Washington State Chief of Nursing Services (CNS) in Tumwater, Washington


Chief of Nursing Services (CNS)

The Department of Corrections (DOC) Health Services Division is seeking a highly motivated and dynamic leader for the critical role of Chief of Nursing Services (CNS). We seek a CNS -Registered Nurse with vision and strong administrative abilities to participate in the further development of a model system of health care. Health Services (HS) aims to meet the highest standards of correctional health care but also to serve as a model of an integrated health care system in any setting. We are seeking an individual to share this vision and help in its realization in the role of Chief of Nursing Services.

DOC employees over 300 nurses who deliver direct patient care in our 12 prison facilities throughout the state of Washington. The DOC Health Services Division is responsible for meeting all health needs of offenders incarcerated in Washington State prison facilities. Comprehensive services include medical, dental, and mental health care.

Administered centrally from DOC headquarters in Tumwater, DOC Health Services has developed an increasingly integrated health care system with primary objectives of providing high-value, necessary health care to individual patients and ensuring optimum population health within the prison system.

This recruitment will remain open until an adequate pool of candidates is established. Application review will be ongoing, and therefore we encourage you to submit your application materials as soon as possible.


This position serves as the chief nurse for the agency and assumes authority, responsibility, and accountability for the delivery of nursing services thorough the agency. The CNS is responsible for representing Nursing Services to DOC leadership at headquarters and to provide leadership for all operational units, including:

  • Responsibility for establishing, monitoring and evaluating standards of clinical care and practice of nursing services and developing and leading the DOC HS nursing workforce to achieve these standards for the purpose of advancing the mission of DOC HS.
  • Participates in establishing and ensuring adherence to DOC clinical policy and procedures, consistent with DOC's mission, statute, case law, policy and standards, strategic plan and organizational objectives.
  • Participates within HS Leadership team, working collaboratively with other clinical directors, Health Services Administrators, Health Services Managers, Clinical Nurse Specialists and Nursing Supervisors at both Headquarter and facility levels.
  • Has primary responsibility for the quality improvement (QI) activities relating to nursing services and actively participates in DOC HS Coordinated Quality Improvement Program (CQIP). Oversees statewide implementation of QI activities, primarily as relates to nursing services and also as appropriate for other QI efforts.
  • Serves as the lead subject matter expert in nursing services in the DOC HS Division and oversees development of nursing related training, policies and procedure. Serves as a mentor for nursing leadership within DOC.
  • Responds to correspondence and offender complaints as required.
  • Participates in operational inspections and other facility audits. Assesses nursing operations and capacity at facilities, identifies performance issues and recommends corrective action options. Helps to create and support a work environment that values high ethical standards, emphasizes safe, high quality health care, nurtures teamwork and encourages activities that lead to continuous improvement. Qualifications

The successful candidate will have:

  • A Master of Science in Nursing (or acceptable equivalent degree focused on health care administration) from an accredited institution whose accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or a foreign equivalent AND five (5) years of progressive leadership in a health care organization.


A Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited school of professional nursing AND five (5) years' experience as an RN AND five (5) years of progressive leadership experience in a health care organization.

  • Valid unrestricted WA nursing license in the State of Washington (or the ability to obtain prior to employment).
  • Certification by the American Heart Association in Healthcare Provider CPR.
  • 5 years' experience working as a Registered Nurse, with some experience in a correctional setting preferred. Exceptional communication skills with the ability to communicate orally and in writing with a variety of individuals ranging from correctional administrators and staff, health care professionals, patient advocates, and other lay persons.

  • This position will be officed at the HQ administrative building in Tumwater but will be required to travel statewide for business meetings, trainings and will occasionally work within our adult prison facilities. Supplemental Information

'The mission of DOC is to improve public safety.'

For additional information about the agency, please visit www.doc.wa.gov.


  • Please include a minimum of three professional references with your application. A professional reference is defined as an individual who has been paid to supervise your work and can attest to your work performance, technical skills, and job competencies. If you do not have any or sufficient professional references, please include non-related professionals, such as educators or other professional associates.
  • All DOC employees are fingerprinted for a criminal history background check.
  • Employees work with offenders in a potentially hazardous setting. Please consider this when deciding whether to apply.
  • We are committed to maintaining a drug and alcohol free work environment, and our employees are expected to comply with all state and federal laws. A pre-employment drug test may be administered as part of the selection process, and applicants who test positive for any controlled substances, will be disqualified from consideration.
  • Animal care projects are a common component of most Washington State prisons, including dog and cat programs. Applicants with animal sensitivities or allergies are encouraged to ask about the level of exposure they could expect in this position.
  • Tuberculosis is a priority health issue for DOC employees. The successful candidate may be required to provide valid proof of a baseline TB skin test within 60 days from the date of hire. When positive tests result, further information, testing and treatment may also be required. Employment is not contingent upon test results.

We are committed to hiring individuals who possess core diversity competencies:

  • Foster a positive attitude and openness toward the ever changing social and cultural makeup of the workplace.

  • Work effectively with men and women of different perspectives, abilities, disabilities, races, religions, ages, lifestyle preferences and social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

  • Respectfully acknowledge people's differences and recognize these differences as important and valuable.

  • Promote inclusiveness.

  • Be culturally sensitive and appropriate.

  • Respect and value diverse backgrounds and traditions.

DOC is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity diversity, age, honorably discharged veteran, veteran status, genetic information, or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability or the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability.

For questions about this recruitment, or to request reasonable accommodation in the application process, please email wendy.vandel@doc.wa.gov or call us at (360) 407-5742.

For TTY service, please call the Washington Relay Service at 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

Job Type: Full Time - Permanent

Job Number: 2015-12993

Department: Dept. of Corrections

Closing: Continuous

Agency: State of Washington

Address: View Job Posting for Agency Information View Job Posting for Location, Washington, 98504.

Website: http://www.careers.wa.gov

Salary: Depends on Qualifications

Location: Thurston County – Tumwater, WA