Pidgeon-holeing myself with Corrections?

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    I got an interview with a CA State Prison next week. I am a new grad with only an ICU residency under my belt. Everyone I talk to is telling me that if I do well and take the job it will hurt my chances in the future with getting a job in an acute care setting. Also, there aren't prison jobs like there are hospital jobs, which statistically makes it harder for me to have options after holding a prison job. The job opportunity at this CA prison is a limited term (12 months); because of the hiring freeze right now they are not able to offer permanent positions.

    I eventually would like to see myself in the emergency department. I enjoy trauma nursing, have thoroughly enjoyed my TNCC/ENPC. As a new graduate, would taking a job in corrections as my first job make me obsolete to employers in an acute care setting, particularly the ED?

    I hope this doesn't come off as ignorant, but I truly don't know how the general profession perceives correctional nursing. I have heard of employers passing off correctional nursing experience as non-acute, and therefore, not applicable.

    From what I understand, however, correctional nursing requires excellent assessment skills, and triage skills (with the occasional trauma/drug OD event). I don't see how ED employers could not value that.
  2. 3 Comments so far...

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    From what I can see and perceive, non-correctional people do think less of us. But, after being in a hospital setting (as a student only), I don't think I would ever work in a hospital if I can help it. I just have way too much fun and I get to see things even my friends in the ER never get to see.
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    It depends on what type of Correction Institution you are employed by. My previous experience was 8 months in an ICU position. I just started at a Hospital (300 beds) with 120 being mental health. This is in NC. I will be working in the ER department of the hospital. The hospital also has telemetry, med-surge units, an OR. The Correction infirmaries that are in each prison may not be so vast. My hospital in on the prison grounds, but is a seperate 5 floor building. My hospitals offers acute care to prisoners over the entire state of NC. Like you, my interest is in ER. After you finish your 12 month stint, try looking into large Correction State and Federal Hospitals (like the one in Butner NC) that operates as full hospitals with JAHCO accredidation. Hopes this helps
  5. 1
    Corrections is a growth industry. The N.C. facility described is exceptional compared to what is done in AZ. One great thing: you don't have to worry about HCAHPS patient satisfaction questions.
    ChuckeRN likes this.


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