Nursing is centered on caring for and respecting human beings, including those who are detained or incarcerated and those who are under legal supervision in the community. Correctional registered nurses provide evidence-based nursing care, as well as advocacy, health education, and prevention of this diverse and often underserved practice population. Correctional nurses face complex demographics and unique health, ethical, legal, and social challenges.
In 2018, the American Nurses Association (ANA) convened a volunteer work group of correctional nurses to review and revise the 2013 Correctional Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, Second Edition. This new edition’s scope of practice addresses what is expected of all correctional nurses, specifying the who, what, where, when, why, and how of their practice. The detailed discussion of that scope of practice provides the context needed to understand and use the standards, presenting the underlying assumptions, characteristics, environments and settings, education and training requirements, key issues and trends, and ethical and conceptual bases of the specialty. The 16 standards themselves are those by which all correctional nurses are held accountable for their practice. Each standard is measurable by a set of specific competencies that serve as evidence of minimal compliance with that standard.
In addition to correctional nursing practitioners, educators, and students, the Correctional Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd Edition, will also be useful for other nursing professionals and allied healthcare providers, researchers, and scholars. In addition, it will be of interest to others involved in the correctional industry, including employers, insurers, lawyers, regulators, policymakers, and stakeholders.