Question about BON wanting your medical records...


Hello, thanks for taking the time to read this post. I am a pre-nursing student and I have been reading in this section as I have depression and I was wondering if it was "common place" for the BON to request your medical records? Do you have to release them? What happens if you don't? My mother committed suicide and I have had severe depression ever since, but it is starting to level off and get better. While I am not ashamed of being diagnosed with this, I am not really keen on having to tell this story. I feel that somethings are my personal business and if it is a issue that won't compromise patient care then I do not believe the BON should be privy to my personal records. If anyone can enlighten me I would sure appreciate it. Hope you guys are having a great day, take care.


rn/writer, RN

17 Articles; 4,168 Posts

As far as I know, no state BON (remember, each state has its own) can demand someone's medical records just because they feel like it. Your medical history is private unless you make it their business by diverting meds, being impaired on the job, or doing something else that indicates you may not be fit to practice. In that case, your actual observable behavior will be what triggers their interest.

Living with depression is not a crime or a flaw or a lapse. It's a commendable and challenging commitment.

I'm so sorry you lost your mother to suicide. I hope you are taking good care of yourself and getting any treatment that you need so that you are able to survive and thrive.

xtxrn, ASN, RN

4,266 Posts

They can request a release from your MD for a diagnosis of depression (had this after an assault in TX). The doc wrote the note, I sent it to the board, and it was over and done with. :)


122 Posts

Thank you guys so much for the responses, makes me feel better. XTXRN how did they know of assault and depression to request your records? I am sorry you were a victim of an assault!!

RN/WRITER, I must say you knew the EXACT words to say to make me feel better! I was crying so much I could barely read the response the 1st time. It makes me feel good someone understands how hard it is to live with depression. My husband, sone to be EX and his family thinks it is just something you "snap" out of, mind over matter if you will. I cannot explain to them in a way they understand NO ONE chooses to have depression and NO ONE enjoys it. I would not wish this on my worst enemy and I wish I could just "snap" out of it, Lord knows I would have a long time ago. He has both his parents, my dad died in 2007 to Lung CA, even though that was hard, it was a natural progression and I knew it was a matter of time because he smoked SO much, however my mother, I would have NEVER thought in a million years she would do that, and I found her like that. An image I will NEVER EVER EVER get out of my head. So he cannot relate at all, I think his views will change and soften a bit when he has no parents because they get older, or sick etc...Again I appreciate the words you spoke, it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today and I thank you so much for that!!:heartbeat


xtxrn, ASN, RN

4,266 Posts

Because of the dx of PTSD, I had to check the box on my license renewal- once they got the MD report, that's all they wanted- no actual records sent :)

Your situation will not affect your license. They might need some statement from your doc about being ok to work- and that you're following up with treatment, and that should be the end of it. Once they hear what you've been through, they'll shut up and leave you alone :)

I'm SO sorry about what you've had to deal with. There are no words I can say that could ever come close to expressing how horrible all of it must have been and are to deal with. Hugs :)


216 Posts

I believe that before a person is accepted into a nursing program or gets hired for a job that a pre employment physical is done and signed by a doctor certifying the persons ability to perform a job. When people get hired most employers have employees fill out a health history and one of the questions that is asked is if the person has any medical or mental illnesses that affect their ability to perform the job and if they need to make a request to accommodate a disability. The only time a persons medical or mental condition becomes an issue is if it interferes with a nurses ability to perform a job and a pt. gets harmed or the nursing practice act is violated in the process. The only time a persons medical record can be released with out a persons consent is through a court order and that usually does not happen unless the person is involved in a crime. If a person gives false statements on a pre employment medical history they could be found guilty of perjury.

Bottom line is a person should be honest enough to know if there present condition will interfere with their ability to perform their duties as a nurse.