The chances are that if you have spent your career working in trauma, critical care, orthopedics, or another specialty, you have never given correctional nursing a second thought. For travel nurses, corrections is a wide-open opportunity with openings throughout the country. Here are a few reasons why it is time to consider a travel assignment in corrections.
Correctional nurses are safe. The biggest myth for correctional nursing is that it is too dangerous working in a prison complex. While it is true that your patients are in jail for a reason, there are different classifications for each individual’s penchant for violence. Additionally, officers working in the prison are specially trained to protect staff and are typically more vigilant than security in other settings. Most nurses who have made a career out of corrections will express that they feel safer in this environment than others they have worked.
An opportunity to make a big difference. All nurses have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of their patients, but in a prison setting, it is at a whole new level. Many inmates have come from hardscrabble backgrounds and have never experienced having access to medical care. While they are incarcerated, your patient’s find that their interactions with you are atypical of the interactions they are used to in that environment. You will feel a deep sense of appreciation from most of the patients you treat.
Variety is the spice of life. While few nursing specialties are mundane, if you are looking for variety, then correctional nursing may be for you. Correctional nurses perform many of the same duties as other general nursing practitioners, it is important for correctional nurses to rely on their assessment and investigative skills. They are typically working more independently than others and are exposed to a wider variety of unusual conditions and higher rates of HIV, AIDS, and tuberculosis among inmates. Correctional nurses have to be attuned to determining when certain patients may need to be transferred to a different facility for more acute treatment.
Becoming a correctional nurse is the same as for others up through passing the NCLEX. From that point, it is not always required but recommended for nurses to achieve certification from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. To achieve a Certified Correctional Health Professional (CCHP), candidates will pass an exam and can renew every year by completing continuing education requirements.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that correctional nurse opportunities will grow at about 26% over the next several years. And because there are more than 1,821 state and federal prison facilities in the United States, no matter where you are looking to travel there is a good likelihood that a correctional nursing job will be available. Have you always wanted to explore the Dallas-Fort Worth area? Texas alone has eight federal correctional institutions. There are five such facilities throughout West Virginia, and four each in Pennsylvania, Florida, and South Carolina. If you are looking to head west, California, Colorado, and Oregon are likely destinations for correctional nurses.
Have you ever considered taking on a correctional nurse travel assignment? If not, now is the perfect time as Supplemental Health Care has opportunities for correctional nurses throughout the country. Contact one of our recruitment specialists today and get started! Or, check out what’s available in a state you are interested in, by using our powerful job search tool here.