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valzRN ASN, RN

LTC, Correctional Nursing
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valzRN has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, Correctional Nursing.

I started out as a CNA and worked in various nursing homes for 17 years before obtaining my LPN. I worked as an LPN in Correctional Nursing for a couple of years and decided to get my RN. After receiving my RN I tried to get into the hospitals to no avail... I ended up back in LTC and eventually back to Correctional Nursing where I felt most comfortable. So... to break up the hum-drum of nursing, I earned my AA degree in Photography with a minor in Graphic Design and like to do that on the side for fun. 😉

valzRN's Latest Activity

  1. valzRN

    Corizon and polygraph testing

    I think that the pay varies from state to state... you would have to have a fellow NYer answer that one, as far as the hours (I am guessing you meant hours and not tours?) Some states work 12 and some work 8. It was listed on the Corizon site when I filled out the application for employment. We do 8's here though.
  2. valzRN

    Drug-seeking in prison? Rx narcotics?

    I don't worry about it because they know what I say is true. They can put all the sick calls they want for more meds or even narcs, but our dr. doesn't do that. I don't get smart with them until they start in on me. These guys around here know how I am. I just tell them like it is, no BS. There are enought nurses around here that "feed" them the line of crap all the time. I'm not worried about being shanked around here because these guys know that if there is any nurse around here that advocates for them it's me. I work in confinement so there is little to no contact with them except when I draw labs. No, I don't have a lot of compassion left in me, but that goes along with any nursing job. When your patients lie to you about just about anything just to manipulate the situation to get what they want, it happens. Besides, I am sure that ER nurses, floor nurses, nursing home nurses... doesn't matter what kind of nurse you are really, everyone gets burned out. But what can you do? Quit? I don't think so... People have to work to provide for their families. I can see giving the benefit of the doubt to those in jail. They haven't been convicted, but I work in a prison and 99% of these guys here are guilty.
  3. As Correctional Nurses, we know that the behavior and language is not always pleasant in this type of environment. So... just a couple of questions about a few issues that are constant problems that I have to deal with... How do you handle these issues? 1. When you have a habitual "gunner" how do you handle that when the CO chooses to look the other way? In other facilities that I have worked in, this was NOT tolerated... The COs won't even write a report for formal charges as in other facilities that I have worked in. They don't do anything at all but look the other way. When I try to make an issue out of it, they act like it was no big deal. 2. I can't stand it when every other word drops the "F bomb." I generally use the "3 strike" rule, so I usually say something like, "Could you not use that type of language around me please?" Usually that works, but if I have to say something again it's more like, "Okay, one more time and this conversation is over and you can address this another day and be charged for another sick call." In the beginning your always so wonderful and then when you do or say something that they don't like then your a ***** or some other colorful word. I don't take offense to it, it comes with the territory, but I just get sick of it sometimes. I have been working in corrections for a long time and these seem to be the biggest issue... well, besides the fact that the PM med pass takes about 5 hours to do in a jail that houses only about 360 people. I have worked in metro jails that house over 3000 and only took like 2-3 hours for the med pass... I am ready to just leave this place... I have not been impressed since I walked in the door. I have been at this particular facility for almost 3 months and everything is so backwards there. It's so irritating that I just want to leave and never go back. It's ran like a daycare center rather than a jail. Anyways... what are your thoughts?
  4. valzRN

    Corizen Take-Over

    So, Corizen is planning to take over medical in the prison that I am currently working in. They haven't come in yet to talk to us about benefits and such at this point. I have several questions that I would like to ask. Another concern is that I would really hate to be making less than what I am making now because I drive almost an hour to work everyday... Does anyone work for Corizen right now that would be willing to answer a couple of questions for me? What is a round about starting pay for RNs? What kind of shifts do they work? 8s, 10s, 12s??? Do they use agency that is already employed full time? How do you like working for Corizen? (I have heard some "not-so-good" things about them. Thank you in advance for your input... it's greatly appreciated! :)
  5. valzRN

    Supplies a new grad ER Nurse should carry

    Wow, where did you land a job as a new grad in the ED? They sure don't hire new grads in the ED where I live. Lucky you! I would make sure that I had lab values and medications on my smartphone handy. Hemostats and a clipboard are handy as well.
  6. valzRN

    crushing meds

    If they are cheeking then they don't need it. That's the way I see it. Crush what you can and float the rest. That's what we do. All the psych meds are crushed. They don't get anything "good" anyway. It's none of the CO's business what medical does. If you have an issue with it then you should talk to your HSA or DON about it. In the end, it's your license. Protect that with everything you have!
  7. valzRN

    Corizon

    Do they not use agency nurses? Corizon is supposed to be taking over our facility and I was just wondering if they used agency or do they just use their people?
  8. valzRN

    Privatization and Agency Nurses

    I don't know... all I know is that everyone has to apply, but I don't know what that means for agency. In my case, if my facility wanted to hire me full time perm then they would have to buy out my contract from the agency, which they are (or were) willing to do. I have no idea what this new service will do.
  9. valzRN

    Corizon--Long hiring process?

