Options for a new RN in the criminal justice field?
January 17, 2007 9:35 AM   Subscribe

I'm a former (er, trying to be former, at least) graphic designer and web idiot, now attending school to become a registered nurse. What I'd really like to do, tho, is eventually work somehow in the area of criminal justice, whether it's directly with victims of crime (and that would be preferable) or not. Help?

I do not intend to proceed to med school, but I'm not averse to continuing on to law school or to becoming a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant. However, I'd really love to know about some options for an RN to find work in the criminal legal system. My research has revealed slim pickin's thus far.

My other aim is to work to help the "working poor," and I've already made volunteer arrangements in the area. If I could incorporate my love of justice in here, somehow, it just might be that all my dreams will come true.

Anyone with more information or experience to share? My many thanks!
posted by houseofdanie to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's not exactly the same, but for years my mother was a social worker on the pediatrics ward at a hospital -- a position that called for her to deal with the police regularly while attempting to detect signs of physical abuse on the children. It was a regular enough occurance to drive my mother to become burned out.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:58 AM on January 17, 2007

There is a fair demand for nurses in the prison healthcare system, which is sizable. I realize this is unlikely to inolve working with 'victims of crime.' Prison healthcare is a growing area. Try searching for "Correctional health" or "correctional healthcare." See eg here for some information on what the work is like.
posted by cushie at 11:09 AM on January 17, 2007

Contact your local Sexual Assault Crisis Services (goes by different names by region) center and ask them what kind of victim advocacy positions are typically available in your area along the chain (all the way from the ER to the courtroom).
posted by availablelight at 11:58 AM on January 17, 2007

Best answer: You could talk to some people in the field over at all nurses forum, they have sections for specialties in forensic , legal, and correctional nursing to name a few.

Also look into community nursing which is a huge field involving all sorts of great activism for "aggregate" populations (groups of people within a community with a health risk).
posted by dog food sugar at 2:40 PM on January 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

To be clear that 'health risk' of an aggregate pop can be due to various factors including crime, poverty, age, inaccessibility to money, legal assistance etc.

What you describe sounds like it could fit into community nursing IMHO.
posted by dog food sugar at 2:43 PM on January 17, 2007

You might be able to find a happy mixture of social work type jobs and nursing jobs by working as a Home Health Nurse. The ones that I have worked with during my education have been incredible in terms of the variety of people they know how to work with, and the scope of their practice.
posted by nursegracer at 5:52 PM on January 17, 2007

Response by poster: I really appreciate the suggestions and the referrals to other groups! I can't mark a 'best answer,' as I'm at least a year away from figuring out what's best, but every single one of you has been helpful. I find myself entertaining ideas I'd never have been able to come up with on my own, and that's hugely valuable. Thank you!
posted by houseofdanie at 10:36 AM on January 18, 2007

Response by poster: Okay, I lied. I did mark a 'best answer,' just because those links opened up a world to me that I didn't know existed. As many of those careers seem to sprout from experience in Emergency, and as Emergency seems to be where I'm headed, I'm just thrilled to learn about it all.
posted by houseofdanie at 12:45 PM on January 18, 2007

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