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Nurse Interview

Authors
Elisabeth Walter, Rachelle Enns, Heather Douglass, Darby Faubion, and Kelly Burlison
    Job Interviews Careers Nurse

141 Nurse
Interview Questions

    NURSING

    Question 1

  1. What was your least favorite patient? What was the situation.
    • Any experienced nurse has had to deal with a patient that was unruly, untruthful or just downright mean. For this question, be sure to provide a specific time where you had to handle a patient like this, how you handled the situation and what the final outcome was. The interviewer is looking for you to stay calm, cool and collected despite wanting to fight back.

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    NURSING

    Question 2

  2. What motivates you to provide top-of-the-line nursing care?
    • Most people who go into the nursing profession are naturally attracted to helping people who are most in need of help. They thrive on helping patients through very tough times by providing both medical care and emotional support. No matter how many years of experience a nurse has, they must stay motivated in order to provide top-of-the-line nursing care. Nursing, while often a very rewarding career, can be exhausting and emotionally draining, so it is important for nurses to be able to stay motivated in their current work environments. The interviewer is asking this question to determine what motivates the candidate and to determine if their environment would be a good fit for the candidate. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should provide details as to what motivates them to become a better nurse. A more successful answer would include a specific example of a situation that motivated a candidate to continue or better their nursing practice.

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    NURSING

    Question 3

  3. Tell me about a time when you committed a medical error in your nursing career. How did you handle it?
    • No matter the career or profession, mistakes happen in the workplace. In the medical field and the practice of nursing, mistakes are often medical errors which affect the patient. The repercussions from medical errors can range anywhere from minor to very severe and life-threatening. When a medical error is committed by a health professional, it is important that they immediately report the error and do not attempt to cover it up. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should explain a situation in their career when they committed a medical error and how they took action to resolve and report the situation. A stronger answer to the question would include details of what the candidate learned from the error, and how learning from the situation will prevent them from making the mistake again.

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    NURSING

    Question 4

  4. How have you responded when your supervisor asked you to work an additional shift to fill vacancies?
    • Any nurse knows that one of the downsides to the career is the need for coverage on most units 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. There may be times when you are asked to alter your schedule or pick up additional shifts to fill for vacancies in the work schedule. Due to being shorthanded, you may also be asked to stay for longer hours on your current shift. Working as a cohesive team is important among fellow nurses in a department and they need to be willing to help each other out when needed. As well, it is important for you to be open and honest about your availability and for you to ensure that the job you are interviewing for fits your schedule.

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    NURSING

    Question 5

  5. How do you prioritize when multiple patients and procedures demand your attention at once?
    • Working in any patient unit or clinic comes with times where the patient load can be overwhelming. During these times, nurses are often the glue that holds everything together in the department to ensure that things run smoothly. The interviewer is asking this question to determine how the candidate manages such as situation and how they will be able to manage these types of situations at your organization. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should talk about a particular situation when they had to prioritize multiple patients at once, how they handled the situation, and what the outcome was.

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    NURSING

    Question 6

  6. Describe your typical relationship with physicians you work with.
    • As a nurse, you have a working relationship with several physicians. This question will enable you to showcase your relationship with the physicians that you have worked with and what your communication style is. As a nurse, building trust with physicians is important as well so some examples of how you've built that trust can be beneficial.

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    NURSING

    Question 7

  7. Tell me about your education.
    • Your path to becoming a nurse has included a great deal of education and certification. Your resume will obviously show the school(s) that you attended, what level your degree was and what dates you attended. Now is your chance to expand upon what is on your resume by talking about your experiences through nursing school, your clinical rotations or your master's program that led you to this point in your career and how specific pieces of your education led you to this job you are interviewing for.

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    NURSING

    Question 8

  8. Are you specialized in a particular area of nursing, i.e. neo-natal, pediatric, geriatric, or women's health?
    • On this particular question, the interviewer is looking to hear from you where your passions fall in the nursing field. They can tell where your experience comes from in your resume and now it is time to showcase your passion for the job that you are interviewing for. If you are interviewing for a specialty area within nursing that you have worked in the past, talk about your interests in that area and why the job is important to you. If you are interviewing for a new specialty area of care, look to point out similarities of your past duties and experiences and how they will translate to this potential new job. New graduates to the nursing field should talk about their clinical experiences and why they see this job as the best fit for their career.

