Can I be a nurse with ADPKD?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am 24 years old and was diagnosed with ADPKD last year and with my research found that there are many problems that I will face, like hypertension, cancer, aneurysms, diabetes, and of course the scary one-kidney failure. I am going into nursing school this fall and I am worried this may hinder me to function properly in a health care setting. With all of these issues, should I be looking in to another field? Can this hinder me from getting my nursing license? If not, then if I ever have to go on Haemodialysis, will I have to stop working?


    Dear Can I be a Nurse,

    I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). As you said, it's a very serious condition with long term implications.


    At the same time, every case is different and it's hard to generalize. Always putting my health first, I would start school as planned and follow the directions of your physician
    regarding overall stress and activity.


    ADPKD in itself will not hinder you from getting a nursing license. If you ever have to go on dialysis, will you have to stop working? Nurses can work in many, many jobs other than clinical bedside nursing.
    Once you gain some experience, there will be all kinds of options, including working from home, part-time, administrative...you name it.


    Maybe it's best to not think too far ahead for now, and put your self care first. Enjoy your first semester


    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,445; Likes: 4,320

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  3. by   K+MgSO4
    It is doable, I had a grad with PKD who was on PD after her transplant failed. She was amazing. Worked 0.7 which is 56hrs per fortnight. She was working a rotating roster as is typical in Australia. She was just careful rostering herself so she had enough time to do her PD.

    She was amazing, never let it slow her down, had less personal leave than many other staff members. Worked really hard and finished her grad year. She continued to work at the hospital for another year and then moved back to the countryside where she was from. She is a clinical nurse manager in a rural ED.
    I think that she made sure that she was healthy, manager her roster and be open with the NM about her needs.

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