Working in a detention setting is a highly specialized field within nursing that involves caring for
the medical needs of the community. Nurses operate their practice within the detention
centers and perform many of the same tasks as nursing professionals who work in traditional
medical settings. They strive to provide compassionate and competent health care to the
vulnerable populations of the community through assessing, diagnosing, and treating a variety
of medical conditions. Detention nurses have more autonomy than other nursing specialties
since the work environment consists of a compact staff and accessibility to fewer resources.

Job Duties

  • Provide nursing assessments and interventions including medical, dental, and
    psychiatric screening and triage with patients; obtaining health history, chief complaint;
    conducting drug and alcohol withdrawal assessments, patient care planning, and
    evaluation and medical care coordination; carrying out prescribed treatments; collecting
    specimens as needed; administering medications and vaccinations; and monitoring and
    documenting treatment progress and patient response.
  • Oversee the general operations of the health clinic.
  • Provide mental health services, as a member of an interdisciplinary team, to patients =
    with emotion, behavioral, cognitive, and social impairments.
  • Refer to or consult with other health providers in person and on the phone.
  • Follow established Public Health medical records policies and procedures and the State
    and Federal laws that govern the release of health care information.
  • Establish relationships with individuals to promote interactive problem solving and
    provide patient education.
  • Delegate as allowed under the Nurse Practice Act.
  • Participate and assist in the training and orientation of new health care employees and
  • Provide for clinic maintenance of supplies and equipment and maintain a safe
    environment according to standards of OSHA/WISHA.
  • Provide patient care based upon practice guidelines, community standards of care, and
    Federal and State laws and regulations.
  • Respond to emergencies, injuries, and illness throughout the facility; perform CPR when
  • Maintain professional competence by pursuing opportunities for continuous learning,
    attending continuing education offerings, reading professional literature, and engaging
    in other activities which develop new knowledge and skills.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills


  • An active and unencumbered Washington State Registered Nurse license in good
  • standing.
  • Associate’s degree in nursing from an accredited school of nursing.
  • Willing to provide options counseling.
  • Washington state driver’s license or ability to travel to sites within the county.


  • Experience working in a correctional or locked facility.
  • Experience in ER, Psych, Med-Surg, Ambulatory Care or Substance Abuse.
  • Experience working with adolescents.
  • One (1) year or more of nursing experience in a relevant area.
  • Bilingual and/or bicultural
  • Demonstrated experience conducting physical and mental health assessments.
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate appropriate crisis intervention and emergency response.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain professional working relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations and cultures.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage clients in a care plan.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams to improve patient outcomes.
  • Proficiency utilizing Microsoft Office Suite and web-based enabled tools.
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited school of nursing.


  • An offer of employment will be contingent on passing a pre-employment physical exam (should be able to lift 25 pounds, move quickly up and down stairs, and crouch/bend to perform CPR).
  • Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal Law.