Is Corrections a good job for a new RN Grad??? - page 2

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... Read More

  1. by   psychdave
    I second the NO. I work at a state prison and see it happen. New grad nurse gets the one day everybody passes ACLS class, First day out of school, and after a long time off looking for a job YOU are the stand alone ER nurse. When it all goes south administration will ask you all the hard questions. The prision I work at is mostly new grads. No place to learn. If you don't learn it the right way first you may never know the difference. Just my 2 cents
  2. by   Heavenly4505
    I just started a job at a correctional facility in Ohio (hired through agency, but if it works out, it will be an indefinite position). I received absolutely NO training. I don't even know what this "security training" is. I was basically told by my agency rep to show up on a particular date/time for "orientation." I walked in, went through all the security checks in the front, had a guard walk me back to the infirmary, and was then told that I would be doing the med pass to hundreds and hundreds of inmates that night by myself with absolutely no training (in other words, NOT an orientation). In the end, a couple of nurses who have been there for awhile offered to do the med pass and have me assist and "watch." Basically, they wanted me to sit on a chair out of their way. Nobody explained anything to me, they didn't show me where anything is. If I asked a question they seemed annoyed. This was all the first night.

    Second night, I did all the treatments, the huge med pass, and plus passed meds at the camp site for lower security inmates, all by myself! I have been a nurse since May 2011 (passed my boards at that time), but have only actually worked as a nurse for a few months and it's all been in long-term care. Even with my previous experience, I have no idea what I'm doing and feel very stressed out. So, no, I don't think corrections is an ideal job for a brand new grad. We have a couple of new grads working there now, but rumor is that they aren't going to last. Everybody complains about how slow they are at passing meds, and how they don't know anything, instead of trying to help them learn and giving them a chance. It can be rough to say the least!
  3. by   DesertRN2
    How sad @Heavenly4505. It is not a good job for a new grad without any support or orientation. You will be the one to deal with unfamilar situations and be expected to perform. Is no supervisor available? Sounds like a bad system you are working for.
  4. by   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, . . .

    Interesting thought, . .

    Are Doctors required to go through 1-4 years of being a general practitioner?

  5. by   Heavenly4505
    @DesertRN2 - The only "supervisor" is the administrator that runs the medical department. She leaves around 4:00-5:00 PM, and then that's it. We're on our own the rest of the night. I am a LPN, but the RNs are NOT our supervisors in this facility. We don't even really have a "charge nurse." It's pretty much everyone for themselves. I'm actually not a brand new grad, but I struggled in the beginning. I think I've got it pretty well now, but I have an interview Thursday at another long-term care facility. I really don't want to keep working for agency. They can cut your job at any time. I need something more permanent and stable.
  6. by   tmorris1730
    I personally like Corrections Nursing (I'm in Ohio). But with any specialty area, I personally recommend at least 2 years experience in a medical/surgical setting of some sort (hospital is the best). I was an LPN for 15 years, before obtaining my RN, and did one and a half years of med/surg at a local hospital before getting my corrections job. In Med/Surg you learn a lot of skills, especially assessment wise, which you need if you are going to work in a correctional setting.
  7. by   Neats
    I would say yes and no.
    1. What is your nursing goals professionally. where do you see your self 5 years from now.
    2. You need experience working with the population in corrections...both patient experience and co-worker experience. We learn from offenders and can manipulate with the best of them.
    3. Axis II diagnosis is profound in corrections...look this up if you do not know what it is. Dealing with this group takes verbal skills and a back bone.
    4. What ever you do ensure you learn the correct way first so you lessen the chances of being called into a court case.
    Good luck to you.
  8. by   cjr2619
    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!
  9. by   Orca
    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.
  10. by   jkp06366
    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.
  11. by   RN Rover
    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.
  12. by   aicfan
    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
  13. by   Jailhouse RN
    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