Correctional Nurse

What Is A Correctional Nurse?

As the first healthcare provider with whom a prisoner comes into contact, the Correctional Nurse is responsible for conducting an initial assessment of the offender and determining whether the offender requires transfer to a more intensive level of care, which is frequently outside the correctional facility. Traumatic injuries, mental health issues, and communicable diseases are all prevalent in this setting, and the nurse is frequently called upon to stabilize the prisoner until he or she can be moved. Chronic disease management and drug delivery are other critical aspects of the role.

What Does It Take to Become a Correctional Nurse?

To be considered for a correctional nursing post, it is critical to ensure that your credentials and experience are up to date. After all, this is not the most straightforward nursing job on the schedule. In general, an individual must have significant experience in addition to specific correctional training in order to be considered competitive.

What Education Do Correctional Nurses Need?

After completing a college or university degree leading to an ADN or BSN, nurses are entitled to sit for their state’s NCLEX-RN examination, which entitles them to use the title Registered Nurse or RN. These are the minimum qualifications for consideration for the position, but BSN credentials are recommended.

Are there any required certifications or credentials?

Ideal qualifications for Correctional nurses frequently require experience in emergency nursing, medical-surgical nursing, and an interest in prison work. Due to the nature of this work, freshly certified nurses should exercise caution while seeking employment in this field without prior hospital experience. In many cases, the nurse is the sole healthcare practitioner on-site and must be able to plan an appropriate course of action without consulting a physician, while also taking into account the therapeutic role of nursing in a correctional setting. Nurses working in correctional settings must also have a thorough grasp of offenders’ mental health and social views and prejudices, as well as a working knowledge of prison culture, norms, and procedures.

The following are the eligibility conditions for the CCHP-RN:

  • Current certification in CCHP
  • Current, active RN license in a state in the United States (credentials for Canada and the United States territories will be evaluated on an individual basis); the license must not be restricted to practice in correctional settings solely.
  • Equivalent to two years of full-time nursing practice within the last three years, 2,000 hours of practice in a correctional context
  • Within the last three years, 54 hours of nursing continuing education, 18 of which are unique to correctional health care

Where Do Correctional Nursing Professionals Work?

Correctional nurses are typically employed in jails and penitentiaries, as well as juvenile centers and secure group homes for young offenders. Correctional nurses may be hired directly by the state or indirectly through third-party companies providing correctional services to the state.

What Is A Correctional Nurses Job?

Correctional or prison nurses work with children and adults who have been incarcerated. As the first healthcare provider on the scene, it’s critical to remember that the correctional nurse is operating on a shoestring budget in a potentially dangerous environment. As is the case in other situations, providing great healthcare takes precedence above the requirement to preserve facility security and public safety. Correctional nurses must collaborate closely with Correctional Officers in order to ensure everyone’s safety.

What Are the Functions and Responsibilities of a Correctional Nurse?

  • In lieu of supplemental staff, assume charge nurse responsibilities.
  • To satisfy patient needs, rely on evidence-based findings and solid ethical judgment.
  • Ensure compliance with the facility’s specified standards
  • Ascertain that pertinent information on patients/offenders is communicated to the right personnel.
  • Keep an eye on the treatment Ensure that no patient/inmate is exploited by the use of facilities and procedures
  • Efforts should be made to increase cost effectiveness without jeopardizing safety or security.
  • Ensure the physical protection of patients, offenders, and prison personnel.
  • Additional services and responsibilities as given by the charge nurse or supervisor
  • Maintain medication, patient, and supply records in line with facility policies and state legislation.
  • Counsel patients/offenders about health issues
  • Refer the patient/offender to a mental health professional.
  • As approved, provide initial diagnosis and treatment for certain illnesses and injuries.
  • Adopt a therapeutic approach to promoting and restoring the well-being of the patient/offender

Salary and Employment Opportunities for Correctional Nurses

Both corrections and nursing are expected to rise rapidly during the next decade. As long as incarceration exists, having nurses dedicated to this group will be necessary. According to, correctional nurses earn an average salary of approximately $68,000, depending on the state in which they work and their qualifications. Years of experience, additional certificates, and the type of correctional facility all have an effect on salary and advancement chances.