Changes are afoot for Emma, Corrections nurse.

Changes are afoot for Emma, Corrections nurse. I figured I best update everyone before I go on with more narratives.

I had an opportunity fall into my lap last week. As you know, I’ve been working as an RN in a correctional setting. I have been working in a county jail for the past 7 or 8 months at this point. I love this job, but it is quite a drive from my home. I work 12 hour shifts and the drive each way takes me about an hour and 25 minutes. So, I decided to look into part time opportunities closer to my home – hoping that I could cut weekly commute time while still being able to work my current job regularly. I love my coworkers, and just… didn’t want to leave otherwise.

Anyway, I found two part time postings to apply for in corrections that fit my criteria of simply being closer to home. One was another county jail just over the border in another state (I’d have to get a license for that state if I were to take that job) but only 15 minutes away from my house. The other is a maximum security state men’s prison that is only 55 minutes away. Still a fair drive, but an hour less a day of driving makes quite the difference.

Within the week of applying for these positions I had been contacted by both. I had an interview and shadow appointment for the maximum security prison in which they said (and I paraphrase) “Oh, hey, actually we have a full time position to fill as well! Would you be interested?”

Turns out this full time position not only would pay me more an hour, but I’d work 8 hour days Mon-Fri. No weekends, no holidays. They said that even if they needed me to join the weekend rotation at some point it would only be every 5th or 6th weekend. (Currently I work every other weekend.)

So I told them I’d discuss with hubs and think about it and let them know if I’d prefer PT or FT by the next day. I emailed them that night and told them that actually… the full time position was very appealing and I would be interested.

I received an email at 05:55 AM the next morning – as I was getting out of my car to go into work – that they were offering me the FT position. I walked straight into my boss’ office to have a chat with her about it.

That night I got a call from our regional director. While I was working, so I didn’t answer. Also… I don’t like dealing with her so I procrastinated and didn’t call her back until the next afternoon when I had a break in my workload.

Turns out she was calling me to offer me a Director of Nursing position at my current job. I know, it sounds flattering.

I mean, I was flattered to an extent, but I also felt like she was baiting me to get me to stay. Through this position I’d do hiring, mentoring, training, etc – in general helping the HSA with management duties. At the same time train to take the HSA position “in the Fall.” (Which bothers me because the HSA hasn’t been planning to leave until next summer and side note: I verified her plans with her and verified via email that this is what the regional director said to me… Hmmm… Also, I love my HSA and if there’s even a question that they may try to screw her over, I want no part of it.)

It was like pulling teeth to get any pay information out of her. I even said I didn’t need an exact amount, just need to know the range. She just kept saying “Well, it’ll be more than you get paid now.”

Um, Obviously.

It wasn’t until I said “Ok, Look. I’m going to be straight with you. I’ve had another offer that is Monday through Friday, no holidays and no weekends, and already ‘pays more than’ I get paid now. If I am to actually consider this position, I need to have all the information to compare and come to a conclusion.”

She then asked me how much they would be paying me.

Red flag.

I told her that I hadn’t gotten the exact rate yet, as I was told I’d get higher than the minimum of the pay range – but the minimum amount would be $xyz an hour.

“Oh, well it’ll be ($1 higher).”

I suppressed a laugh. I could see what she was doing, but also… how insulting. The prison was paying me to be a staff RN. The amount she quoted me was nowhere near what one would expect for a DON position. Also – we already have new staff nurses making that amount. So, entirely insulting.

There are some other issues going on with the current company and their contractual obligations to the county – and while I wouldn’t be worried about my job as a staff RN – I’d be kept on if a new company took over – I wouldn’t want to be inserted into management necessarily at this point in time, and honestly don’t know that I’d want to be in management with this company in general just with patterns I’ve noted with this company in the short time I’ve worked with them.

Needless to say, I passed on the DON position.

I have given my HSA one month’s notice and will be starting at the prison in the second week of July! I’ll stay on PRN at the county jail for now as well, but hello, prison! Here I come!

Wish me luck!!

Much Love,


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