What are your thoughts on working as an LPN or RN in Corrections?
Looking past the typical do’s and don’t’s of working with patients who are in a prison or jail, what can you expect?
Glenda has been working as a FlexRN Corrections Nurse for over 6 years shared the following with us,
To be a nurse, you must have compassion, empathy, you must have a caring spirit, and be selfless. You must be patient, kind, and have the willingness to go the extra mile for your patient. These qualities are things you expect when thinking of a nurse. The nurse who is caring for your family member in the hospital, taking care of your innocent child or newborn baby, your mother, father, sister, or brother.
Now, let’s change the scenario a bit… I would like to talk to you about being a correctional nurse. Working with inmates, offenders, men and women in jail, prison, all correctional facilities. Now your patients have a label, a murderer, thief, drug dealer, gun runner, human trafficker, and honestly, the list goes on. When you think of these labels, instantly the thought is, these people are not deserving of good and proper care. They are invaluable. They are worthless.
The truth is yes, these human beings have made poor choices. They have done some terrible things, and some are incarcerated for misdemeanors, smaller things. None the less, they are people, human beings, and as a nurse we took an oath, to do no harm, to give the best care possible. To be kind, caring, have empathy, and all the qualities that were mentioned at the beginning of this paper.
Correctional nursing is a career choice that is not for everyone. It can be challenging, but in my opinion, no more challenging than any other kind of nursing, just a different kind of challenge.
I have worked in corrections for a little over 6 years, and I would not want to work any other place. The inmates are grateful for the medical care they get, they are grateful for a “hello, how are you?” They appreciate everything the nurse does for them. This setting of medical care is unique and, oh so gratifying. I am thankful for the opportunity to care for the incarcerated person.
Another of our clinicians shared with us what they find so rewarding. Which is the positive impact you can have on someone’s life. You can educate your patients on how to make healthier choices, sharing information they may not have had access to about preventative care, and see those improvements to their health in real-time. You will see health concerns ranging from Hepatitis-C, pre-natal care, to cancer treatments.
Your role as a trusted medical professional is an important one in their lives.
If you are interested in learning more about this nursing specialty, we place certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses in a number of correctional settings along the East Coast and beyond.