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    NURSING

    Question 9

  9. Tell me about a time when you had to assist with an administrative project or task. What did the project/task entail and which software programs did you while completing the tasks?
    • While the focus of most of a nursing career is on patient care, administrative duties are often a part of the job, especially if a nurse chooses to transition into management positions. There are many nurses who are great in working with patients on a daily basis but struggle with the administrative duties that their employer requires and this can lead to on-the-job performance issues. The interviewer is asking this question to assess the candidate's ability to successfully complete administrative duties and tasks and to determine which software programs they may be proficient in. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should describe, in detail, an administrative task or project that they have worked on in the past, including details on how they used software programs to organize their work. A stronger answer to this question would include an example of when the candidate led or spearheaded an administrative project.

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    NURSING

    Question 10

  10. How do you approach providing patient discharge instructions or patient education?
    • The interviewer is asking this question to assess the candidate's ability and skill level in providing patient education. Providing patient education and/or discharge instructions cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach, as patients have varying capacities for comprehending information and discharge instructions. If nurses do not adjust their delivery of patient education and/or discharge instructions so that patients and their family members understand what to do, the consequences could be dire. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should specifically explain how they deliver education and/or discharge instructions to patients. A stronger answer to this question would include a specific example of how the candidate adjusted the delivery of educational information or discharge instructions to ensure the patient understood what was being communicated.

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    NURSING

    Question 11

  11. What precautions do you take with a patient in poor health?
    • This question gives you the opportunity to point out how you customize your approach to each patient on an individual basis. Nurses see patients with levels of sickness and poor health that span a wide degree of severity. It is important to talk about how you communicate with your patients and using specific examples from your past can be beneficial here as well.

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    NURSING

    Question 12

  12. Tell me about the greatest challenge you have faced in your nursing career? How did you overcome it?
    • Nursing is a very challenging career, and there are many instances where nurses are faced with changing situations and/or working environments. The interviewer is asking this question to determine what types of challenging situations the candidate has faced in their careers and what actions they have taken to overcome the challenges. The types of challenges that can be used in the candidate's answers include but are not limited to: task management, complex patients, technical or systems issues, coworker conflicts, and/or conflicts with patients and family members. The candidate can successfully answer this question by providing an example of a time in their career where they faced a challenging situation and providing a detailed explanation of the steps they took to overcome the situation.

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    NURSING

    Question 13

  13. Tell me about a time when you cared for a patient whose values or beliefs were different from your own. How did you handle the situation?
    • The interviewer is asking this question to assess the candidate's ability to set aside their biases and provide care for patients whose values and beliefs are different from their own. By being employed in the healthcare field, nurses will encounter patients from all walks of life and from all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds as well as genders, religions, and other belief systems. In order to provide the best care to all their patients, nurses should always be aware of any conscious or unconscious biases they may have and set them aside while providing care. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should give a specific example of a time when they recognized a patient had values and beliefs different from their own and how they dealt with it.

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    NURSING

    Question 14

  14. What is your work availability? Are you able to work nights? Weekends?
    • Heading into the interview, you should have a pretty good availability of the work expectations of the position through the job posting that you read or the advertisement you saw. In truthfulness to yourself and potential future employer, you should be as honest as possible in what your availability is in regards to evening, night, weekend and holiday shifts.

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    NURSING

    Question 15

  15. We are interviewing several candidates for this position. Why should we hire you?
    • Often one of the final questions during the interview, this is your final chance to sell yourself to the interviewer on why you are the best candidate for the job. This is a good question for you to have a prepared, but not rehearsed answer where you can talk about the skills you bring to the table and how they will benefit the organization and the patients. As well, you can discuss your personal traits that you feel put you above the competition for the position.

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    NURSING

    Question 16

  16. Talk about a time that you had to deal with a significant change in your work procedures or in your workplace. How did you handle that change?
    • The healthcare industry is always in a constant state of change. Organizations merge, laws change and new technology and process are always emerging to better care for a patient. To succeed as a nurse, you need to be able to demonstrate that you can navigate change with ease in the workplace and this is your chance to give a specific change you have dealt with in the workplace with a positive outcome.

