Correctional Nurse

Individuals that are incarcerated in prisons juvenile detention centers and halfway houses often need medical and preventive health care. Correctional nurses who are sometimes called "prison nurses" are trained to administer health care to inmates or institutionalized individuals. They take vital signs administer medication when needed and keep detailed records of patients' medical history and treatment. They diagnose medical problems and they are able to draw blood and provide basic care for wounds when necessary. They also keep careful track of all medical supplies and take great care to maintain safety procedures within the institution.

Being a correctional nurse can carry above average risks because a substantial number of incarcerated patients have diseases such as tuberculosis hepatitis and HIV. Nurses must wear gloves and masks to minimize the chances they will become infected. Correctional nurses can be licensed practical nurses (LPN) but a greater proportion of them are registered nurses (RN). LPNs graduate from training programs offered by community colleges or by the state. RNs earn associate's degrees or bachelor's degrees in nursing.

The website says that they must all pass a National Council Licensure Exam which has two versions-one for LPNs and one for RNs. Although it is optional earning certification by passing an exam administered by the National Commission on Correctional Health improves employment prospects. Correctional nurses can work part-time or full-time.

The website says that pay for correctional nurses depends on location skills and education. On average full-time correctional nurses earn an annual salary of approximately $45500.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $45500
High Salary: $49000
Low Salary: $42000
Tasks: Provides health care to prison inmates.
Monitors prison medical supplies.
Administers medication to inmates.
Documents patients' medical histories.
Also Called: Registered Nurse
Prison Nurse
Correctional Health Care Specialist
Certified Correctional Health Professional
Additional Resources: