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Correctional Nursing

What is Correctional Nursing?

Correctional nursing is a nursing specialty involving the treatment of patients in correctional facilities such as jails, prisons, and halfway houses. While correctional nurses perform many of the same tasks as nurses that work in other types of facilities, it is unique in the fact that correctional nurses often have to treat a much higher percentage of violent or resistant patients. Some nurses avoid correctional nursing for this reason, but others find working with these types of patients to be especially rewarding.

Unlike many other nursing specialties such as gastroenterology or neonatal nursing, that are more specific, nurses working in correctional facilities must be prepared to deal with a wide variety of conditions on a daily basis. Correctional nurses perform the tasks of emergency nurses and provide primary care. Their patients are often not allowed to leave the facility that they are in to receive medical attention, so the patients must receive all of their care from the doctors and nurses at the facility. This means that, for example, one individual is required to attend to patients with stab wounds, patients with diabetes and gastrointestinal issues, and even patients who are pregnant. This is only a small sample of the tasks that are required of a correctional nurse.

Since nurses in correctional facilities are often treating uncooperative patients, they must also perform tasks in conjunction with the corrections officers to maintain security. While this can add an element of danger that is not present in other areas of nursing, most facilities have policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of all employees.

What Is The Average Salary For A Correctional Nurse?

A correctional nurse’s salary differs depending on where he or she works and what level of education he or she has achieved. According to Indeed.com, the average yearly salary for a correctional nurse in the United States is around $70,000. Additionally, many employers offer their employees benefits such as healthcare and paid vacation days.

What Are Typical Work Environments For Correctional Nurses?

Correctional nurses work in many different types of facilities including jails, prisons, halfway houses, and juvenile detention facilities. Nurses working in these environments often face challenges less frequently present in other types of nursing environments such as patients who are violent, disrespectful, and resistant to treatment.

What Are The Educational Requirements To Become A Correctional Nurse?

There are many different nursing degrees (LPN, ADN, BSN, MSN, and DNP), and an individual must have earned at least one of these from an accredited nursing program in order to be eligible to work as a correctional nurse. According to the International Association of Forensic Nurses, while “certification is not required to enter a position as a correctional forensic nurse”, a nurse can become certified through the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) and the American Correctional Association (ACA). Additionally, some correctional facilities may require their employees to take continuing education courses in order to continue working at that facility as a nurse.

What Are Some Skills Needed To Become A Correctional Nurse?

Although correctional nurses perform many of the same tasks that other nurses perform, there are other special skills that are necessary for nurse to be successful in correctional nursing. To begin, correctional nurses need to be able to think very quickly on their feet. Many of their patients can be unpredictable, and it is important that correctional nurses reaction quickly with the appropriate action. Correctional nurses also need to be knowledgeable about many different areas of medicine since most patients do not have the opportunity to visit specialists outside of the facility.

Nurses working in correctional facilities also have to be especially compassionate. They are often treating patients who have committed crimes, which sometimes are violent and disturbing, and they need to remain impartial. These nurses need to treat their patients with the same level of compassion that they would while treating a patient outside of a correctional facility (such as in a hospital or clinic) in order to make sure that their patients receive the highest level of care possible. Additionally, correctional nurses need to work well with others. Not only do correctional nurses have to work with other nurses and doctors, but they also need to work well with corrections officers and the facility’s management.

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