Nurses are well-trained, dedicated professionals with an awesome responsibility to care for their patients. Each state has its own nurse licensing boards that to protect the public and help ensure any registered nurses in the state are competent and can perform their duties responsibly and safely. One issue nurse licensing boards need to know is if a nurse suffers from a mental health issue that could compromise their ability to do their job.
Many nursing licensing boards ask nurses who want to obtain or renew their licenses about any mental health treatment they have received. In other cases, a nurse's mental health issues come to light after a patient or some other party files a formal complaint against them with their licensing board. The board could discover the mental health issue through their investigation, or it could recommend the nurse undergo psychiatrist counseling to determine the extent of their mental issues.
Nurse License Suspension Due to Mental Health Issues
The nursing license board may suspend your license or impose other disciplinary action if it believes your mental health issues may impair your ability to do your job.
If your nurse licensing board has inquired about your mental health issues, you should respond to the questions honestly and factually. Do not omit or falsify any information, as the board could immediately deny or suspend your license. If you have received treatment, you should include letters of recommendation from your therapists and physicians testifying to how well you have progressed with your treatment. You may also attach letters from employers and supervisors about your successes at work.
You also need to consult an experienced professional license defense attorney as soon as possible. An Attorney-Advisor can help you respond to the nursing board's inquiries and protect your rights and interests.
Disclosing Mental Health Issues Publicly
If you received treatment for mental health issues, you have certain protections under the law. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) is a federal act that protects the privacy and confidentiality of a patient's healthcare information. However, many licensing boards, such as Pennsylvania's Board of Nursing, publish the reasons a nurse received a license suspension, which can include disclosing they suffer from a serious mental illness.
Get the Help You Need
If you are a registered nurse and your state's nursing board suspended your license for a suspected mental health issue, you need to contact the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm immediately for help at 888-535-3686.