Your Corrections Nursing Career

Corrections Nursing: Your Guide to Jobs in Corrections Settings

Enter a deeply rewarding field, provide care for underserved patient communities, and gain a wide range of healthcare experience as a correctional nurse. Get connected to corrections nursing jobs that fit your needs with CareerStaff.

What is a Correctional Nurse?

Correctional nurses provide direct physical and mental health care to individuals in correctional facilities. They address and advocate for their patients’ healthcare needs within the unique and often challenging environment of the criminal justice system.

What Does a Correctional Nurse Do?

A correctional nurse’s duties can change daily depending on their facility. Overall, they are responsible for:

  • Examining patients and performing health assessments.
  • Administering medications and caring for patients with chronic conditions.
  • Responding to emergency healthcare situations.
  • Collaborating with other correctional healthcare staff.

Correctional Nurse F.A.Q.

nurse smiling at camera in hospital
How to get a nursing job at a correctional facility

You can qualify for corrections nursing jobs by:
 
●      Earning your LVN/LPN, ADN, or BSN.
●      Getting your license to practice through your state.
 
Some correctional facilities may hire nurses without clinical experience. However, getting experience in hospital, critical care, emergency, and/or medical-surgical settings can help prepare you for success.

How hard is corrections nursing?

Corrections nursing can be both challenging and rewarding due to the unique environment. Working in a correctional facility requires nurses to be adaptive, attentive, and open-minded.
 
Overall, the job’s demands will greatly depend on the facility’s nurse-to-patient ratio.

Is it safe to work in a prison as a nurse?

Thorough precautions are in place to ensure your safety, and officers are present during exams.
Learn more about the safety of correctional nursing here.

What are the different nursing roles and specialties available within a corrections setting?

There are a wide range of nursing roles and specialties within corrections nursing, including:
 
●      Substance abuse
●      Mental and behavioral health
●      Emergency care
●      Health assessments
●      End-of-life care

What are the primary responsibilities and duties of a nurse in a correctional facility?

The job of a correctional nurse changes day to day. Some of these duties may include:
 
●      Managing the overall healthcare of inmates
●      Administering medications
●      Monitoring vital signs
●      Providing assessments and interventions for medical emergencies
●      Collaborating with other healthcare professionals for comprehensive care

What are the opportunities for professional growth and advancement within a corrections setting?

Correctional nurses may be eligible to advance their careers by obtaining certifications or furthering their education in a specific healthcare specialty.
 
Many corrections facilities also provide opportunities for healthcare leadership and administrative roles.

How much do nurses in corrections make?

The median annual salary for a correctional nurse in 2023 is $62,489, ranging from $56,055–$71,435, according to Salary.com. However, it varies greatly depending on location, facility, experience, and certifications.

What are the benefits of working in corrections as a nurse?

There are several benefits of corrections nurse jobs, including:
 
●      Job security, due to high demand
●      Competitive salaries and benefits packages
●      Opportunity to work with diverse and often underserved patient populations
●      Increased empathy and interpersonal skills
●      Chance to gain a wide range of healthcare experience

Are there any specialized certifications or additional qualifications that are preferred or required for nurses working in a correctional facility?

There are no additional qualifications required for correctional nurses.
 
However, you can advance your career and opportunities by gaining certifications such as:
 
●      Certified Corrections Nurse (CCN)
●      Certified Corrections Nurse/Manager (CCN/M)
●      Certified Health Service Administrator (CHSA)
●      Correctional Behavioral Health Certification (CBHC)

Your Setting. Your Next Nursing Job.

happy smiling nurse
3 Ways to Appreciate Nursing Assistants for National CNA Week

Take Your Career to New Places with a Travel Nursing Assignment

Nurses who are open to travel nursing jobs can choose from assignments across the United States! At CareerStaff, we offer our travelers opportunities from coast to coast, along with great benefits including stipends for housing and travel. Learn more about traveling with CareerStaff here.