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    NURSING

    Question 17

  17. Tell me about the most stressful situation you've had to deal with in the workplace.
    • Nurses can find themselves in very stressful working conditions from time to time due to a variety of reasons. Here, the interviewer is looking to see how you personally manage those stressful situations. Think of a specific time you had to manage a stressful situation, how you handled it, what tools or resources you used and what the outcome was of the situation.

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    NURSING

    Question 18

  18. Tell me about an experience when you had to use ACLS, BLS, or PALS protocols in your nursing practice.
    • The interviewer is asking this question to assess the candidate's knowledge and skill level of Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Basic Life Support (BLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) protocols. Every nurse, at a minimum, should be trained in ACLS and BLS, and depending on their work environment, they should also be trained in PALS. This training includes a set of clinical interventions for the urgent treatment of cardiac arrest, stroke, and other life-threatening emergencies, as well as knowledge and skills to execute those interventions. The candidate's ability to effectively respond to a crisis using appropriate life support interventions directly correlates to patient outcomes. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should articulate their knowledge of life support protocols and describe how they have used them in the past.

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    NURSING

    Question 19

  19. Why are you leaving your current position?
    • This question is a time for you to be up front and honest with the person that is interviewing you, but to a point. Under no circumstance should you talk negatively about your current employer as that is a major red flag for interviewers. If you are truly leaving your former position because the organization has done bad things, make sure to find reasons that the organization you are interviewing with is better for your long term well being and career. Don't make money or benefits the sole focus of this interview question either as that will be a red flag that you may jump ship later on for more money. Focus on how the new position would better you as a nurse and a person.

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    NURSING

    Question 20

  20. Are you able to handle the physical requirement of the job?
    • The nursing profession can be physically demanding. Standing and walking for long stretches, assisting in lifting patients and staying awake for odd hours and long periods of time are some of the physical demands of the job. For the position that you are interviewing for, make sure to research what the physical demands are for the job and point out how you are able to handle those tasks. It can also be beneficial to discuss your self-care methods because being a nurse often requires being in great

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 21

  21. As clinical healthcare professionals, we have all been in situations where we have developed special bonds with patients and their families. Tell me how you handle such situations when these patients face difficult diagnoses or unexpectedly pass away.
    • Because nurses spend so much time caring for their patients and their families, many times, they develop special bonds and relationships with these individuals. The bonds that nurses form with their patients are also created due to the empathetic personality that comes naturally to nurses. Many times, when patients are facing a difficult medical diagnosis or are at the end of their lives, it can be difficult for nurses, since they have created these personal bonds with their patients. The interviewer is asking this question to determine how the candidate would react in such a situation, and the expected response would be for the nurse to offer the family their support and condolences and allow the family privacy to grieve. The candidate should avoid providing an example of when they became overly emotional in the presence of family members.

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 22

  22. Tell me how you would handle a situation where you thought you saw one of your nursing colleagues pocketing a dose of medication that was supposed to be given to a patient.
    • Although there are many controls placed on medication distribution and administration, staff stealing medication is still a common problem, especially in the face of the current opioid crisis. This scenario puts the candidate in an ethical dilemma of whether he or she should confront their coworker, notify their supervisor, or turn the other direction and take no action. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should discuss how they would take action on the matter, preferably, notifying a supervisor of their colleague's behavior. A more successful answer to this question would include an example of how the candidate took action after witnessing such as situation before, during their nursing career.

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 23

  23. How will you approach coming into a team of nurses who have been working together for quite some time, who have already solidified their working relationships, and who clinically, have a very specific way of doing things?
    • Starting a new job can be intimidating, but when a professional is joining a team that is already cohesive, it can be even more challenging. This can sometimes be even more complicated in clinical settings when joining teams of nurses or other clinical professionals, who can, at times, be difficult to break into. Members of nursing teams rely on one another in so many ways, which creates significant bonds among team members. Unfortunately, because of this, it can be difficult for new team members to feel welcome and to become a functioning member of the team. The interviewer is asking this question to first make the candidate aware of the situation, and second, determine their approach to becoming part of the team. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would be patient about being welcomed into the team community, but also suggest that they would strive to develop relationships with their coworkers to make an effort in becoming a part of the team. A more successful answer would include an example of how the candidate dealt with a similar situation coming into a new team during their nursing career.

