Common Correctional Nursing Interview Questions

  1. 6
    Hi, Gang: I'm collecting a compendium of Interview Questions and best answers for folks prepping for a correctional nursing job interview. Could you chime in with yours even if you might have posted elsewhere on this forum? It would be good to have them all in one place for newbies searching this site (I will also include them on a special section of my blog).

    Thanks for all the time and effort you spend helping new correctional nurses learn the ropes!

    Luve this dancing guy!
    guereb07, je80ss, Jmats, and 3 others like this.

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  2. 148 Comments...

  3. 1
    The only one that I remember stuck in my mind as it was out of date - fortunately I have been around for a long time. The question - What are the 5 rights of medication? I scrambled and left out the newer 6th right and thus got it right. All the other questions that I encountered had to do with scenarios. As I understand the process, and this is just hearsay, the state sents out a series of about 20 questions and each facility then picks which 5 they will ask each candidate.
    LorrySchoenlyRNPhD likes this.
  4. 11
    We always ask applicants how they believe that their nursing practice might change as a result of working in a prison environment. We are looking for things such as maintaining professional distance, not offering to do favors for inmates, security concerns and so forth.

    We ask applicants to tell us something we might not know about them from reading their applications. We ask them about their best work-related trait, and a how they would deal with someone they observed working outside his/her scope of practice. We also ask them how they approach problem solving, and to give an example of how they applied this approach to a work problem.

    I don't have the interview questions in front of me, but that covers a good part of our interview.
  5. 2
    These are great - yes, it is so hard to remember the interview questions if it has been a while since you applied. It will be very helpful to new candidates to corrections positions to get an idea of what to expect that might be different from a traditional nursing staff position.

    My place also has a standard list of 'behavioral' questions which focus on scenarios. Things like - give an example of a time you had to make a tough clinical decision and how you went about it.

    If you think of any others, please post. This thread will be valuable for folks in the future.

    luckie and Faeriewand like this.
  6. 5
    I just started at CTF (as an LVN) on Monday and I remember some of my questions (interview was 10/7/09 and we got 10 questions)
    5 rights of med administration, I did give them all 6
    What is diabetes and how would you do patient teaching for an inmate on how to manage diabetes.
    What would you do if you found an inmate down?
    What would you do if an inmate was threatening to jump from the 3rd tier.
    How do you feel about providing care for inmates.
    Why do you want to work in a correctional facility.
    These were the ones that stuck out to me.
    MoshRN, debygirl, Megkimura, and 2 others like this.
  7. 2
    Another interview question, which can be very telling sometimes: We ask applicants if they have ever been fired from a job, or have ever been asked to resign in lieu of termination. Sometimes the reason makes sense, just a bad situation. Other times applicants may reveal that they have a problem following directives, or that they can be unreliable.
    Dragonstrike and MoshRN like this.
  8. 9
    The following questions are included in our oral examination for Registered Nurses:
    1. Describe your background in nursing and how this will compliment the duties for a Correctional Health Nurse.
    2. You will be making decisions about whether an inmate seen by you may need to see an MD. What are some factors you would consider in your decision?
    3. What are some key principles of infection control?
    4. An inmate/resident presents with complaints of pain in his left ear. Discuss your assessment process.
    5. Manipulative behavior is very common among the inmate population. what are some nursing skills that are helpful in dealing with this behavior?6. Describe your attributes and experiences that would enhance your ability to work with a diverse population.
    7. Practicing nursing in a correctional facility requires specialized skills, knowledge and work behaviors. Describe what you think they are.

    Hope you find this helpful!

  9. 1
    Hey guys, thanks for posting these interview questions! Can anyone tell me what SHOULD you do if you found an inmate down, or an inmate threatening to jump?

    Can you also give me some tips on how you would deal with manipulative behavior or what special skills are necessary to work in this environment?
    NurseCubanitaRN2b likes this.
  10. 10
    Quote from lm8539
    Can anyone tell me what SHOULD you do if you found an inmate down, or an inmate threatening to jump?Can you also give me some tips on how you would deal with manipulative behavior or what special skills are necessary to work in this environment?
    ManDown or Threat to Self/other Harm: first hit your alarm to summon or otherwise summon assistance. If man down - assess for danger to self or have C.O secure scene. Then proceed to assess inmate for extent of medical intervention needed and act accordingly. For Threat to harm: Summon assistance. Use psych skills to maintain inmate attention, and assurance of no need to self harm. Do not attempt to bring the inmate down as they may take you with them.
    Manipulative behaviour: Set clear and firm limits. Let inmate know that manipulation is not acceptable nor will it be tolerated.
    Special skills - respect for yourself and the ability to set limits in a fair and balanced manner.
    Megkimura, pnkgirl25, pookyp, and 7 others like this.
  11. 5
    I am loving the responses on this thread. I know this will be a great help to our nurse friends looking to break into this specialty. Lorry
    kuan yin, DawnJ, KimberlyRN89, and 2 others like this.

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