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A Student’s Journey from Nurse to Detention Officer

DOCC student
After years of being a nurse, Lacie Long traded in her stethoscope for a badge and made the transition from nurse to a detention officer. Lacie always had a criminal justice career in the back of her mind. Inspired by her father, a retired state trooper, she pursued her criminal justice degree and then enrolled in CFCC’s Detention Officer Certification Course.

After having three boys, Lacie realized she wanted to make her lifelong career dream a reality and make the transition from nurse to detention officer.

“I wanted to do this for my boys,” said Lacie. “Everything I do, I do for them.”

The journey to change careers was not an easy one. Being a single mom to three boys, Lacie relied on her parents to help her during the transition.

“My parents were my support system through the process. They took my kids to school and picked them up while I went back to school full-time. They were my rock, and I could not have done this without them.”

After becoming a police officer, Lacie came to CFCC for additional training to become a detention officer. The five-week Detention Officer Certification Course is offered to officers from across the region. The state-mandated course load requires 174 hours of instruction, but these students completed 196 hours.

“The training is essential to ensure the safety and security of those working in detention facilities and those incarcerated,” said CFCC Director of Law Enforcement Programs Tim Fuss.

Whether you’re thinking about switching majors or want to become a second career detention officer, it’s never too late to change careers.

“Don’t be afraid,” advises Lacie. “After years of nursing and loving my job, it was scary to take that leap of faith and change career fields. But I think if you challenge yourself, the reward is so worth it. You just can’t be afraid to take a risk.”

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