Should I give up my nursing study?

Hi all,

I am in Canada and wanna pursue my study in nursing which I have great passion on. But during the application, I found the immunization requirement, then I realized my Hep B status might prevent me from doing this.

I wrote letters to the school and nursing association to find out if I can be a nurse as a Hep B carrier. Their feedbacks were positive that I can complete my study and register as a nurse with my medical contion. This is really cheering. I feel I can move forward with my life.
However, my concern about how the employment would be like for a nurse with hep B still never get answered by any authorites. When I talked with my family doctor, she told me the reality is I won’t be able to work in a hospital setting, and i can’t do injection and care of wounds. I feel so upset and discouraged on her words. I don’t know who I can turn to help. I really don’t wanna give up to be a nurse. But if the reality is like my family doctor said, I can’t see any hope in pursuing my study. Is anyone here knowing what the practicing restrictions would be for nurse with hep b? Is it impossible for me to work in hospital in future? I am hoping someone here could help me out. Thank you all!

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Hi @Liz ,

I don’t have an answer for you, but I just didn’t want you to feel ignored. I think that your question can only be answered by a very small segment of this community and they may not be currently active on the forums right now. I hope your patience will pay off and someone that is in the know, will answer your post when they are active and read it. Even more, I really hope it’s an answer that will be beneficial to you. I applaud your desire to be a nurse and help people. I know here in the U.S. nurses are tired and overworked and under-appreciated. So yours is a noble cause.

This is the best I could find about the subject on the internet:

You’ll have to scroll down until you find the heading: WHAT ARE THE CURRENT GUIDELINES ON HBV IN IHCWs?

Although this article doesn’t give you an absolute answer, it does give an understanding of guidelines. Hope this helps at all.



Hi Lliz
Sorry to hear thats
Know that you are not alone
I am from Zanzibar-Tanzania,by professional,I am a Nurse, and I am Hep-B positive
Being a Hep-B positive never hesitate my nursing career.
When I joined my Bachelor studies I had such doubt too and I ask the Lecturer incharge for Medical check of my University and She was a Dr,She answer me very positive and She gave me hopes
Right now ,I am doing my Internship and November,I am going to finish it.
So being Hep- B positive does not limit you from being a Nurse, otherwise you are acute ill or have serious complications,
What your family Dr told you, thats not the real should be and I think is a form of stigmatization and hopefully its because of lack of awareness and knowledge about this disease.
We all need to stand up and advocate about this disease.
Never loose hopes, fights for your dreams and one day your dream will come true

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Hi PuallyHBV,

Thanks for much for your kindness. Your words makes me feel the warmth of our forum. There is not much reference I can find online to answer my doubts and concerns. Everytime I try to reach out in reality to get help, I always need to give myself enough courage before I can inquire via email and phone, with so much fear to get denied. But I only can get very official answers from them, and they can not answer my main concerns for future employment. I hope i can get some advice here from who have similar experience as me or knows better in this aspect. Thank you so much Pually for your kind words, and the link you sent to me is very useful which gives me some ideas on the policy for the IHCW at practice. Thank you :slight_smile:


Hi Saidnuu,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with me. I admire your courage in pursuing your nursing career. I hope I could be as brave as you. I wanna find out how strict and limit the practicing policy is for nurse with hep b carrier. Nursing is a hard field and I wanna devote all my efforts on learning it, but I have the fear that after 4 or 5 five years hard learning, I couldn’t practice in hospital, and could only do some physical exam for patients. That really discourage me. Saidnuu, if you don’t mind my asking, have you ever being told the specific area that you can’t do, or is there anything different when you assigned the work or training?

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Actual,I had diploma in general nursing before joined to Bachelor studies and I have 7yrs of working experience, though I was diagnosed with Hep-B positive in 2017,when I had already started nursing practices, despite my office understand my health status never restrict me from practice my duties
So I had never met such limitation or restrictions in my career.
Even If,there are countries that have limiting policies for Hep-B carrier or positive for practicing nursing , I think we need to fight for that because, for my opinion will be a form of stigma and discrimination for us
And we need to eliminate stigma and discrimination and we should start on our selves. That we need to have confidence in our rights

Thanks Saidnuu. The restrictions vary from countries to countries, and even from provinces to provinces in Canada. I just don’t know what the reality looks like here, though there is policy allowing IHCW to practice by meeting certain conditions. Nursing is a brand new area for me in which I don’t have any background knowledge, and I am not young any more. People told me it is never too late to start something, and nursing is something I have strong desire to do. I hope I can gain the confidence as yours in pursuing it, just wanna have some idea on what I will face in future practice before I can move on.

