Correctional nursing practice is full of landmines. We often walk a dangerous path through a jungle of tangled and conflicting values and norms. A map is always a help in foreign territory. Over the last few years I have had opportunity to consult with correctional nurses in a variety of settings as they struggle to provide much-needed care to a potentially violent and unsafe patient population. As correctional nurses we must, at times, advocate for patient health needs in an environment of conflicting priorities and shrinking resources. It is easy to get discouraged and disconnected from the professional nursing values that originally provided meaning to our nursing practice.
A manifesto is a declaration of intention, motives and values of a group.
Lorry Schoenly, PhD, RN, CCHP-RN is a nurse author and educator specializing in the field of correctional health care. She provides consulting services to jails and prisons across the country on projects to improve professional correctional health care practice and patient safety. She actively promotes the specialty through social media outlets and increases the visibility of the specialty through her popular blog – correctionalnurse.net and podcast –Correctional Nursing Today. Lorry is recipient of the NCCHC 2013 B. Jaye Anno Award of Excellence in Communication.
Years of discussions with correctional nursing professionals resulted in this Manifesto. Since correctional nursing is a fairly new profession, emerging in the late 1970’s, it is evolving with standards, body of knowledge and parameters for a safe and effective practice of taking care of incarcerated individuals. In order for nurses to practice in this sometimes described as a “harsh environment”, certain ethical principles and collegiality facilitates a satisfying practice. Lorry has captured the seven affirmations or propositions most necessary for effective nursing. These affirmations are brought home with case examples, questions to ponder and quotes from those in practice. The Nursing Manifesto is bringing Caring and Heart into nursing and thus enables us to have a fulfilling career and bring health to others.
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