New RN Grad going to CA Prisons

  1. 0 Hello everyone,

    Im starting my classes soon and hope to graduate around 2015. My ultimate passion is to work in the prison system or jail systems in CA... To this date, do they still hire New Grads?

    I have many friends as CO's in the prisions and wanted to know if that helps getting in as well?

    Is there any externships I can do while in school for me to get into the prison systems?
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  3. Visit  misspinkmeow profile page

    About misspinkmeow

    misspinkmeow has '3' year(s) of experience. From 'Clovis, CA, US'; Joined Mar '12; Posts: 69; Likes: 4.

    28 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  misspinkmeow profile page
    0
    I also forgot to ask.... I notice that California Department of Corrections has openings for CNA. Does being a CNA in the prisons help getting your foot in the door too? Should i take the Free CNA course here in Fresno now and work the 6 months of experience that they require then apply?
  5. Visit  Nurse2b209 profile page
    0
    That sounds like a good idea. I have a friend who works as a CNA @ the womens prison @ Chowchilla which isn't too far from Fresno.
  6. Visit  misspinkmeow profile page
    0
    Do you think it will help me get in or am I wasting my time and just stay the RN route? I'm gonna start RN soon but if I should take the cna class now then I will before I start the program
  7. Visit  Nurse2b209 profile page
    0
    I would say take the CNA class if you actually have the time to do it though.
  8. Visit  Nurse2b209 profile page
    0
    I don't know everything there is to know about the prison system. I've been a CNA since 2008 and start nursing school next month. Some nursing programs will let you sit for the CNA test I believe after the 1st or 2nd semester of nursing school. I'm not entirely sure so it would be best to contact the program you want to attend.
  9. Visit  rn619 profile page
    0
    cna thru a registry is definitey a way in and a quick view of what to expect in general
  10. Visit  misspinkmeow profile page
    0
    Registry? I have heard of this term but I dont know what it is? Im assuming like a staffing agency? Who do you go through in Fresno and or San luis obispo?

    If i can sit for the CNA exam after taking some classes in the RN program that would be easier. If not, I will have to figure out a way to take a night class or weekend course.
  11. Visit  trutuyu profile page
    1
    I recently graduated nursing school. I have an entire family (father, father in law, aunts, uncles, etc.) that works as prison guards. I still can't get a job in the prison system. Your best bet is to get a job as a CNA. But that is true for any job you want as a nurse. You can sit and challenge the CNA state test once you complete your 1st semester of nursing school. And you can actually sit and challenge the state test to become an LVN after your second semester of nursing school (most people don't tell you that one). Good luck.
    misspinkmeow likes this.
  12. Visit  misspinkmeow profile page
    0
    LVN huh? Didn't know that :-)I will challenge the CNA and start working as one while in school so that it would helpWhy can't you work as a CNA in the prison now?
  13. Visit  Orca profile page
    0
    Quote from misspinkmeow
    Hello everyone,

    Im starting my classes soon and hope to graduate around 2015. My ultimate passion is to work in the prison system or jail systems in CA... To this date, do they still hire New Grads?

    I have many friends as CO's in the prisions and wanted to know if that helps getting in as well?

    Is there any externships I can do while in school for me to get into the prison systems?
    I am a DON in a western state, and while I cannot address issues specific to California I can address in part the hiring issue. Honestly, someone going from CNA to RN would not get as much consideration as one going from LPN to RN. A person's work as a CNA would tell me very little about the kind of RN that person would make, because there is too big a discrepancy in duties and responsibilities. I might know you personally and know something about your character and work ethic, but I would have no idea how well you could handle nursing responsibilities from CNA work.

    I have heard that California hires new grads.

    If I were in your spot I would skip the CNA route. Just one man's opinion.
  14. Visit  misspinkmeow profile page
    1
    Thanks for your input. I have read that I can apply for an LVN license after a few RN classes and start working while in school. Is that a better route?
    Orca likes this.
  15. Visit  240zRN profile page
    0
    Not sure if you can "challenge" the LVN while in RN school like you can the CNA; at least not in CA. If it is true, however, I'd imagine it not be too far off between the point when you can challenge the LVN to getting your RN. State jobs are hard to get into, because once people do they seem to plant themselves. Will CA prisons hire new grads? Yes, yes they will. I was hired and considered a "new grad" because I have less than 6 months experience at the time of my hire. I met a handful of nurses who were hired from the get go.

    I think that correctional hiring persons take into consideration an applicant's "personality" as a greater weighing factor than other hiring perspectives (hospital). This is mainly because the job not only requires keen nursing skills but the environment and duty itself lends unique challenges. It is an environment that can be (depending on the institution and post you work in within the prison) stressful and full of tension. Regardless of how much one knows about how to operate as a nurse in an emergency situation, it won't work if the person does not have the reserve required to be able to process riots, stabbings, and many other violent situations that tend to precipitate in a prison environment.

    Fact is, the nursing environment in a prison is not pretty. We use out-dated equipment by most standards, rely on our autonomous judgement in most situations, and are expected to change gears from "calm doctor's office" to "first responder to bloody scene" in a drop of a hat. It takes special people to be able to do this, in my opinion. I guess what I am trying to get at is I would worry less about "getting your foot in the door" and more about tailoring your nursing academics/experience to reflect your ability to work autonomously and respond to emergencies. Try and get an emergency dept externship/preceptorship during RN school and sign up for clinic work where you get to use RN critical thinking and RN standing orders to treat patients (occupational health, urgent care) once you get your RN [these are easier to land jobs than acute care/hospital jobs at the moment].

    Good Luck!


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