You are absolutely correct. Since I was diagnosed in year 2000 with hep b, not a single private or business accepted me to join them as an employee, simply because I couldn’t pass the medical examination test required !!!
Thanks God, I ended up hired in a governmental position , get married with a beautiful wife that accepted me as she new about my case, had kids, still on medication up to now.
I think regulations have to be reviewed or changed regarding this disease. The virus can not be transferred to others unless there is a blood contact. So there is nothing to be fear of.

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Exactly,we need to end up this sort of stigmatisation to Hep-B infected peoples and we must have confidence in fighting for this
We should engage to policy maker to makes changes


Dear @Liz and @saidnuu,

As mentioned in other threads, @Joan_Block has experience in this (she has hepatitis B and was trained as a nurse). @cscoffin is a hepatologist in Calgary and could provide some expertise in the area.



Hi Thomas,

Thank you for your reference. I am looking foward to hearing from our experts like Joan and Coffin. Their professional knowledge will be a significant guide for me.

Hi Zuhair,

Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I am so glad that you live a happy life with your family now. I believe things will be getting better with so many people striving for our rights.

Hello All
In Canada a healthcare worker has the right to practise even if they have hepatitis B. (I follow several patients living with hepatitis B who are successful nurses and physicians). There may be some variation between different provinces on monitoring viral load (HBV DNA) and providing letters from your physician for reporting to the Physician or Nursing licensing body. Some surgeons may also need to adjust their practise for performing certain procedures. In Alberta where I practise, I do not need to provide any documentation.


Hi Carla,

Thank you for your response. You words are really inspiring. It gives me courage to move on. I know there will still be stigma out there, even among some health professionals. I am grateful that we have this forum where we can seek for help, knowing we are not alone, and gain the courage to face the challenge in life. Thank you.


Nice to hear this

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Thank you for this information!
I’m currently living in Canada and I just got my registered nurse license in the US and almost getting my license in Ontario, Canada (I passed all the requirements except for the health declaration as I am waiting for my Hepatologist to provide a letter to the college since I declared my condition). I’m really afraid to apply for nursing jobs in hospitals because of discrimination… I understand that employers cannot disqualify me because of my HBV status but I’m afraid that this might still affect the application process at some point. In the US, job offer comes first before medical examinations and employers cannot retract the offer because of the HBV result. Is the employment process in most Canadian hospitals the same? Im just thinking that maybe they will provide different reasons for not giving me a job offer but the real reason is my HBV status

I read in this guideline that HCW with HBV DNA <1000 IU/mL should have no restrictions and can perform exposure prone procedures

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Hi Jicjic,

First of all, congratulation on your succesful completion of your study, and thank you for sharing your concern with us. I hope someone professional here can help you with their experience, especially how is the employer hiring process. I fully understand your concern, because that’s what bring me to this forum,too. I got help from Saidnuu and Carla who shared their experience here, and I made up my mind to moving forward with my study. I will face the same situation as you when I graduate. I’m sorry I am not able to give you advice in this aspect now. I am also looking foward to hearing from someone here. I wish you all the best in the start of your new career. I do believe everything should be fine.

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I’m in this same boat. I sent an email to some schools and only 1 has responded. the response was it may and it may not affect my clinical placement. At the moment i don’t know what to do. I’m in Ontario Canada.


Hi Bee,

I only checked with the school I am intersted to get in, and the response I got was “being an asymptomatic carrier of a blood borne pathogen (such as Hep B) should not prevent you from training as a nurse, attending placements at a clinical environment or registering with your college after graduation”. I think the same policy should apply to other Ontario schools too.


Great thank you for letting me knw. Are you applying to schools in ontario too.

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