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 24

  24. You are caring for a patient nearing the end of their life who has a clear Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order in their advanced directive, but when the patient codes, their family member who is present begs you to take action. How do you respond?
    • Advanced directives are legal documents that outline an individual's wishes for how they would like their end-of-life care handled. Many individuals, have advanced directives, not only to make their own wishes known but also to take the burden off their loved ones when it comes time to make difficult decisions at the end of their lives. However, there are times when family members disagree with advanced directives or, become emotional when their loved one begins passing away, they may put pressure on the nursing staff to provide care that runs counter to the patient's advanced directive. In this situation, it is important for the nurse to follow the patient's wishes, as documented in the advanced directive, despite any pressure they are getting from the patient's loved ones, while also helping the family understand the patient's end-of-life wishes. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate how they would provide care as documented in the advanced directive and explain to the family why it was important for them to do so. A more successful answer would include a specific experience of when the candidate dealt with such an experience in their nursing career.

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 25

  25. Tell me how you would handle a situation in which you are pressed for time and it would be easier for you to provide care to your patients if you do not follow established procedures and protocols.
    • Procedures and protocols established for nursing professionals are in place to protect the patient, the nurse, and the facility, and they are not meant to be violated out of convenience. Violating such a procedure or protocol puts many individuals at risk, and nurses should always follow these guidelines to the best of their ability. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate understands the importance of established protocols and procedures and will follow them, even in times where they are busy. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would not sacrifice the quality of care they are providing by breaking protocols. The candidate can provide a stronger answer to this question by talking about their personal experience with such a situation in their nursing career. "I would never intentionally break protocols and procedures just because I am busy. My job as a nurse is to provide the best quality of care to my patients, and violating protocols that are in place to protect my patients would go against what I stand for as a nurse. I have been in situations like this before, and while I have seen my colleagues take shortcuts, especially with things like safety and infection prevention, I would never intentionally do so. Just last week, I was caring for multiple high-acuity patients, including one with a serious infectious disease. Even though I was busy and sometimes overwhelmed, I always followed infection prevention protocols while caring for the patient with the ID, as I needed to protect her, myself, my coworkers, and the broader community."

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 26

  26. How would you handle a situation where you were curious about what was documented in a friend or family member's electronic health record?
    • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or better known as HIPAA, is a federal privacy law that protects patients' personal and health information. Under the HIPAA rule, accessing medical records for family members or any other individuals out of curiosity is a violation, and doing so could lead to disciplinary action or even termination. Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are often audited to determine if nursing and other staff members accessed any records not related to their daily responsibilities. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate understands that this is a HIPAA violation and that it is a serious offense. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should not only express the fact that they would never violate the privacy of their loved ones or other patients but also inform the interviewer that they understand this would be a HIPAA violation. "I would never look in a patient's medical record out of curiosity, whether the patient was someone I knew or not. This is not only a violation of HIPAA, but it is also unethical. If I were a patient, I would not want anyone looking in my record to simply snoop around, and I want to treat all the patients at my facility with the same dignity and respect. Many of my friends and family members are or have been patients at the facility in which I work, and while I have been curious about their health before, I have never considered violating their privacy by looking in their medical records. If these individuals wanted me to know about their health status or conditions, they would inform me themselves."

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 27

  27. What would you do in a situation where you need household medical supplies, such as adhesive bandages, and you are aware that there is an abundance of them in the supply room at work?
    • Supplies are a significant cost to medical facilities, and it is the responsibility of all staff members to protect such supplies in order to control costs. When there are supplies, such as adhesive bandages, that are not secured or regularly inventoried, it can be tempting for employees to take such supplies for use at home. However, this behavior is unacceptable as it is theft of company resources. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should make it very clear to the interviewer that they will not use or take medical supplies for personal use. "I would not take the supplies from work, even though it may seem like the easy thing to do. If everyone who works in the unit took supplies for personal use, the cost to the facility would be extreme, and I want to do what I can to control costs. However, even with costs aside, taking supplies for personal use is stealing and unethical, and it is not something I stand for as a nurse or a person."

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 28

  28. Many times, in Electronic Health Records, generic drug names are used in lieu of brand-names. Tell me how you would handle a situation where you know the brand-name of a drug you need to place an order for, but you are unsure of its generic name.
    • The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the nurse candidate would take initiative to find the name of the generic name for the drug. There are many situations in nursing practice where nurses will not know certain information, whether it be a drug name, a condition, or a specific procedure. Nurses are not expected to have knowledge of all elements in the clinical world, but they are expected to take initiative to find information. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would take initiative in the situation and use available resources (such as textbooks or a reputable website) to find the name of the drug, rather than asking a physician or colleague. A more successful answer to this question would include an example of how the candidate successfully took initiative to find information in a similar situation in their nursing career.

