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RN Preparing for 1st Day in (or at) Prison (Chowchilla)


Specializes in Public Health, School Nursing, Psych. Has 17 years experience.

HELP! Accepted a position in Chowchilla at the California Correctional Women's Facility (despite leaving a psych nursing job I really loved) and am having nightmares I joined the military, am forced to wear ugly uniforms, and am always getting in trouble for not marching in a straight line...so weird. Would appreciate any info on the following:

Location: Am I in an office? Am I with other people/nurses?

Attire: Scrubs? Any rules on scrubs to be worn?

Day-to-Day Tasks: ED nursing? Psych nursing? Assessments? Paperwork? Evaluations? Passing meds/FS/Insulin?

Charting/Documentation: Is it all on the computer? Do they even have medical charts? Is it separate from their legal documents....?

Hours: I think it's a mix of 12- and 8-hour shifts. Do they balance it so you're working 40 hours a week or do they just make sure you work your 160-176 hours per month?

Paydays: I know I get paid at the end of the month, but is it for THAT month? So if I start my job on 7/18 will I get a check on 7/31 paying me for 7/18-7/31 or do I go "checkless" till 8/31 and then only get paid for 7/13-7/31?

Thanks for ANY info you can provide about the work environment, people, clothing, tasks, etc.

Psych Nurse in Prison :nurse:

Congratulations on joining our great specialty, Evelyn. You'll do will with a psyche background. ER nursing experience helps, too :o).

Uniforms and medical records are specific to the system so I can't comment on that. Hopefully someone working CDRC will chime in. However, I'm sure you will be getting some sort of orientation. Check your acceptance letter for info on your first day or call your recruiter contact about it. When do you start?

You are likely to work in a clinic-type setting where there will be a med room and some exam rooms. There should be some sort of private nurse area for charting. All the rooms are general locked for security. Did you not get a facility tour during your interview?

I am surprised that so many of these questions were not answered during your interviewing process. Many of them are HR related and centrally managed.


evelynkarirn, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health, School Nursing, Psych. Has 17 years experience.

Thanks Lorry - I was equally surprised that HR was unable to answer these questions. They kept telling me I would be a FT float RN until there was a permanent position so no details about the location were available.

They said to wear acrubs and arrive at 8a on Monday morning. I just happened to ask about any color limitations and learned there was a cadre of colors that are not allowed (orange, ceil, navy, green, burgundy, teal).

I was repeatedly told my supervisor would provide answers to my questions...but they haven't determined who my new supervisor will be. Ambiguity to the nth degree, but I'm hopeful I will be able to navigate thiings effectively with input from peers.

THanks for the kind note!

Psych RN Evie :up: