Correctional Nursing

Everything You Need to Know About Correctional Nursing

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 44 percent of state prisoners and 39 percent of federal inmates suffer from medical conditions.¬†Correctional nurses are those who care for and manage the health of inmates in prisons, juvenile detention centers and other correctional settings. Correctional nurses diagnose and treat both acute and chronic health problems, from influenza to substance abuse or cancer. Correctional nurses usually have more autonomy in making decisions and can choose the kind of patients they’d like to work with. They also have the chance to address healthcare challenges that are less often seen in the general population, since many inmates have had poor living conditions and lack of medical care.

Preparation Path

  • EARN YOUR LPN OR LVN LICENSE
  • PASS YOUR NCLEX AND BECOME AN RN
  • WORK IN A CORRECTIONAL SETTING FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR
  • EARN YOUR CCHP CERTIFICATION

$45,000 - $110,000

Annual Salary Range

Typical Tasks

  • Diagnosing and treating both acute and chronic health conditions
  • Treating patients with unknown medical histories
  • Relating to patients who come from challenging backgrounds
  • Dealing with the risks of mental illness and violence
  • Educating patients about ongoing health and wellness

Education Requirements

LPN or LVN minimum; ASN or BSN optional

Employment Settings

  • Prisons/penitentiaries
  • Jails
  • Juvenile detention facilities
  • Other correctional settings

Certification

RN, plus Correctional Health Professional certification (CCHP)