New graduate RN with OH correctional facility job offering. Seeking advice!

  1. 0
    Hello all!
    I am a new graduate RN who has recently been offered a job at an Ohio correctional facility. Sadly, I've applied to approximately 100+ RN job openings & the only 2 offerings I've gotten were for a summer camp that's through Big Brothers/Sisters & would only be from June-August, & the second was this correctional facility. Who would have thought finding an RN job would be so tough?! As a new grad, I'm definitely looking for the best experience possible, so I'm hoping for some feedback on what to do since getting a hospital & long term care facility job has been impossible (I've been applying for months now). I did my practicum in a pediatric ER, but I know the situations I'll see in the correctional facility will be a lot different. I'm feeling a bit under prepared, but at the same time I'm so discouraged from being rejected with the whole "sorry, you don't have enough experience" over & over again! Any advice about new grads in correctional facilities &/or opinions on which would be better experience (summer camp vs. corrections) for a new grad trying to eventually get into a hospital setting (I'd love to do PACU or surgery someday) would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. 1
    My honest opinion is that correctional nursing is not a good spot for a new graduate. It requires a degree of independence that a new graduate cannot have. My agency does not hire new grads. That said, I understand the reality of having few offers and having to choose between two offers that may be less than ideal under your circumstances.

    Being a nurse in a prison is not unlike being a nurse in a small town. You see a little of a lot of things, just not enough to get really good at treating most of them - which is part of the problem. Assessment skills are key, because inmates will try to dupe you to get whatever they can out of you - whether it is medication, a doctor visit or a trip to the hospital.

    Ideally, you would get at least a year of experience somewhere else before going into corrections. However, you aren't in an ideal situation. I would begin by reading whatever references you can find on physical assessment, to polish your skills as much as you can. There are a number of threads in this forum about dealing with inmates, so I won't go into a lot of detail about that. Just stick to your policies and be consistent.

    I'm not an expert on camp jobs, but from the outside that strikes me as mainly first aid, which is not what you are looking for.

    Good luck to you.
    TriciaJ likes this.
  3. 0
    Please get the book (I can't remember who wrote it) "Games Criminals Play and How You Can Benefit From Knowing Them". I share the previous poster's concerns about hiring new grads into corrections, but you have to eat while you find what you're looking for. Ask lots of questions of the staff, and see if you can find a solid mentor to help you learn the ropes. Try to develop a good working relationship with the corrections officers. If you're astute and a fast learner, this will be doable.
  4. 2
    I work as a NP in a Texas Dept
    Criminal
    Justice Correctional Unit, it is a regional hospital and psych unit. I have worked there 9 years, (the only job I have had as an NP). I have seen so many very advanced diseases then you will see outside prison walls. I have learned so much and I value my experience. At the end of the day, I go home knowing I take the best care I can of my patients.
    4boysmama and itsmejuli like this.
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    If it is your only option right now I say go for it. You need the experience and working with the inmates will give you a tough skin in my opinion. After one or two years of experience and outstanding performance at work, you will be more qualified for work at a hospital or anywhere else. Just remember you are a nurse and you can use your skills everywhere to help people. By the way, how much is the pay? Good luck!!!
    LubbockNP likes this.
  6. 1
    My advice to you is to go online to a site like monster or indeed or find a recruiter. They can get all of your skills and qualifications and they (recruiters) have connections pertaining to need so you can be placed in a position suitable to you. The biggest problem I had with corrections nursing is getting hired when I wanted out. No one wanted to hire me because they all thought that all we do is sick calls and pass meds and that is definitely not the case.
    pookyp likes this.


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