Bipolar and nursing?

  1. A dear friend of mine was diagnosed recently as bipolar II. He was plannning on becoming a nurse, but now is unsure because he has heard "rumors" that the state nursing board won't license him due to his mental illness. He lives in Ohio. Is this true?
  2. Visit Sputnik profile page

    About Sputnik

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 2

    7 Comments

  3. by   Aneroo
    I would check on the Ohio boards.
    I do not see why someone could not get boards b/c they are bipolar, esp if they are compliant with their medications. I had a client who is a nurse and has dissociative identidy disorder (multiple personalities). I could imagine that if someone who could possible lapse into another personality (and that personality might not be a RN) while on duty can get a icense and a job, then someone with biploar certainly could. -Andrea
  4. by   Jolie
    My father has been bi-polar most of his adult life, but denied his illness. For years we suffered, unable to get him the help he needed. Last year, he finally agreed to voluntary treatment. I won't go into specifics here, but we were very disappointed with the quality of his medical (psychiatric) care while in the hospital. The one bright, shining star in his care was a student nurse. She confided in us that she had requested to be assigned to my dad because she, too, was bi-polar and had long denied her illness as well. I can't begin to describe the insight she offered us. She was truly an asset to my dad's care and our understanding of this illness.

    Your friend could be, as well. I can't imagine that with proper documentation of treatment, he would be denied the opportunity to become an RN, any more than anyone with a chronic illness. Best of luck to him!
  5. by   Dixielee
    I don't know what the laws are, but I do not think it is legal to discriminate based on diagnosis alone. I work with 2 nurses who are bipolar, well regulated, and they are some of the best I have ever worked with. I only know they are bipolar because they have mentioned it.
  6. by   Ross1
    It is important to understand that there is a difference between bipolar I and bipolar II. Bipolar II, does not include full-blown mania. People with bipolar II experience a milder form called hypomania....which is less severe and does not cause the same level of impairment in social functioning.....in fact......people can be very functional and productive while hypomanic.
  7. by   Aneroo
    Correct- so long as you've had ONE manic (or hypomania) episode, you get the dx of bipolar. -Andrea
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    Oh boy, if bipolar people aren't allowed to become nurses, then what am I doing with a license??

    It's like any other disease: as long as it's controlled, it shouldn't even be an issue. Bipolar people aren't all raving lunatics, not even when they're in the middle of a manic episode (I tend toward the occasional hypomanic phase......the only time I even know I'm in one is when I notice that I'm suddenly having a lot of really super great days in a row, I talk more and faster, and I get by on less sleep and less food than usual). We work, we go to school, we vote, we raise families, and so forth........we just have to work a little harder than most folks at maintaining an even keel emotionally. That's where meds help a lot, and when we take them faithfully, we're pretty much like everyone else.
  9. by   NURSESUZ
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Oh boy, if bipolar people aren't allowed to become nurses, then what am I doing with a license??

    It's like any other disease: as long as it's controlled, it shouldn't even be an issue. Bipolar people aren't all raving lunatics, not even when they're in the middle of a manic episode (I tend toward the occasional hypomanic phase......the only time I even know I'm in one is when I notice that I'm suddenly having a lot of really super great days in a row, I talk more and faster, and I get by on less sleep and less food than usual). We work, we go to school, we vote, we raise families, and so forth........we just have to work a little harder than most folks at maintaining an even keel emotionally. That's where meds help a lot, and when we take them faithfully, we're pretty much like everyone else.

    Dear mljrn97--THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!! You have made my day. I am hypomanic at times (Bipolar II), PTSD, Dysthymic, and also have Panic D/O. When I have 1 good day, I am happy...2 good days, I'm on a roll...3 good days, I'm ecstatic, and then I start to droop again. Like a plant that gets watered only once a week. But, I have begun to realize that I will perk up by taking my meds, talking to my therapist, and not by sitting in my chair, paralyzed by fear and anxiety. I have a friend who says, "Move a muscle, change a feeling". Some days I live by that one! Thanx again.

close