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What Can You Expect from the Career as a Prison Nurse?

When seeking a career in the medical profession, not many people consider becoming a prison nurse. However, this demanding yet essential role is one of the high paid nurses and can offer rewarding professional and personal development.

Naturally, not everyone will make a career in prison nursing, but those with the right skills sets and competencies may find this area a rewarding one.

Work Settings

Prison nurses have to work in different settings, ranging from security prisons to offender’s institutes, each having its own unique challenges to meet. Regardless of the working conditions, prison nurses are expected to handle situations effectively, practice a non-judgmental methodology and treat their patients with care and respect.

Beyond those bars, prisoners receive a high standard of healthcare treatment, and prison nurses are required to take care, and sometimes more, particularly for those suffering from substance-related health issues or mental problems. Moreover, you as a prison nurse must be able to perform within multidisciplinary teams and easily carry out day to day responsibilities effectively.


You can work efficiently as a prison nurse with mental flexibility and the ability to handle multiple responsibilities at the same time. In addition to people skills, you must be able to demonstrate your knowledge of complex medical conditions and maintain a positive relationship with the prisoners as well as other members of the team.

Furthermore, you must possess quick decision-making skills and pay attention to the emotional and environmental needs of prisoners. Sometimes, you may even have to become a parent figure as you have to take care of prisoners dealing with drug, social or alcohol problems.

Prison nurses are required to metaphorically handle prisoners and help them deal with social issues. You must aim at getting them on the right track, support their rehabilitation and offer them emotional and mental support.


Prison nurses are one of the high paid nurses within the NHS. However, the salary may vary depending on the experience and role of an individual. The demand for prison nurses is always high, so you can expect to have a long-term career in the field. Also, you may have to work in shift patterns at one facility and may have to move from one place to the other, depending on where there is a requirement.

Working Hours

Typically, prison nurses work for a standard 37.5 hours a week depending on the role. But sometimes the nurses have to work in the weekend as well.

With the help of part-time nursing agencies, you can take on individual shifts to have flexibility at work and lifestyle.

Training and Development

Prison nurses can undertake training within the NHS, which will train them in various areas of substance misuse or mental health. Training regarding trans-cultural healthcare practice and healthcare management is also offered.

After having enough experience, you can expect to work as a senior nurse, in prison or in general practice.

If you can work under various work settings and willing to lend prisoners a supportive and caring hand then the career of a prison nurse maybe just right for you.

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