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Burnout, corrections, job satisfaction, nurses, nursing, prisons, work environment



  1. Almost, Joan RN, PhD


ABSTRACT: Correctional nurses hold a unique position within the nursing profession as their work environment combines the demands of two systems, corrections and health care. Nurses working within these settings must be constantly aware of security issues while ensuring that quality care is provided. The primary role of nurses in correctional health care underscores the importance of understanding nurses' perceptions about their work. The purpose of this study was to examine the work environment of nurses working in provincial correctional facilities. A mixed-methods design was used. Interviews were conducted with 13 nurses and healthcare managers (HCMs) from five facilities. Surveys were distributed to 511 nurses and HCMs in all provincial facilities across the province of Ontario, Canada. The final sample consisted of 270 nurses and 27 HCMs with completed surveys. Participants identified several key issues in their work environments, including inadequate staffing and heavy workloads, limited control over practice and scope of practice, limited resources, and challenging workplace relationships. Work environment interventions are needed to address these issues and subsequently improve the recruitment and retention of correctional nurses.