How does correctional nursing look on future applications?

  1. 0
    Hey all-
    I am a new grad and I applied for a job in a county jail for which I have received a conditional offer. I have not made a commitment to this job yet as I am still waiting for my transcripts to arrive to their HR. I am excited about this job opportunity as I know it is hard for new grads to find jobs. But I am curious as to how potential future employers will view this experience. I know all the pluses such as good assessment skills and autonomy, but will having this be my only experience hinder me? Should I focus more on getting a hospital job?

    My ultimate goal is to do international and/or travel nursing, but I do not have a specialty area that I am leaning towards.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. 8 Comments...

  3. 0
    Correctional nursing is fantastic experience that is generally not valued by other employers in healthcare. It can create a stigma or blot on your resume if you try to get into hospital nursing later. That said, I'm a former correctional nurse now working in a hospital psych unit.

    Correctional nursing does not fit well with your long term goals to work as a travel nurse. Travel nurse jobs within corrections are few and generally don't pay well.

    However, it may fit with your short term goal - employment and starting your nursing career. I do know of other nurses who started in corrections and eventually went to hospital work like med/surg and ED. It was VERY difficult for them to get into acute care.

    I'd focus on what interests you and go from there.
  4. 3
    My hospital's ER was so impressed with all that I learned in 1 year of correctional nursing as an LPN that now I'm one of the few exceptions to the "no LPNs in the ER" rule.

    Corrections was the best decision I ever made after school. It was the most difficult job I could have ever imagined, but 11 months and 1 week of that business made me fast, efficient, and perfected my triage and assessment abilities beyond that which no amount of schooling could have prepared me for.

    Then again, I also clearly laid out with diagrams, monthly schedules, and vividly animated retellings of my experiences in corrections that forced my hiring managers to see how valuable my experience was. It all depends on the twist with which you entail your correctional job duties to your prospective, non-corrections employer.
    Ultraposh, MamaMac, and lindarn like this.
  5. 1
    I have no personal experience on this, but I would assume that correctional nursing would be a positive notch on your resume. Correctional nursing isn't for everybody. In my opinion, it takes a very motivated, headstrong, and emotionally strong person to work in such a challenging setting. If it is looked down upon (and some hospitals may, some may not), it really would itch in my mind why that is so.
    cchezem15 likes this.
  6. 0
    When you put it on your resume, make sure that you detail all the things you have done in terms of using/adding/improving skills. A DON I once worked for likened it to being a nurse in a small town (in effect, what a jail or prison is), and you see and do a lot of different things. It would be an exaggeration to say that it is like being on a med/surg floor, but I dealt with a lot of things for the first time after switching to corrections.
  7. 0
    Hi,
    Congradulations on becoming a (n) Nurse. It will be very rewarding because you are trained to provide health care to those less fortunate (healthwise).
    Correctional Nursing is great, but as a new graduate, Medical/Surgical Nursing is a good start because you learn how to prioritize your duties on a large Unit such as initiating IV's, Medical Assessments, Providing Nursing Care (Bedside Nursing) which help to develop your Care Plan (remember?-smile). You will also learn your medications, uses, and side effects, and practice within your scope of Nursing.
    In Correctional Nursing, the inmates are very charming, cunning, and manipulate you as much as they can. The Autonomy you speak of is also great which can make it a bit scary because everyone will look to you to see if you were correct. I don't mean to scare you, because you may have much experience, and of course I do not know you at this time.
    I am a Correctional Nurse (Certified with the National Commission) x 12 years, and felt comfortable in this field because I had many years of experience before I started.
    I wish you the best in all you do. Thanks.
  8. 0
    Sorry, I forgot to say that Correctional Nursing experience will be a great asset to your Resume because it helps to let others know that you are well-rounded in your Career
  9. 0
    Quote from krf1989
    Hey all-
    I am a new grad and I applied for a job in a county jail for which I have received a conditional offer. I have not made a commitment to this job yet as I am still waiting for my transcripts to arrive to their HR. I am excited about this job opportunity as I know it is hard for new grads to find jobs. But I am curious as to how potential future employers will view this experience. I know all the pluses such as good assessment skills and autonomy, but will having this be my only experience hinder me? Should I focus more on getting a hospital job?

    My ultimate goal is to do international and/or travel nursing, but I do not have a specialty area that I am leaning towards.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated!
    my first job out of school... county jail
    made 32 bux an hour
    charge nurse by default cuz everyone else was lpn

    i flippin loved that job!!!

    took me 8 months to get on at a hospital when i realized i might need to be a nurse a while in a hospital setting before getting pigeon holed into one type of nursing

    i never would have gotten on at the hospital if i did not have 2 friends there begging their boss to hire me

    i got hired into the icu

    i could kick myself!!!

    i wish i had done what everyone said- 2 years of med-surg

    i am overwhelmed, clumsy, stressed, walk around feeling retarded most of the time, etc etc

    it will get better

    but it also feels like a step down

    i took a paycut
    and i am out of my element

    however
    i am getting all of the skills and experiences i need to write my own travel ticket

    so my advice
    based on almost identical circumstances

    is hold out for the hospital

    the county jail on the resume scared more people than it impressed

    matter of fact, my new employers were very concerned that because i worked in a jail i was going to come in with a bad attitude and a filthy mouth

    it does have a stigma

    it is also dangerous- not the inmates but your license
    the jail dr did goofy things like try and make me hang cardizem drips and rocephin without iv pumps, he would forget to renew people's coumadin orders and if you calle dhim (i was on nights) he would cuss you out for letting people run out of coumadin, there is no backup if someone codes other than cops, and the people in the medical units are not acutely ill usually, just to old to be in population, ams, prosthetic limbs, etc

    if anyone really got sick i called an ambulance

    is that what i worked so hard to get my license for??? to call ambulances??? pass pills???



    whenever i am ready to get fat and retire, county jail... here i come!!!
  10. 0
    Thank you everyone for all of the responses! I have still not received an official offer from the jail but today I received an offer for a part-time telemetry position and have to get back to them within a few days. Would I be crazy to try and see if the jail would allow me to work prn so I could get more experience? Or would this be too overwhelming to start two brand new and completely different jobs as a new grad? I am still a bit undecided about everything being as it is all so new.


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