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 29

  29. Tell me about a time in your nursing career when you made a big mistake. How did you handle the situation?
    • This question is very important for the interviewer, not to learn about the candidate's past mistakes, but to learn if the candidate is able to recognize their mistakes and how they handle situations in which they make mistakes. Mistakes are common in the clinical environment, and it is important that nurses and other clinical professionals be able to recognize and take responsibility for their errors. The candidate should be honest in answering this question and not be afraid to share information on the mistakes they have made. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should provide an example of a mistake they have made in the past and tell the interviewer how they successfully mitigated the situation. A more successful answer to this question would include details of when the candidate took a mistake they made and spearheaded a policy change or education program to ensure the same mistake was not made by their colleagues. "In my nursing career, I have made many mistakes, but the one that stands out to me is when I was working in an outpatient infusion clinic and accidentally administered the wrong infusion medication to a patient. There were two patients with the same first name with appointments close together, and they were both in the waiting room at the same time. When I went out and attempted to call, let's call her Jane A, I only said, 'Jane' and Jane B came back with me. My mistake got even worse when I did not verify Jane's last name. The mistake was eventually caught by my colleague, but unfortunately, I had already started her infusion. It was a terrible mistake and I wanted to be sure it never happened again, so I helped my supervisor develop new procedures for verifying patient information, and I helped train my colleagues on the new procedures."

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 30

  30. Despite our best efforts in providing care, sometimes there are family members who are unhappy with the care the patient is receiving. Tell me how you would handle such a situation.
    • Having a family member or loved one who is ill and/or in the hospital can be a very stressful situation, and sometimes, despite the best efforts of clinical staff, family members of patients are unhappy with the care their loved ones receive. In such situations, it is important for nurses and clinical staff to avoid becoming offensive and to express their empathy for the family member, even if they are unhappy with them. If a nurse is unable to resolve the situation with the patient's family, they should escalate the situation to their supervisor. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should tell the interviewer that they would listen to the family member's concerns and try to meet their needs, if possible. A more successful answer to this question would include an example of how the candidate successfully mitigated such a situation in their nursing career.

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 31

  31. Tell me how you would handle a situation where you feel a patient is suicidal or a danger to themselves, but they deny these feelings.
    • Suicide, unfortunately, is very common and, many times, signs that a person is suicidal are missed by family members, friends, and even healthcare professionals. Even if a nurse is not working in a behavioral health environment, they must always be cognizant of a patient's mental well-being and stay alert for signs of suicidal behavior. Even if a patient denies being suicidal or does not score high on a mental health screening, if a nurse feels strongly that a patient may be a risk to themselves, they must alert the patient's physician. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would alert the patient's physician or the attending physician of their concerns, so a full mental health evaluation can be conducted. A more successful answer would include a specific example of how the candidate successfully helped a suicidal patient get help.

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 32

  32. Workplace violence is a common issue for nurses. We have protocols in place to prevent workplace violence, but sometimes patients and family members still become violent. Tell me how you would handle such a situation.
    • Unfortunately, nurses and other clinicians are often subjected to violent acts, committed by patients and/or family members. Many times, when patients become violent, it is unintentional and a result of confusion, pain, mental health issues, or other ailments. However, whether the violence is intentional or a result of a medical issue, these situations put nurses in a stressful and dangerous situation. In such situations, it is important for nurses to stay calm and follow protocols, such as alerting colleagues and security of the situation. Primarily, it is important that the nurse not attempt to mitigate the situation themselves and/or become defensive and retaliate against the aggressor. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should ensure the interviewer that they would stay calm, follow protocol, and not retaliate against the patient or family member. A more successful answer to this question would include an example of how the candidate followed protocol and effectively dealt with a violent or threatening situation.

