Must-Have Skills to Be a Correctional Facility Nurse

You’re thinking about taking a nursing position in a prison or jail. And you know this will be a challenging job. So, do you have what it takes to succeed? Here are five must-have skills to be a correctional facility nurse.

Necessary Skills for Correctional Facility Nurses

Medical Knowledge

Usually, correctional facility nurses are either licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs). Whereas most nurses specialize in a certain area, correctional facility nurses need a broad range of knowledge. On any given day, they may have to dress a stab wound, provide mental health counseling, and/or perform a gynecologic exam.


As many inmates have made poor life choices, it’s easy to be judgmental. Thus, correctional facility nurses must look beyond the crimes and focus on the person who needs medical care. This requires a combination of empathy, compassion, and, of course, respect for the patient as a fellow human being.

Awareness of Surroundings

Correctional facility nurses don’t just work in a medical setting; they also work in a security setting. This means they must be constantly aware of their surroundings. A prisoner who pockets a needle or medical instrument could be a threat to themselves or others. Therefore, these medical professionals need to provide quality medical care while also keeping track of supplies and monitoring prisoners’ behaviors.


Top correctional facility nurses are able to stay calm even in highly stressful situations. Prisoners may be impulsive, difficult, or angry, and some will be struggling with mental illness. These nurses need to be incredibly patient, so they can manage rather than negatively react to problematic behavior.


Compared to the outside world, medical centers in correctional facilities are somewhat limited. Their teams don’t include specialists, and often they don’t have state-of-the-art equipment on site. As a result, correctional facility nurses should be flexible, adaptable, and creative. For example, they may have to orchestrate a confidential conversation with a patient while there are multiple security guards nearby.


Are You Interested in Becoming a Corrections Facility Nurse?

BOS Medical Staffing is hiring! We place correctional LPNs and RNs in Tifton, Fitzgerald and Lawrenceville, Georgia, and more. Browse our available openings and discover your next nursing job today!

Apply Online Today!

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