Nurses on meds


Hi everyone, I am new to this site so please bear with me LOL. I have a very serious question. I am currently in school finishing my prereqs to apply to a nursing school in Chicago. Unfortunately I have just been given a prescription for paxil to deal with depression and anxiety. I am very hesitant on taking them at the risk of never being allowed to attend or get my liscense for nursing. Anyone know if this will affect my future as a nurse. I know medical background checks are done at some point and I an frightened to death that because of my situation, my plans to ever become a nurse are ruined. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


263 Posts

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you may be mistaking medical background checks with criminal background checks. While all nurses will have to submit to a criminal background check, your private medical history is just that: private.

[i'm fairly certain of this, but if anyone has any information to the contrary, please share.]


Do you have any idea how many licensed nurses are on meds like the one you mentioned? To put it simply: a lot.


20 Posts

I went on the college website where I will be applying and it says that they will check for physical and mental diseases as well as a criminal background check. I am not quite sure if my situation I'd considered a disease. Thanks for your response, it has helped me calm down a little.


78 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac, NICU, ED. Has 2 years experience.

I was on Effexor when I applied for nursing school. I was required to have a physical performed along with mental health status by a family physician. He knew I was on the medication, I did not need to admit it to the nursing department. He was very willing to sign to the fact that I was competent.

As you surf these forums you will see that many, many nurses are on antidepressants and more.


507 Posts

I take Effexor for depression and I do very well. However I worried about the same thing and asked my psychiatrist if it could harm my chances of getting into RN program/taking boards. She said as long as one is complying with their medication and the depression does not interfere with the responsibilities of nursing, it is fine.:typing


861 Posts

Specializes in telemetry, med-surg, home health, psych.

another nurse and I took a poll and we found that out of 22 nurses in our unit there were only 5 that were NOT taking any meds...!!!!! Go figure .........


20 Posts

Thanks for all the great responses. I've been a little down about it all day but I am greatful to know I have support on this site, I guess it's why you are all nurses, willing to help. Thanks again.

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele. Has 15 years experience.

I wouldn't be surprised if more than half of practising nurses are on some sort of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. I wouldn't worry about this, these medications are very commonly used.


274 Posts


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