What can nursing schools see in your medical records?


Hello all,

I am currently applying to a nursing school in Texas. They have asked me to sign the FERPA release document which allows the school and clinical sites to obtain any of my educational information and also my medical records. So here is my question: do they have access to ALL my medical records?

When I was 21 (currently 24), I was "diagnosed" with Bipolar II disorder. I say "diagnosed" because I honestly feel it wasn't an appropriate diagnosis. I went in and spoke with a PA at my university, she spoke to me for twenty minutes and then said "you're bipolar" put me on some antidepressants and sent me on my way. A few months later, I went to the hospital for an asthma attack and they asked me if I had any medical conditions and I told them I was recently diagnosed as bipolar.

I'm assuming this is all on my medical records. But, I dont feel bipolar at all. At the time of the diagnosis, I was extremely depressed. But I've been fine for two years now. I've never had any kind of hypomanic or manic episode. I've been emotionally stable for two years. I took the antidepressants for two weeks. Never again saw another medical professional for the diagnosis again.

I'm afraid that the nursing school I am applying to will see this on my medical records and that as a result I won't be accepted. The Texas Board of Nursing has to be notified if an applicant is diagnosed as bipolar within the last five years. Then they have to investigate and approve you for admission.

Does anyone here know more about what exactly comes up on medical records? Are there any bipolar nursing students out there who have gone through this same ordeal?

Thank you in advance and I hope this wasn't too long a post.


482 Posts

EVERYTHING on your medical record will come up.


13 Posts

I have somewhat of the same issue. I was diagnosed with ADD, depression, and anxiety years ago, now my psychiatrist has recently diagnosed me as bipolar, unfortunately I feel as though this is an accurate diagnosis. However, I've been on medication for it and I'm stable now. But I wonder if this is something that will keep me from getting accepted into a nursing program. I also have a documented lower back injury. But I also wonder if they can actually legally keep you out of the program for a controlled mental illness. I feel as though that could be a form of discrimination, so idk.

Yeah, they'll be able to see it. I highly recommend you see a psychiatrist and get evaluated, establish a relationship and either get the treatment you need, or get the diagnosis changed.

Good luck.

Specializes in Medsurg/ICU, Mental Health, Home Health. Has 17 years experience.

All I had to produce was my immunization record! Dang.

Even if they can see that you've been diagnosed Bipolar, I don't think they can keep you out of the program specifically for that reason... I mean, unless something comes up that proves you are unable to manage your symptoms or behave appropriately in the professional world. Or that you're a danger to yourself or others. (Not saying you are, just that those could be reasons that a school might not let someone into their program.)

I do understand the anxiety and worry surrounding the situation, though. I spent 10 years of my life in and out of inpatient/residential treatment centers around the country for Anorexia (as well as co-occuring conditions PTSD, OCD, Depression, and Anxiety). However, I'm living in solid recovery now and April 22 will actually mark my 2 year anniversary since the last time I left treatment. That being said, I have yet to come across a situation since entering recovery where my past has dictated my current professional/educational life. I've even been told by several supervisors that they look at my past and where I'm at now as nothing more than a sign of tremendous strength, courage, and determination. And that's something we all need in the medical world. :)