    It could take up to 6 weeks to hear back from them. Like the above comment, it takes time to do the security clearance. It depends on the level of security as well. Beings you said it was your local jail, is that a minimum or maximum security jail? When I got my first corrections job, it was a county jail, but it was maximum security and the clearance took 6 weeks. Just be patient and keep calling to check on the status though. Good luck!
  10. valzRN

    Privatization and Agency Nurses

    Currently, I work as an agency RN in a correctional facility. Last week I heard rumors that a new contractor, called Corizon, is planning to take over medical in October 2013. Of course, all the permanent state employees (medical), are a little nervous about the change over. I am not the only full time agency nurse there. There are a lot of us that work full time positions. Everyone is kinda freaking out about the take over. A few days ago, the Warden calls and tells us to come pick up letters. Of course it was regarding the takeover. There were 3 of us that went to the Warden's office, and 2 of us were agency. He told us (agency) that he made a mistake and just needed the permanent employee. That made me nervous in itself... The letter was just explaining who Corizon is, benefits, and some other info that tried to make the reader feel like they didn't have to worry about their job. Some of the other nurses have said that all of medical has to apply on their website and then be interviewed. Here's my thing... I work agency, does that mean that I could be out of a job come October? Does anyone have any dealings with take overs of this nature? I have a disabled husband and 2 kids to take care of and it took me 3 months just to get this job. 2 months prior to getting this assignment through agency, I did apply for this position, but since then, the hiring process was frozen. Now I know why. I am just a little nervous that I may lose my job because of this take over... it's not just me though, everyone's on pins and needles. Especially the supervisors... what are your thoughts?
  11. From experience I can say that it takes a long time to land a fed position. What I was told was that the job opening is posted for a period of time and then once it closes it takes 6-8 weeks to even get a response. Once you are called for an interview it could take up to another 4-6 weeks to get the call for the job offer... I have been applying for fed positions for the last 8 months and have heard nothing as of yet. What I understand you just keep applying until you hear something. It just takes time.
  12. valzRN

    Background Check-DOJ/FBI

    I had something on me as a juvenile but I have always came back find on my clearance. Currently I work in a state prison, but I have also worked in county jails... it shouldn't, but I will agree with Orca... I think that it depends on what you did and how long ago it was. As long as you haven't been in any trouble recently, it shouldn't be a problem.
  13. valzRN

    Challenge courses

    Unless you really know your A&P, I would not challenge it. You really use your A&P a lot in nursing, so I would opt to just take the class. If you are confident enough to challenge it, then you should breeze the class... but me personally, I would just take the class. Sometimes, it's cheaper or the same cost to take the class rather than testing out of it. At least, that was the experience I had where I attended.
  14. Well... I did fail nursing school. I had one term left and would have been on my way to preceptorship. It was cardiac. One point took me. I repeated the class and failed again by 2 points. I was devastated. It took a while to get over and the worst part was seeing my cohorts taking care of my husband in the hospital. (My husband has a terminal illness that has him in the hospital frequently.) I do have to say though, that God provided a way for me to challenge the LPN boards after being out of school for almost 3 years. Not only was that opportunity provided, but I passed nclex on the first try and then was given the opportunity to go back through the program as an LPN in the career mobility program. And the best part was that I would get credit for everything that I took and passed in the program before, so I will be finished 5 months before the others who are starting with me in this class. I just started back and its different this time. It makes more sense this time around and I think that in preparing for nclex I learned more than I knew before. It's not that it's any more easier, it's just that everything is connecting for me this time. If you want something bad enough, sometimes it's persistence. It took 3 years to "pick up" where I left off. But in the meantime, I learned so much... about life, about myself, and about the path that my life has taken. Doors have been opened that I never dreamed of, and had I not failed, never would have happened. God is what kept me together all this time and placed me where I am today. It's because of Him that I am even a nurse today.
  15. valzRN

    I found my dream job in Public Health :)

    I am so happy that you have found your dream job! I too, work in public health. What division do you work and for what state? I work in School Health as a school nurse and I too love it. It's a very rewarding job for me personally. I love the kids that I work with and the staff is amazing. There is a lot of autonomy for sure. I usually have another nurse that I work with, an RN, but for most of this school year I have been alone. I am an LPN right now and just started in the LPN to RN Career Mobility program and will take next year off from work. I am planning to come back to school health after I get my RN. For everyone that is looking to work as a school nurse though, I need to tell you, that most of what you do in elementary school is health alerts, care plans, 3 points, and health screenings. There are flu clinics and immunizations and every opportunity for education. The Health Support Tech, which is the position that I currently hold, is the one that does a majority of the first aid and other clinic visits. Right now, I am the nurse and the tech. I like it that way though. I love my job and I love the kids that I work with and I hate that I won't be there next year. But, I know that when I get my RN I will be back. I love working as a school nurse.
  16. valzRN

    Pensacola Junior College?

    Not yet in the program. I went through the RN program and failed out because I took Adults 2 twice and didnt' pass by just a couple points. It was heartbreaking. I am taking my NCLEX for LPN mid-October and then when I get my license, I am going to go through the career mobility program. I don't know Uletha Jones... Well, I know of her, but she was not my instructor. I heard that she's tough. When I was there, she taught Adults 3. But, if you do what's expected of you and are willing to learn, forget about all the drama from the other students, then it should be okay. I have other friends that moved on and said that she was the toughest instructor they had in the program but I can't say that for sure because i didn't have her. Good luck in your endeavor! From what I understand, the new director that is there now is wanting to restore the school's reputation. I pray that she does it, because they are very messy and unorganized. BUT, if you have YOUR ducks in a row, and keep a copy of EVERYTHING that you turn in, you should do fine. I know how they are, and if they say something... make sure you get it in writing just to cover yourself. Hopefully I will be joining you soon!
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