed at 13 and spent about a month in a psych facility. I've been stable for the past 7 or 8 years.

I'll graduate my ADN program in December. I sent in my application to the Texas BON back in August. I chose to disclose my diagnosis because the form specifically asks if I have been treated in the past 5 years for bipolar disorder; I have.

I've heard stories from other nursing students that if you lie to the BON that you're screwed. If I were to say no, I haven't been treated in the past 5 years, that would be a lie.

I guess it kind of feels like I'm screwed no matter what I say.

But I did disclose. And now my application has been sent to the enforcement department.

I've read online other nurses who disclosed and were accepted, but they had to join TPAPN. I'm cool with doing TPAPN if that's what's required for me to be a nurse, but is that something that I have to disclose to potential jobs?

I'm just scared that my choice to disclose is going to haunt me.

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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; 9,783 Posts; 251,855 Profile Views

Hello there, and Welcome to Allnurses!

You did the right thing. Lying to the Board of Nursing is never a good idea, and the repercussions if you do can be quite severe, up to and including denial of your license application. Unfortunately, these programs are geared toward nurses with substance-abuse issues, diversion, etc., and if you have to be in TPAPN you'll be subject to the same sort of treatment, e.g. daily call-ins, observed urine drug screens and so on. You will also have to disclose all this to your employer, as there are certain types of nursing jobs you won't be allowed to do until you're out of the program. You may or may not have narcotic restrictions as well.

With any luck, the BON may only require you to produce a letter from your psychiatrist attesting to your stability and treatment compliance. The fact that you've been stable for as long as you have should strengthen your case. I hope some Texas nurses will come along and comment; they can tell you more about what to expect.

I wish you the very best of luck, and hope everything works out for you.

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macfar28 has 20 years experience.

138 Posts; 7,405 Profile Views

This just seems so unfair and discriminatory to me. Shall we start asking nurses, "hey are you diabetic?" and then expect them to produce a letter from their GP showing diet and insulin compliance? How about those with poorly controlled HTN or other illnesses?

Sorry, I guess I'm not answering your question. Yes you did the right thing. I just think it's a double standard and as a psych nurse it's near and dear to my heart.

I can see the BON asking for further info, evaluating the need for monitoring, etc. if there has been an episode that caused a nurse to be unfit, but as a screening question I find it unfair and intrusive.

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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; 9,783 Posts; 251,855 Profile Views

I agree. We should not have to give up our right to privacy when we become healthcare workers!! :banghead:

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5 Followers; 37,755 Posts; 104,644 Profile Views

Don't be surprised if your disclosure keeps you from job opportunities in the future, aside from whatever the BON does to you. No employer is ever going to admit that they carefully scrutinize applicants for "other" reasons to discriminate in the hiring process when they decide they do not want to hire someone for a completely different reason.

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938 Posts; 14,122 Profile Views

I disclosed to a BON in another state my diagnosis, & they asked for a letter saying I was stable from my treating psychiatrist, along with a letter from me stating my plan for continuing care once I arrived in that state. I had no problems following my submission of these letters. I hope it works out as well for you.

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iwanna specializes in behavioral health.

470 Posts; 8,656 Profile Views

I am sorry that you have to disclose that information. It truly does not seem fair, if they do not ask for other disclosures for other illnesses!! That is quite intrusive, especially if you have been stable.

I was looking at life insurance application for my adult children. One of the questions was being treated for mental illness, in the last five years. I wondered if that would increase the premium? There are many that should be treated and are not. Shouldn't be penalized for getting treatment. Sorry, I strayed from the topic here.

You did the right thing! Best wishes to you!

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4 Posts; 853 Profile Views

I disclosed to a BON in another state my diagnosis, & they asked for a letter saying I was stable from my treating psychiatrist, along with a letter from me stating my plan for continuing care once I arrived in that state. I had no problems following my submission of these letters. I hope it works out as well for you.

Thank you!! I hope it goes similarly for me.

My biggest fear is TPAPN. I don't want to be monitored or have to tell my future employer my diagnosis (huge invasion of my privacy!)

I've already asked my psychiatrist to send a letter so hopefully with her good word I'll be okay.

Unfortunately I won't hear back from the BON about my authorization to test until December (after I graduate!).

Thank you all for your input and kind words!

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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; 9,783 Posts; 251,855 Profile Views

Keep us posted as to how things go, OK? I'm interested in how you fare; I'm bipolar 1 with rapid cycling and am having to disclose it to my state BON with my license renewal because it's had an impact on my ability to work as a nurse, and I can't lie about it. Hoping for the best for both of us!

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NurseGirl525 is a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU.

3,663 Posts; 32,688 Profile Views

I'm wondering why you would have to be in TPAPN for bipolar disorder? I thought that was for substance abuse and alcohol issues. It's just a question for informational purposes. Is that program for mental illness issues as well? It just seem right to me that they would think being bipolar would lead to an addiction issue.

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7 Posts; 852 Profile Views

I disclosed to the Texas BON when I was moving there, and the only thing they required was a letter from my psychiatrist. Just make sure that once your psych sends the letter that you confirm that the BON has in fact received the letter. They won't just tell you if they don't get it.

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BostonFNP has 9 years experience as a APRN and specializes in Adult Internal Medicine.

1 Follower; 3 Articles; 5,264 Posts; 1,453 Profile Views

What would even make you consider that lying to the BON would be the right thing to do?

That thought process alone is concerning but glad you did the right thing.

Sent from my iPhone.

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