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Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

We are currently accepting applications for this position. To apply, please close this pop-up window and then click on the link for Employment Opportunities. $51.64-$65.33 hourly / $8,951.00-$11,324.00 monthly / $107,411.20-$135,886.40 yearly


Under direction, provide professional nursing care in the County's detention facilities; and perform other duties as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Detention Nurse Specialist I is the entry level class. Incumbents initially work under close supervision in a detention setting which is highly structured. After full training and demonstration of expertise in detention nursing skills incumbents work with considerable independence.

Detention Nurse Specialist II is characterized by its extensive experience and skill in providing professional journey-level nursing assignments in a detention setting. This class may operate as a lead nurse, team leader, and/or in charge nurse.

This class is distinguished from other detention nursing classes by the level of medical assessment, care and treatment performed. Incumbents assess medical and mental health needs of inmates and are assigned duties which involve ongoing contact with inmates.

Typical Tasks

Assess medical and mental health conditions and need for treatment of incoming inmates and refer inmates with critical medical/psychiatric conditions which cannot be managed in the facility to emergency medical or psychiatric facilities; take medical histories, screen for potential medical and emotional problems, assess physical and mental status and assist in determining inmate housing assignments; respond to emergencies, administer first aid, CPR and other appropriate emergency measures; coordinate with staff going off or coming on shift to obtain/provide medical status of inmates and continuity of care; assess outpatient housing admissions and discharges; receive and triage requests for medical and mental health care, evaluate complaints, examine inmates and determine medical needs; record, interpret and report conditions requiring further treatment; make referrals to County physician, psychiatrist or mid-level practitioner as required; administer prescribed medications in accordance with physician's or mid-level practitioner's orders, established protocols and standard procedures; administer over the counter medications based on independent evaluation of inmate need; following standardized procedures, note and act upon physician's or mid-level practitioner's orders; change bandages, apply dressings and provide other routine treatment; take measures necessary to control communicable disease; perform venipuncture to obtain blood samples; obtain urine and other routine lab test samples; assist in performing routine physical examinations; check and monitor inmates housed in the outpatient housing unit, take vital signs, conduct neurological checks, and note and assess physical and mental condition; provide information on health maintenance and disease control to inmates; establish and maintain medical records and care pathways; maintain logs of services and medications, inventory controlled substances, medicines and other supplies; observe and document effects of medication; order and pick up medical and other supplies; write reports; may assist in training new employees; may serve as a team leader as assigned, and keep others informed about the more severe medical conditions and problems during the shift.

Employment Standards


Detention Nurse Specialist I

Some knowledge of:

  • Professional registered nursing techniques, practices, procedures, and regulations.
  • Routine medical/psychological assessment techniques.
  • Administering medications and treatment.
  • The uses, effects and adverse reactions to medications and controlled substances.
  • Universal precautions consistent with infectious disease control.
  • Medical terminology, instruments and equipment.
  • Emergency response practices and procedures.
  • Accurate charting and medical record keeping practices.
  • Interviewing techniques.
  • The laws governing registered nursing practice.

Detention Nurse Specialist II

Thorough knowledge of the above.

Ability to:

Incumbents in any position in the series of Detention Nurse Specialist I and II are to have the following abilities:

  • Assess physical/psychological condition and interview inmates to obtain medical histories.
  • Deal effectively with manipulative, hostile and antisocial behaviors.
  • Respond effectively in emergency and stressful situations.
  • Act as a team leader, assure that shift is fully staffed and kept informed of medical conditions on shift.
  • Work in an institutional setting and learn and apply institutional rules, policies and regulations.
  • Explain medical procedures, treatments and medications to inmates.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.
  • Maintain accurate and well documented inmate medical records and write routine reports.
  • Maintain confidentiality of medical information medical records Criminal Justice information.
  • Make effective, reasonable and responsible decisions in emergencies and take appropriate action.
  • Deal firmly and fairly with inmates and demonstrate tact and diplomacy.
  • Identify alcohol, drug and street drug related symptoms and behaviors.
  • Apply first aid and CPR which requires stamina and coordination.
  • Push heavy objects such as med carts, or an occupied wheelchair.
  • Rapidly move to and respond to an emergency medical situation.
  • Distinguish colors of uniforms and armbands to identify inmate access to restricted areas.
  • Distinguish verbal and nonverbal sounds in a noisy environment.
  • Stand and walk for long periods of time.
  • Lift objects weighing up to 16 pounds, such as an emergency bag, portable oxygen tank, and medical cardex files.
  • Apply universal precautions to prevent transmission of communicable disease to self or others.

Education and Experience:

Any combination of education and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Detention Nurse Specialist I – No prior nursing experience required.
Detention Nurse Specialist II – Four years of registered nursing experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities listed. Two years of Licensed Vocational Nurse experience in a detention facility may be substituted for each year of required nursing experience.

Special Requirements/Conditions: License/Certificate/Registration:

  • Possession of a current CPR certificate.
  • Possess and maintain a California class C driver license from the start of employment.
  • Detention Nurse Specialist I - Possess and maintain a license/permit issued by the State of California to practice nursing, or possession of a provisional license issued by the State of California to practice nursing.
  • Detention Nurse Specialist II - Possess and maintain a valid Registered Nurse License issued by the State of California.

Background Investigation: Fingerprinting and a background investigation are required.

Must be physically and mentally capable of performing the classification's essential functions as summarized in the typical tasks section of this job specification.

Special Working Conditions: Exposure to odors such as vomitus, feces, urine and draining abscesses; fumes from cleaning supplies and solvents; noise such as shouting inmates and constant radio communications; hostile individuals; and infections which might cause chronic disease or death.

Other Special Requirements: Incumbents work shift schedules involving night, weekend and holiday work in a 24-hour, seven day a week operation. Candidates working in juvenile detention facilities are subject to the State of California Board of State and Community Corrections Title 15 – Minimum Standards for Juvenile Facilities and must pass a pre-employment medical evaluation and physical examination that meet the requirements of Title 15, Article 3.


PREVIOUS CLASS TITLES: Detention Registered Nurse
Bargaining Unit: 41
EEOC Job Category: 02
Occupational Grouping: 56
Workers' Compensation Code: 0290

CLASS: PD5; EST: 3/1/1987; REV: 5/1/2019;
CLASS: PD6; EST: 3/1/1987; REV: 5/1/2019;