Nurse with T1D?

Hi ! I’m currently in my last year of high school before college and I’m considering becoming a nurse at the moment. However, I’m worried that having T1D will have an impact on my studies and career.
-Will T1D affect my chances at being accepted into a nursing program at college?
-Is T1D serious enough to consider changing my career plans ? I’ve never had an hypo so bad I needed the help of someone else, but I can’t not worry about putting a patient’s life in danger because of my own health issues.
-Will being a nurse complicate my diabetes management? I know they’re not always allowed much time to eat/have bathroom breaks, plus high stress could make my BG stay up for long times… I’d be really grateful if anyone could answer these questions!

I know several nurses with T1D. It’s a tough and demanding job for anybody, but having t1 should not deter you from pursuing it.

My wife is also a nurse, who doesn’t have T1, and I can tell you it’s been a great career full of opportunities for her. I would highly encourage my own daughter to pursue a career in nursing if she was interested.


Also, there are plenty of doctors with T1D and they don’t let it hold them back from their desired profession.

I’m a doctor, and I have had T1D since 1978. I was 5 years old and in year 1 of primary school when I was diagnosed. Even before diagnosis, I had planned medicine as a career.
No one ever suggested to me that a different career might be a good idea because I had D, except for one endocrinologist, who was thoroughly burned out, and didn’t think anyone should aim to be a doctor, ever, at all.
Most careers have physical and mental stressors. Even parenthood. There are so many different pathways in nursing, I’m sure you’d find one to suit your particular talents and mindset. You might really do well in the high stress environment of emergency or retrieval, or hate that, and want a tidy 9-5 office type job, like a clinic nurse. Midwifery might be your thing, or being a surgical nurse. Relief work, aid work, so many adventures to be had!
You might really enjoy nursing, but want more, and train as a nurse practitioner or go back to school for medicine.
My career has been nothing like I imagined when I finished school. I was going to be some sort of physician, maybe internal medicine, maybe Paeds, but I ended up really enjoying obstetrics, and trained in that for a while, before needing more adventures, and starting work in retrieval medicine. I’ve been doing that for nearly 12 years now. I spend a lot of time getting covered in dirt and other, ahem, substances, but when we make a difference, it’s a great feeling.
You’ll find your way, but let your talents and enthusiasms lead you, not your D… That must fit in with your choices, not make choices for you.


I don’t see any reason why you can’t be a nurse, it’s just about strategizing and adapting to the situation. With pumps and modern MDI (Lantus, Levemir, Tresiba or whatever your modern patented poison is) you can skip meals without problems, I do it all the time. I’m a criminal lawyer and can’t be dealing with highs or lows during the day while I’m on my feet in court. I’ve found if I just avoid carbs, or eat very low-carb/slow-digesting carb foods such as nuts when I’m in court I don’t have to deal with extreme highs or lows, blood sugars are very predictable and I don’t have to spend much, if any, time managing diabetes while I’m focusing on a case. Eating low to no carb really helps with the stress highs, they are much milder and require less insulin to take care of.

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My T1D daughter is in grade 12 and is heading off to University after a gap year to get her bachelor of nursing science and then on to be a diabetes educator and possibly nurse practitioner after that. The long hours of hospital nursing doesn’t appeal to her but she will get through her practical placements to get to the job she’d like. Like others have said, nursing is such a great career with so many paths, great benefits and it’s a physically active job. I think it’s a wonderful career.

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If you manage your diabetes well, you can do anything! If you don’t, then it will interfere with anything you choose to do. Today, nursing is one of the careers with the most varied options for both men and women. Go for it!


I have been an OR nurse for over 25 years. I had an office position for about 6 years, but now I am in the OR again. I say to follow your dreams. Nursing is a great career with many opportunities. Get as much schooling as you can as the higher your education, the more doors will open for you. There is stress, sometimes a lot. But stress can be with any job. Best wishes!


I’m assuming that you mean an “operating room” nurse! I’m from Oregon (OR) and I was briefly confused.

I think nursing is a great profession that offers a lot of choices.

Yes, operating room nurse.

Have a great day! :innocent: