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Can you lose your nursing license due to mental illness?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Nursing License Defense |

Nurses care for patients and their well-being. However, in doing so, they are often exposed to physically demanding and mentally exhausting tasks in the hospital. Nurses, just like anyone else, could experience mental health conditions. Nonetheless, they will continue to do their best to fulfill their work.

However, mental illness could sometimes raise concerns, primarily when it affects a nurse’s work performance and patient safety. A nurse could receive complaints and face legal action, leading to the possibility of license suspension or revocation. The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) holds nurses to a high standard and will take complaints seriously. Here are some factors that could affect their decision when dealing with complaints about nurses with mental health concerns.

Impact on the nurse’s work performance

One of the first things BRN will look into is the nurse’s capability to perform their duties, even with their condition. For example, when they lose focus and make mistakes in medical practices due to their mental illness, the BRN could see this as compromising the patient’s safety. As patients’ well-being is the priority in health care facilities, failing to do so could lead to more severe repercussions.

The severity of the mental illness

When mental health conditions are left untreated, they could worsen drastically. The BRN would carefully investigate a nurse’s case to see if they disclosed their condition and if they are taking measures to manage their mental health. When the nurse could still pose harm to patients despite the medical interventions, the BRN might suggest a suspension of their nursing license along with a treatment program.

Rehabilitation and monitoring programs

In some cases, the BRN would offer rehabilitation and monitoring programs for nurses struggling with mental health issues. These programs aim to support the nurse’s journey toward a healthier mental condition. This could include regular monitoring of the nurse’s condition, adherence to treatment plan and counseling.

When a complaint about them reaches the BRN, nurses could face investigations and the possibility of disciplinary actions. In this situation, nurses have the right to protect themselves. Mental health conditions should not be a basis for workplace discrimination, employment opportunities or licensing decisions. Nurses with mental illness can seek the assistance of a professional licensing defense attorney to guide them through the process, ensuring that they observe their rights and that they protect the license they worked hard for.

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