San Quentin RN – Possibly applying, need feedback please.

  1. Hello Everyone! I have 3yrs experience as a Med/Surg RN, I have a BSN and Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. I’m also a 7yr military veteran. Though I really like the acute care setting where I’m at, I’m giving correctional nursing serious consideration. Every one of my fellow RN friends who knows someone that is employed in a prison as an RN say that they are very satisfied with their job. I have some questions about San Quentin Nursing that I’m hoping I can get some current information on before I apply as everything I’m finding on this website is outdated information.

    -What is it that you like about the facility, population, environment, staff, managers, and general support?
    -What is it that you don’t like?
    -What is the level of one’s autonomy there?
    -Does it feel like a team environment or more like individual?
    -Do they start all RNs at the lowest pay regardless of experience?
    -Is starting pay negotiable?
    -Does military time carry over towards retirement?
    -Does federal employment carry over towards retirement such as time worked at the VA?
    -Are there any military veteran RNs there?
    -Is it true that your lunch time is included in your 8hr shift, meaning you clock in at say 6a and clock out at 2p?
    -How does overtime work? Is it anything over 8hrs in a day or 40hrs in a week? I know OT is 1.5 (time and a half) but is OT ever 2 (double time) other than for holiday pay?
    -Are there any differentials and if so what are they?
    -Is 100% your health benefits paid for? If not, what is the monthly cost?
    -Are there bonuses?
    -How often is OT mandated?
    -What is a great certification to have as an applicant?
    -Are there opportunities for upward mobility?
    -How frequent and/or how challenging is it to receive pay raises?
    -When is the next general across the board pay increase for correctional nurses? When was the last one?
    -What degree of flexibility exists when needing time off?

    I know it’s a lengthy list of questions. Your response will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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    About capnurse

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 10; Likes: 1


  3. by   CryssyD
    Call HR at San Quentin and schedule an interview--you don't have to go through with the entire application process if you don't like the answers you get. I'm sure they'll be happy to speak with you.
  4. by   Wolf at the Door
    I applied no call backs but nor did I pursue it. I determined that living in the Bay area was too expensive even with that pay. I interviewed with another prison instead.
  5. by   Wolf at the Door
    You have to bid for a schedule. You may work every weekend until your year is up. Overtime is working 2 8 hour shifts back to back. My friend and I both think if you are working nights (10-6am) which is most likely then unless you come in on your off days to get OT. More than likely there is no overtime to sign up for day shift meaning it might not be possible to work (10pm-2pm). Possibly overtime on evening shift (2pm-6am)
  6. by   XNavyCorpsman
    I was in the same boat as you are in. I got hooked up with a temp agency and did on-call at a State Prison. Let me tell you, that is NOT nursing as you know it. NO empathy, NO caring.