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Correctional Nursing: What is It and Should I Become a Correctional Nurse?

Healthcare Jobs

Correctional health facility nurses provide healthcare to inmates in various settings, such as jails, prisons, remand centers, and juvenile detention facilities. Prisoners often encounter the correctional nursing team regarding healthcare delivery within the facilities. 

Correctional nurses are in great demand in the US. As this job title has a heightened security aspect, the pay is often higher than that of nurses in typical hospitals. Therefore, the job requires a versatile skill set, patience, and keen knowledge of mental health and substance abuse issues when it comes to patients. Keep reading to learn more about the correctional nursing specialty, careers in correctional health, how to become a correctional nurse, and how to find correctional nursing jobs.

What is the Correctional Health Nursing Specialty?

Correctional nurses provide compassionate care to a diverse group of vulnerable patients from diverse cultural backgrounds with complex health needs in challenging environments like prisons. It is common for correctional nurses to have varying roles to pick up additional skills and develop their knowledge about community health. On a professional and personal level, prison nurses wear many hats. Nursing professionals deal with many people who have social, drug, and alcohol problems. The nurse may also be a parent figure, even though they are a nurse.

The types of work you may do could include:

  • Nurse consultation clinics
  • Clinical research
  • Minor injuries and illness
  • End-of-life/palliative care
  • Substance abuse
  • Emergency and unscheduled care
  • Health assessment
  • Mental health

Due to safety protocols and policies, becoming a correctional nurse can be challenging. Since these will vary from facility to facility, it is imperative to adapt to the environment as quickly as possible. Nurses in this field encourage other nurses and all nurses to get some experience in correctional nursing. This is because it teaches so much and leads to gaining valuable skills that can transfer to many other aspects of nursing. A prison is a place of utmost confidentiality, and the relationship between prisoners and their nurses should be respectful. Therefore, there is a lot of psychological and emotional impact of working full-time in a prison setting, and taking care of oneself is essential. In the end, personal health is most important.  

Careers in Correctional Health

Correctional nurses work in many prison settings, and the conditions of the prison environment can be intense at times. Correctional nurses work alongside multi-disciplinary teams, including general practitioners, pharmacy teams, support workers, dentists, podiatrists, physiotherapists, paramedics, psychological professionals, psychiatrists, and prison staff.

Correctional Nurse Salaries

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average entry-level correctional nurse makes around $50,000. The average salary of correctional nurses with experience starts in the $60,000 range. This range changes when filling empty shifts, travel nursing, and working PRN assignments. The rate of change per hour increases significantly. That’s why Nusa is the best option when looking for work as a correctional nursing health professional. 

What Are The Requirements to Become a Correctional Nurse?

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs) are the most common types of prison nurses. These credentials can be gained by earning a degree or certificate from accredited nursing programs. An LPN education is enough to work in most correctional facilities. Working as a correctional nurse is a viable way for RNs to work towards an RN to BSN career advancement. As a prerequisite for earning a BSN degree, nurses must pass the NCLEX exam. 

Find PRN Correctional Facility Nursing Jobs

With the high demand for correctional nursing, finding a PRN or travel nursing job is more likely than ever. Nursa was built for healthcare professionals looking for per diem or other short-term contracts in cities all over the US. Nursa is an easy-to-use program. Firstly, downloading the application onto any iPhone or Android device is accessible from the application store. Next, setting up a profile will involve uploading the required documentation and filling out personal information. Once approved, healthcare professionals looking for PRN jobs can use Nursa to find assignments or shifts in various cities and healthcare facilities. Nursa works with healthcare facilities like nursing homes, hospitals, and others to help them fill empty shifts. Use Nursa when searching for per diem jobs in healthcare.

Written by Miranda Booher, RN

SEO Content Marketing Administrator Miranda has been a registered nurse since 2007 and has a healthy background in travel nursing, healthcare IT, and digital marketing. She brings an interesting combination of stellar SEO content management and copywriting skills and first-hand nursing experience to the table. Miranda understands the industry and has an impeccable ability to write about it. And speaking of travel - Miranda currently lives in Bolivia, though she maintains an active Registered Nurse license in the state of Ohio and stays current on the latest healthcare news through her writing. When she is not creating killer copy, or serving others through her work as a nurse, you can find her spending time with her family traveling in the Andes Mountains.

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