correctional nursing

Hello all, my name is Kelsey Plumb and I have been a Registered Nurse for over four years. I currently work 12-hour night shifts at a County Jail in Northern California, and have been there for three years. I was born and raised in California, moving to Northern California from Southern California after graduating high school in 2002. My original plan was to pursue a degree in Sociology, but after much wasted time and money, eventually decided on nursing school. After having semester after semester of nursing school with mandatory clinical rotations in med/surg, I almost immediately knew it was not what I wanted to do. The hospital setting did not feel comfortable to me, and I knew I would have more choices outside of this setting once I graduated nursing school. An instructor had once mentioned corrections as a career choice, and although I had never set foot inside of a jail or prison, it was intriguing and definitely something to consider. It wasn’t until 10 months after I graduated from the nursing program, and 8 months after getting my license that I finally got my first job as an RN at a Skilled Nursing Facility. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing, but at this point, I had my foot in a door that no one else was knocking at. In July of 2014, I had the opportunity to begin working as an RN at the county jail, and have been there since. The benefit of working there is that I have learned to think on my toes, and have learned to make critical decisions with little to no patient history, with limited resources available. The downside of working in a correctional facility is that I feel I am losing many clinical skills I learned in nursing school. There are no IV’s to be hung, no crash carts, and no rapid response team available during critical situations. Although I enjoy where I work and often times actually look forward to going, I unfortunately do not feel that there is much upward mobility available to me in the field of correctional nursing. I have decided to pursue my BSN to see what else is available in the nursing career. Although I am unsure of exactly what I am looking for, I am excited to explore the possibilities available!

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