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Correctional Nursing Salary

Hey Everyone,

Does anybody know the average salary for a corrections nurse and/or how it compares to hospital pay. Also, do you usually need a certain amount of RN experience? I've been an RN for about 5 months now and working in a hospital setting and I absolutley hate it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

sirI, MSN, APRN, NP

Has 30 years experience. Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

NurseNikki5 said:
Hey Everyone,

Does anybody know the average salary for a corrections nurse and/or how it compares to hospital pay. Also, do you usually need a certain amount of RN experience? I've been an RN for about 5 months now and working in a hospital setting and I absolutley hate it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

I think that you could apply for a position withing the correctional facilities now. They will teach/orient you to their way of doing things. I am not familiar with the salary ranges in your state ( you did not state) institutions and corrrectional facilities. Someone will come along and answer that question for you.

In my area, they are BEGGING for nurses in correctional medicine. LPN, RN and NP. Physicians, too.

Oh, and, :balloons: Welcome to AllNurses.com :balloons:

I'm in Central Florida and my base pay is 19.00 an hour

BigB

Has 3 years experience. Specializes in Knuckle Dragging Nurse aka MTA.

correctional LPN's make $25 an hour in california. The benifits / retirment is amazing though.

live4today, RN

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

What's the biggest fear correctional nurses face working with the inmate population?

Nikki,

The Correctional Nursing Salary in Texas in some areas is slightly less in actual pay than what the hospitals offers. However, the benefits are great and can't compare to the hospitals. We have hired new graduate nurses, it will just depend on the hiring procedures at the particular location you are interested in. Yes the paper work in the Correctional setting is much different from the hospital, but the patient care is the same. Just remember that no matter where you work, the patient deserves the best care that you can give him. I've been at a CC Facility for several years and really don't want to go back to a hospital. There are many areas of nursing that you can go into and maybe you just haven't found yours yet. Also, it's possible it could be the hospital you are at. It's amazing how wonderful managers, co-workers and admin can make a difference.

Hi, I work corrections in Washington state and make between 60,000 - 65,000 annually. The benefits are good, and there's lots of overtime. I make less than local hospital nurses but make more than nurses in small rual areas. I'm glad I made the switch to correctional nursing. I was burned out in a level three trauma center running my tushie off all day long. Though I would bet it makes a difference on the correctional facility, some can be scary. jj

BigB

Has 3 years experience. Specializes in Knuckle Dragging Nurse aka MTA.

cheerfuldoer said:
What's the biggest fear correctional nurses face working with the inmate population?

1.getting killed by an inmate..never turn your back on one.

2.contracting HIV/AIDS from an inmate (gigantic hiv/aids population in prison) from a bite or spit.

3. Getting spit on,and urine and feces tosses on us during med pass.

4. sexual harassment is a big deal. (well, for the female nurses)

corectional nursing will make you harder, colder. but its a way of life. i still prefer it to the hospital acute setting though. a lot of male nurses like myself enjoy it, alouth a lot of women nuses don't, understandably.

BigB - Do you know of anyone that has contracted HIV/AIDS from being spit on? Highly unlikely.

cheerfuldoer said:
What's the biggest fear correctional nurses face working with the inmate population?

Riot/hostage situation. Can happen anywhere. We had an incident last week when an inmate tried to take a detention officer hostage. She flipped, maced X2 and subdued him. Total lockdown is going on.

BigB said:
1.getting killed by an inmate..never turn your back on one.

2.contracting HIV/AIDS from an inmate (gigantic hiv/aids population in prison) from a bite or spit.

3. Getting spit on,and urine and feces tosses on us during med pass.

4. sexual harassment is a big deal. (well, for the female nurses)

corectional nursing will make you harder, colder. but its a way of life. i still prefer it to the hospital acute setting though. a lot of male nurses like myself enjoy it, alouth a lot of women nuses don't, understandably.

I don't know how long you've been in corrections, but I'm going on 10 years and I have been spat on once, by a psych patient. I was assaulted more than once in hospital nursing and feel much safer working in correctional nursing.

For the most part, the inmates treat the nurses with respect as thay know we are there to get them health care if that is what they need. I have even had other inmates reprimand a fellow inmate who is disrespectful to the nurse. And I and other nurses on my unit have been thanked by inmates who were helped by virtue of being incarcerated and getting medical care they would not have gotten on the outside.

Granted, I work in a jail setting, so our inmates are usually not long termers with nothing to lose. I suppose that dealing with lifers might be a bit more dangerous.

