Is Corrections a good job for a new RN Grad??? - page 3

by nursgwithcompassion 12,560 Views | 28 Comments

Hi, Im a new grad RN and also new to allnurses. Im intrested in working in corrections. Not really sure what to expect. I would like to get informaion on scenerios and interview techniques. Is this the right field to get into as... Read More


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    I have a question...if corrections isn't a good place and med/surg is, what do you do if all hospitals are requiring prior experience? What is a good place a new grad can start to get good experience that isn't a hospital setting? (All the jobs at the hospital in my area are not hiring new grads)

    Thank you!
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    You do what you have to do, and do your best to survive. When I graduated nursing school there was a nursing surplus (my luck being what it is). I sent out blind letters and resumes to every hospital in my area. I was hired - for a charge position - at one of them. I had no experience, I had never set up a chart and I had never taken a doctor's order over the phone. Add to this that it was a new unit in a specialty this hospital had never offered before, and no one there knew any more than I did about how things were supposed to run. It was a sink-or-swim situation.

    Nursing skills are best acquired in a hospital setting, IMO. Eleven years in correctional nursing have not changed my opinion about that. You see a lot of things in corrections, but generally we don't do enough of any one thing for nurses to get good at it skill-wise if corrections is their only background. Also in my agency night shift nurses, where new hires often wind up, are on duty alone in several facilities - not a situation you want to be in if your skills aren't polished.
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    I think it is a good start for a new grad. At the jail I work, we have approx 1000 inmates. The new employees start to work doing the med pass. This gets the person experience interacting with the inmates and allows them to work on the assessment skills as well as learning what to look for when determining if there is an actual need or a con. I enjoy my job very much and would recommend it to others. A person just needs to look at themself and determine if they can treat a person without judgement. A person also needs to be able to be aware of their environment while they are doing their job. Good luck to ya, we are always hiring where I work.
    dalgal and KimberlyRN89 like this.
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    I just started in corrections, I'm working in a CA state prison through agency and I love it. I am not exactly a new grad, having had my nursing license for nearly two years already. I spent the first year out of school either taking care of a family member who was dying of cancer at home, or taking care of other oncology patients as a private hire home hospice nurse. I had a very difficult time finding any sort of nursing position my second year as a nurse and was unemployed for over 9 months! My experience in home health did not seem to count which translated into neither a new grad nor a nurse with experience. So I was ecstatic and relieved to finally get offered a contract position in corrections. For me it's working out because there are other nurses on shift with me who are willing to answer questions and guide me. Security training was a day and I've been 'orienting' for the last two weeks which means another nurse is assigned to train me that shift. I will get two weeks of "staff development" in a couple of weeks, this will mostly be about using the electronic medical record I'm told.

    Though my nursing experience is limited, my peers at this facility seem very impressed with my computer and charting skills and my willingness to jump in feet first and just give it my all. Corrections is not for the faint of heart and I think it takes a certain kind of nurse who can be flexible and autonomous and learn very quickly in a rapidly changing environment. So for me, having never worked in a hospital or clinical environment, it's turning out to be a good start. It's easy to say that we all need 1-2 yrs in med/surg before we're ready for specialties, but the reality is that those jobs aren't available, so take what you can get and do your very best. Maybe you'll find it suits you like I found, if not, at least you've made a little money and gotten a bit of experience and are better prepared for the next assignment.
    cin-RN, zb8943, SMOKEY2112, and 6 others like this.
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    I think that you should have at least a year of med surg. first. Corrections is very autonomous and tou have to be able to detect malingerers
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    Corrections is not a good place for a new RN grad. Too many places to get caught up and or fooled by inmates. You need top notch assessment skills along with real life experience. Corrections is not designed for new nurses. I sincerely suggest getting a few years of med surg / ER before comming o Corrections. But I welcome you to professional nursing
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    Maybe it isn't the best place for a New Grad, but if it is the job you are offered, and the only one, I'd take it and make what I could of it.
    KimberlyRN89 likes this.
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    Correctional nursing is an environment similar to the burn unit... You only have to work there for about a week before you know if it is right for you or not. Go for it, just dont put all your chips on it, as you may find it to be a terrible fit for you.
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    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Wow, there is this predominance in the nursing profession to get a strong foundation in Med-Surg nursing before venturing out to see what else is out there, . . .<br>
    <br>
    Interesting thought, . . <br>
    <br>
    Are Doctors required to go through 1-4 years of being a general practitioner?<br>
    <br>
    I THINK IT DEPENDS ON THE PERSON, THE ENVIRONMENT, DESIRE, and DRIVE/MATURITY<img src="http://img.an-file.info/smilies/twocents.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Twocents" smilieid="134" class="inlineimg">
    <br><br>I so agree, I started out in corrections right after LPN school and after a yer, when I completed my ADN to get my RN, pretty much everyone was pushing med surg ... I applied and was offerred a position but ultimately chose to stay in corrections because I feel I am where I want to be and get to do things such as blood draws and I.V.s, and especially, I get to work with corrections staff, mental health providers and really have a supportive atmosphere... I think you should go with where you picture yourself happy, not just take the path people think you should take...<br>That's just my 2 cents.... good luck to you!


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