What training & skills are required for Prison Nursing?

By Rachel Lamb . 16/01/2024 · 4 Minute read

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When you think about nursing, it’s easy to imagine scrubbed professionals running frantically around hospitals, doing the incredible work they’re trained to perform. But what about people who can’t get to hospitals for treatment? Ah, that’s where community settings come into play and where specialist nurses like Prison Nurses can be found. 

Like all other community settings, prisons must have access to adequate healthcare for inmates, which means doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff must be on-site daily. Most UK prisons won’t have an entire hospital setting for inmates, but in-patient beds are typically available for those in need, and hospital treatment can be arranged in special circumstances. But what training and skills are needed to become a qualified prison nurse? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how to achieve a prison nursing career. 

1. What is Prison nursing?

Prison nursing is a specialised field within healthcare that focuses on providing medical care to individuals in correctional facilities. It involves managing a wide range of health issues, from acute injuries to chronic illnesses and requires a unique set of skills to address the specific needs of the inmate population.

2. What basic qualifications are required to become a Prison Nurse?

The basic nursing qualifications for becoming a prison nurse typically include a registered nurse (RGN) degree. This requires completing an accredited nurse training programme and registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Some employers may also require additional experience in a clinical setting.

3. Are there specialised training programmes for Prison Nurses?

Yes, there are specialised training programmes and nursing certifications for those interested in prison nursing. These programmes focus on correctional nursing skills, such as understanding the legal and ethical aspects of inmate healthcare, and often include crisis intervention training.

4. What skills are essential for effective prison nursing?

Effective prison nursing requires a combination of clinical and interpersonal skills. Clinical skills in correctional facilities are fundamental, including the ability to perform a variety of medical procedures. Equally important are strong communication skills, the ability to manage stressful situations, and an understanding of the unique prison healthcare challenges.

5. How does prison nursing differ from traditional nursing roles?

Prison nursing differs from traditional nursing roles in several ways. Firstly, nurses in prisons often work with limited resources, face higher security protocols in healthcare settings, and manage patients with complex psychological and social needs. They also need to be vigilant about their safety and the safety of their patients.

Secondly, Prison Nurses need to be highly trained in specialist communication skills and conflict management and must have a strong understanding of the criminal justice system and how it corresponds to their role.

6. What role does a prison nurse play in inmate rehabilitation?

Prison Nurses play a crucial role in inmate rehabilitation and healthcare. They not only address physical health issues but also contribute to the mental and emotional well-being of inmates, which is critical for successful rehabilitation.

7. How are mental health issues addressed in prison nursing?

Mental health in corrections is a significant aspect of prison nursing. Nurses are trained to identify and manage mental health issues, often working in collaboration with psychiatrists and counsellors. They provide both direct care and support for inmates experiencing mental health crises.

8. What security considerations must Prison Nurses be aware of?

Security in healthcare settings, especially in prisons, is paramount. Nurses must adhere to strict security protocols, be aware of their environment, and understand how to de-escalate potentially volatile situations. This often requires additional training specific to the correctional environment.

9. What ethical considerations are involved in Prison Nursing?

Ethical nursing practice in prison nursing involves navigating complex issues such as patient confidentiality, consent, and the right to refuse treatment. Nurses must balance their duty to provide care with the constraints and regulations of the correctional setting.

10. How can nurses prepare for a career in correctional healthcare?

To prepare for a career in correctional healthcare, nurses should focus on gaining a broad range of clinical experiences. Obtaining additional certifications in areas like mental health or emergency care can be beneficial. Volunteering or working in settings that require strong crisis management skills can also provide valuable experience.

Find your next prison nursing role with Your World

Looking for your next career move? Your World Nursing works closely with Prison Nurses throughout the country, sourcing them their perfect roles in prisons nationwide. Get started with us by registering today or browsing our live vacancies.

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