Still, I have never felt threatened in this setting, and there were times in the hospital that I didn't feel as safe as I do in the correctional environment.

NurseNikki5 said:
Hey Everyone,

Does anybody know the average salary for a corrections nurse and/or how it compares to hospital pay. Also, do you usually need a certain amount of RN experience? I've been an RN for about 5 months now and working in a hospital setting and I absolutley hate it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

It depends on who you work for. And the county's budget. I don't think the pay will touch what you make in the hospital but the job is not a hard one.

Hmmm. Corrections is like Clinic nursing, or ICU, or peds, or OB-GYN. If you like it, the pay is different in different situations. If the pay is the key, go work for a lawyer.

You can get $10/hr in corrections or maybe $40/hr. Maybe an attorney wil pay you more. I worked as a nurse for California in the 80's for $65k/yr. Gave it up to go to med school. Not much more pay and huge student loans. So....I could have retired next year...

If you love what you are doing, don't give it up. If you hate what you are doing, give it up at all cost!

Corrections is great for me. I am safe, there is not a lot of physical labor. My patients appreciate me, or they sue me, and I find the lawsuits interesting! I heartily recommend Corrections Larry

bsweilrn

Has 18 years experience. Specializes in ER, Corrections, LTC, ICU, Case Mgt.

I left staff nursing in Major ER/trauma center to go to corrections.

I have been here ~9mo, and make ~50K annually. I have 15 yrs of experience, and a BSN.

The pay is ~2K less base pay than hospital, but good differentials and vacation time.

Also the pace is much slower. (I am at work now)

But RN's(at least here) are treated the same as LPN's and Medical assistance with only a few exceptions.

Pretty mindless work for the pay.

psychonurse

Specializes in ER, ICU, Corrections.

There are many times that you feel a little unnerved working in corrections, I mean we work with people that have nothing to lose and would as much kill you as look at you, but I have been in this business for 16 years and I have been treated better by inmates than clients in the hospital. I think people in the hospital feel that they are in a high class motel and they don't care how many patients that you have but they are the most important.

I don't know how many times inmates have thanked me for the care that they have been given and they appreciate what we do for them. I love my job and would not go back to hospital nursing ever..this is where I am going to finish my career at and I hope that I don't hit burnout before that day happens.

BigB

Has 3 years experience. Specializes in Knuckle Dragging Nurse aka MTA.

Crawsu said:
I don't know how long you've been in corrections, but I'm going on 10 years and I have been spat on once, by a psych patient. I was assaulted more than once in hospital nursing and feel much safer working in correctional nursing.

For the most part, the inmates treat the nurses with respect as thay know we are there to get them health care if that is what they need. I have even had other inmates reprimand a fellow inmate who is disrespectful to the nurse. And I and other nurses on my unit have been thanked by inmates who were helped by virtue of being incarcerated and getting medical care they would not have gotten on the outside.

Granted, I work in a jail setting, so our inmates are usually not long termers with nothing to lose. I suppose that dealing with lifers might be a bit more dangerous.

Still, I have never felt threatened in this setting, and there were times in the hospital that I didn't feel as safe as I do in the correctional environment.

I work at a level 4 maximum security prison. Lifers fill the place and they have nothing to lose, which is why they committ the actions i listed above (spitting, throwing feces and urine, biting, and attacking the nurses and correctional officers). While i do prefer corrections over the hospital setting and LTC, the downside to correctional nursing is it makes people harder and colder. Its the way you have to be working around killers and rapists.

SlavicNurse

Has 16 years experience.

I work in Tennessee and the starting salary for LPNs is 16-17/hr. Much better than hospitals.

Hi. I am a new R.N., just got my results this morning! YAY! Anyways, I am in California and will be working at a Corrections Cener here. They just got an 18% pay raise this year. They start off at about $6650.00 a month, plus great benefits and retirement! Ya really can't beat it. They also have bonuses! ;-). Will keep you posted on how I like it. Lori R.N. (Oh that feels good! R.N.!)

Gabbiegal31 said:
Hi. I am a new R.N., just got my results this morning! YAY! Anyways, I am in California and will be working at a Corrections Cener here. They just got an 18% pay raise this year. They start off at about $6650.00 a month, plus great benefits and retirement! Ya really can't beat it. They also have bonuses! ;-). Will keep you posted on how I like it. Lori R.N. (Oh that feels good! R.N.!)

Congratulations on becoming an RN!

Thank you so much! I am on cloud 9, because like eveyone else who takes it, the waiting was sooo hard. It feels good to have all the hard work pay off! Lori ;-)

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