California Corrections

  1. What is going on with California Corrections. I just had an interview with corrections and their not even hiring right now, infact they dont know when or if they will be. Iwish i would have known that before i drove all the way ouy there. sorry just venting. But i really feel bad for the MTA's who are going through a big change.
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Sheri257
    If you are an LVN applying for an MTA position then they probably aren't hiring for that right now ... or so I've heard.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Oct 12, '06
  4. by   gw6
    Things have changed since this last post! Check it out at the CA.gov web site.
  5. by   mixyplixy
    Getting hired by CA corrections is a challenge...so many layers of bureaucracy to deal with. I hear they are discontinuing MTAs and hiring LVNs. But they are hiring lots of RN's..they were taken over by the Feds the end of last year since healthcare was in such bad shape...they are working on it but there are lots of on going changes. It depends too on what particular position and what facility you want to work at...they advertise a position but apparently already have lists of people who have already interviewed and are ready to be hired. Its complicated..takes alot of time and figuring things out...RNs are in a much better situation
  6. by   jassyj
    Quote from mixyplixy
    Getting hired by CA corrections is a challenge...so many layers of bureaucracy to deal with. I hear they are discontinuing MTAs and hiring LVNs. But they are hiring lots of RN's..they were taken over by the Feds the end of last year since healthcare was in such bad shape...they are working on it but there are lots of on going changes. It depends too on what particular position and what facility you want to work at...they advertise a position but apparently already have lists of people who have already interviewed and are ready to be hired. Its complicated..takes alot of time and figuring things out...RNs are in a much better situation
    Thanks for your response. I hear the pay for the lvn's isn't that great since the changes occurred. I am now working for a good company at least until i get my RN.
  7. by   tirzo13
    check out the department of mental health, they still use and hire MTA.
    Prison MTA has to manage about 500 inmates.
    DMH inmate is only in charge of 5!!!!!

    all the MTA that switched over to DMH from CDC laugh at how easy it is.
    Problem is, there is only 2 DMH facilities that use MTA, the one in vacaville and the one in salinas.
    anyway, check it out.
    also, MTA at DMH get max pay in 1 year.
    MTA at CDC takes 5 years to reach the same pay.
    both max pay is about $6800 month.

    so, if you are LVN and want to work for the state, go MTA at DMH.
    dont' be a state LVN, the pay is only about $4000.
    or finish school and be a DMH or CDC RN for $100,000 a year.
  8. by   sicky_boo
    I am one of those MTAs in a California prison. I am waiting to here when I go to the next officers academy. It's like the MTAs are dead, we are just waiting for the funeral. Life in prison suucks!!!!!
  9. by   tirzo13
    yeah its a bummer for all of the MTA that do not work close to the 2 DMH's, that way they can simply transfer over, and get a easier job.
    but still, do have opportunities as CO, Correctional Counselor, and Parole Officer. What really sucks is for the MTA that are just trying to get 5 years in, and they only have 2-3 years service.
    I heard that their is a 2 year freeze to get rid of them, so maybe they will have a few years to play with.
    really sucks being in limbo though.
  10. by   HaveANiceDay1
    I see that there is an online exam for RN's on the CA Corrections site as part of the application process. Can anyone give me an idea of what the test covers? Are the exam questions similar to questions asked on NCLEX? The site doesn't give any info about what information is covered in the exam, or whether it is timed. thanks
  11. by   Sheri257
    Quote from HaveANiceDay1
    I see that there is an online exam for RN's on the CA Corrections site as part of the application process. Can anyone give me an idea of what the test covers? Are the exam questions similar to questions asked on NCLEX? The site doesn't give any info about what information is covered in the exam, or whether it is timed. thanks
    This is what I know about getting hired by CDC as an RN. Excuse the length of this post but, maybe this will help people wade through the byzantine state bureaucracy.

    With the online RN exam, all it really does is ask about your experience in the last six months like if you've given meds as an RN, whether you're certified in ACLS, if you handled a code, etc. It's not really an exam per se, even though they call it an exam because it's scored based on your recent RN experience.

