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How Correctional Agencies Can Support Professional Nursing Practice  

Author:  Catherine M.  Knox, M.N., R.N., C.C.H.P.-R.N..; Becky  Pinney, M.S.N., R.N., C.C.H.P.-R.N.

Source: Volume 18, Number 03, March/April 2017 , pp.33-44(12)

Correctional Health Care Report

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Correctional nursing practice shares fundamental principles with all nursing—it is based on ethics and processes of care that are universal principles of the profession. It is the setting, the population served, the context in which care is provided, and the front-line role of the nurse that distinguish correctional nursing as a specialty area of practice. This article comprehensively examines the important ways in which a positive, evidence- and knowledge-based approach to managing the correctional health function recognizes and supports the key role of the correctional nurse. Research has shown that organizations that include nurses in the development, review, and revision of policy and procedure are more successful in recruiting and retaining skilled nurse professionals—and have significantly better patient outcomes. Written by two nationally respected authorities, the article summarizes the most important factors associated with higher-quality, safer patient care. It includes a comprehensive summary of resources; standards for education and training; checklists for determining whether a facility or system provides its nurses with adequate authority and scope of practice; characteristics of supportive work environments; and an illustrative case study that examines the particulars and consequences of inappropriate staffing.

Keywords: scope of practice; state regulation; institution policy and procedure; education and licensure; practice regulation; organization and staffing; work environment; nursing process and clinical judgment

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