Promoted content

Detention Nurse Specialist II

The County of Santa Cruz job header
(The County of Santa Cruz)


SALARY: $8,951 - $11,324 per month

JOB TYPE: Open and Promotional

Bilingual (English/Spanish) Candidates Encouraged to Apply

JOB DESCRIPTION: Under direction, provide professional nursing care in the County’s detention facilities and perform other duties as required. The eligible list established from this recruitment will be used to fill current and future vacancies during the life of the eligible list.


Requirements: Any combination of training and experience which would provide the required knowledges and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain these knowledges and abilities is:

  • 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:

  • License/Certificate/Registration:
    • Possess and maintain a Registered Nurse License issued by the State of California to practice nursing, or possession of a provisional license issued by the State of California to practice nursing
    • Possession of a current CPR certificate
    • Possess and maintain a California class C driver license from the start of employment. A copy of your current CPR certificate must be received by the Personnel Department in order to continue through the recruitment process. Mail/bring a copy of your current CPR certification to the Santa Cruz County Personnel Department at the address below, or fax to (831) 454-2240.
  • 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.
  • Other Special Requirements: Incumbents work shift schedules involving night, weekend, and holiday work in a 24-hour, seven day a week operation.


  • 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.


  • 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 and the laws governing registered nursing practice

Ability To:

  • 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, and 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 and apply universal precautions to prevent transmission of communicable disease to self or others.


  • ANNUAL LEAVE - 22 days first year, increasing to 37 days after 15 years of service. Available for vacation and/or sick leave.
  • HOLIDAYS - 14 paid holidays per year.
  • BEREAVEMENT LEAVE – 3 days paid in California, 5 days paid out-of-state.
  • MEDICAL PLAN - The County contracts with CalPERS for a variety of medical plans. For most plans, County contributions pay a majority of the premiums for employees and eligible dependents.
  • DENTAL PLAN - County pays for employee and eligible dependent coverage.
  • VISION PLAN - County pays for employee coverage. Employee may purchase eligible dependent coverage.
  • RETIREMENT - Pension formula 2% at age 60 or 2% at age 62 as determined based on provisions of the CA Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA). Pension benefit determined by final average compensation of three years. County participates in Social Security.
  • LIFE INSURANCE - County paid $20,000 term policy. Employee may purchase additional life insurance.
  • DISABILITY INSURANCE - Employees in the General Representation Unit participate in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. This program is funded 100% by employee payroll deductions.
  • DEPENDENT-CARE PLAN - Employees who make contributions for child or dependent care may elect to have their contributions made utilizing “pre-tax dollars.”
  • H-CARE PLAN - Employees who pay a County medical premium may elect this pre-tax program.
  • HEALTH CARE FLEXIBLE SPENDING ALLOWANCE (HCFSA) - Employees may elect this pre-tax program to cover qualifying health care expenses.
  • DEFERRED COMPENSATION - A deferred compensation plan is available to employees.


Examination: Your application and supplemental questionnaire will be reviewed to determine if you have met the education, experience, training and/or licensing requirements as stated on the job announcement. If you meet these criteria and are one of the best qualified, you may be required to compete in any combination of written, oral and/or performance examinations or a competitive evaluation of training and experience as described on your application and supplemental questionnaire. You must pass all components of the examination to be placed on the eligible list. The examination may be eliminated if there are ten or fewer qualified applicants. If the eligible list is established without the administration of the announced examination, the life of the eligible list will be six months and your overall score will be based upon an evaluation of your application and supplemental questionnaire. If during those six months it is necessary to administer another examination for this job class, you will be invited to take the examination to remain on the eligible list.

HOW TO APPLY: To apply online, visit this link; or print out an application and supplemental questionnaire and mail/bring them to: Santa Cruz County Personnel Department, 701 Ocean Street, Room 510, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060. For information, call (831) 454-2600. Hearing Impaired TDD/TTY: 711.

Applications will meet the final filing date if received in one of the following ways:

  • In the Personnel Department by 5:00 p.m. on the final filing date
  • Submitted online before midnight of the final filing date.

Women, minorities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. If you have a disability that requires test accommodation, please call (831) 454-2600.

To comply with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, Santa Cruz County verifies that all new employees are either U.S. citizens or persons authorized to work in the U.S.

Some positions may require Fingerprinting and/or Background Investigation.