    Once you've taken the "exam" and hopefully score high enough with your experience, then they call you in for a hiring interview. But you can't just take the online exam, you have to make sure to send in an application for each prison you're interested in. They won't call you if they don't have that application on file. And, they only call if you score high enough, and if they have openings which are becoming rare these days, at least in my area of southern California.

    You'll see on the website that there are 3,000 RN's who have taken the exam statewide so, there's a lot of competition in some areas, especially heavily populated areas where there are a lot of RN's and the CDC pay is much higher than hospital pay. Each prison in my area, for example, had 200-300 RN's waiting for jobs. From what I was told there's at least 30 RN's who score high enough to compete for each opening at some prisons.

    My problem was that I didn't know any of this and took the "exam" as soon as I got my RN license. So, as a new grad, I didn't score that high because I hadn't been working as an RN yet. I could retake the exam in six months and score higher then with more experience but, that would also delay getting hired. So I cast a very wide net.

    I applied to six prisons and, luckily, one of them happens to be a medical hub that's expanding right now so, my lower exam score apparently didn't matter that much with that particular facility. It took two months for me to get called for the hiring interview but it could have easily taken much longer to get called.

    But the hiring interview wasn't really much of a hiring interview at all. Ironically, that was more like a real exam where they could ask you anything ... just like the NCLEX ... and they do ask you NCLEX type questions. It was very difficult.

    However, while I was waiting to be called I asked around and people in CDC suggested that I get some corrections or criminal psych experience while I was waiting because ... that's what they're really looking for.

    Even though tons of RN's have applied because of the pay raises, up to a third of them end up quitting because they end up not liking prison work. Some RN's also don't like the mandated overtime and, the fact that you usually have to start out working night shift and weekends. It's not like a hospital where RN's can often dictate their own schedules.

    Since it takes so long for the state to hire people, that's why they're really looking for RN's who will stay so, those with previous corrections or criminal psych experience apparently have an edge over the competition.

    So I took a job at a CDC private contracted prison to get some experience while I was waiting. The pay for that job sucked but, I was hoping it would help me and, apparently, it did.

    I was convinced I had completely bombed the hiring interview because I was clueless with a lot of the questions but, I ended up getting the job anyway in spite of a lot of competition.

    But I think it was because I already worked in the prison and, I made it clear that I don't mind nights/weekends and I don't mind mandatory overtime.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 1, '07
  12. by   Sheri257
    Quote from mixyplixy
    they advertise a position but apparently already have lists of people who have already interviewed and are ready to be hired. Its complicated..takes alot of time and figuring things out...RNs are in a much better situation
    Yeah ... the advertisements can be very misleading. They only advertise the position because they're required to but, often the reality is ... by the time they advertise a position it has, for all practical purposes, been filled. They already have dozens of people they've interviewed or are currently interviewing for those jobs anyway.

    What you have to do is take the exam and get your application in for the NEXT openings, and that could be months later. And, even then, there's no guarantee. RN's actually aren't in that great of a position now because with a waiting list of 3,000 RN's statewide ... there's a hellava lot of competition for those jobs in a lot of areas.

    The best bet is to apply to rural areas where there isn't as much competition for CDC RN jobs or, get some other corrections experience that will give you an edge over the competition.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 1, '07
  13. by   HaveANiceDay1
    Thanks for the thorough responses about the testing/hiring process. A few more questions about RN job search: 1) Does anyone have experience applying at San Quentin? Do they typically have vacancies, or are they starting to fill up too. 2) Do they have an HIV/Infectious disease program & what's its reputation, 3) has anyone worked at Vacaville - also interested in their HIV/ID or Hospice services, and whats their RN vacancy like? 4) Would it give me an edge if I get ACLS certified? I don't have acute care experience. Thanks again, this forum is really helpful!!
  14. by   Sheri257
    I don't know about northern Cali but, I'd call the prison and ask them. Bay Area pay is higher in hospitals so, there may not be as much competition. In my area, the prisons pay a good $15-$20 an hour more than the hospitals so ... that's why there's so much competition for those jobs.

    :typing

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