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 33

  33. You have had a friendly relationship with one of your nursing colleagues for quite some time, but recently, she has been demonstrating passive-aggressive behavior and has been unwilling to cooperate with you. Tell me how you respond to this situation.
    • Nursing is a career that requires teamwork and cooperation among members of the nursing staff. However, because nursing can be a very stressful occupation and because it requires so much collaboration among team members, conflicts among coworkers often occur. As with many other career settings, these conflicts are not resolved appropriately and employees cope by using passive-aggressive behaviors. The interviewer is asking this question to understand how the candidate would respond in a situation in which a coworker is demonstrating passive-aggressive behavior. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would calmly and maturely approach their coworker to resolve any underlying conflicts. A more successful answer to this question would include the candidate's own experience in resolving a conflict with a colleague.

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 34

  34. You are caring for a pediatric patient whose parent is refusing routine vaccinations due to information she has read on the internet. How do you respond in this situation?
    • Due to misinformation that is widely available on the internet, many people are refusing routine vaccines for themselves and their children. While the vaccine controversy is likely the most prominent example of patients refusing medical interventions due to misinformation, this issue does not lie in vaccines alone; there are many preventative and tertiary medical procedures that patients refuse. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the nursing staff to help the patient or guardian understand the importance of the recommended medical intervention. The interviewer is asking this question to determine how the candidate would respond to this situation and to see if they would help educate the patient using scientific evidence. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would remain respectful but attempt to educate the patient or guardian using facts. A more successful answer would include an example of how the candidate helped change a patient or guardian's stance so they would accept the medical intervention.

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    BEHAVIORAL NURSING

    Question 35

  35. You are in a situation where you have been putting forth a lot of effort at your nursing job, but you received critical feedback from your supervisor during a bi-annual review. How do you respond to this situation?
    • Similar to other careers, there are times when employees put forth great efforts but still receive critical feedback from their supervisors. Because nursing is a career requires a significant amount of effort and care, many times, it takes nurses many years to master their craft. The interviewer is asking this question to determine how the candidate would respond to critical feedback, even when they have been putting forth a significant amount of effort in their work. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would maturely take their supervisor's advice into consideration to determine how they can improve their nursing practice. A more successful answer to this question would include a real-life example of how the candidate has taken constructive criticism given by a superior to advance their nursing skills when they already felt they were working at their capacity.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 36

  36. You are caring for a patient who is three-years-old and the physician has ordered a weight-based medication. When you look at the patient's records, you find the weight is documented in pounds. Explain how you proceed.
    • Many pediatric medications are weight-based, which means the dosage that the patient will receive depends on their weight. However, for most of these medications, the dosing guidance is listed in kilograms and not pounds, the common unit of weight in the United States. Because of this difference in weight units, medication dosing errors in pediatric patients is very common. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate is aware of the common issues regarding pediatric weight and medication dosing errors and to determine how they would respond in this situation. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would convert the patient's weight to kilograms in order to determine the correct dosage of the medication for the child. A more successful answer to this question would include an example of when the candidate successfully mitigated such a situation during their nursing career.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 37

  37. You are caring for a patient and the physician has ordered an IV medication for them. You have collected the medication and the supplies needed to administer the IV. Tell me how you will proceed from this point.
    • Before starting an IV and administering the medication, in this situation, the nurse should look in the patient's electronic health record and review the physician's medication order to verify they have the correct medication, dosage, and administration duration. This is a safety protocol that is standard in nursing practice to prevent medical errors, as administering the incorrect medication, incorrect dosage, and/or incorrect duration can have dire consequences to the patient. The interviewer is asking this question to assess the candidate's understanding and regular practice for such precautions. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would verify the medication, dosage, and administration duration by reviewing the order in the electronic health record. A more successful answer to this question could include examples of how the candidate prevented a colleague from committing a medical error by reminding them to review this information, helped develop training materials on the matter for their unit, or even helped change protocols to improve compliance and patient outcomes.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 38

  38. You are conducting intake on a patient who was just seen at your facility earlier in the week. After you enter the patient's vital signs, you see their medication list, which was updated earlier in the week. Tell me how you proceed.
    • Because patient medications can change very quickly, even over a few days, it is important that nurses verify current medications for every patient at the beginning of every patient visit. If a patient's medication list is not verified and accurately updated, they are at risk of being prescribed a new medication that could interfere with one they are taking. If the nurse does not verify and update the patient medication list, the prescribing provider will not be aware of undocumented medications and will not be able to avoid prescribing errors. The interviewer is asking this question to assess whether or not the candidate understands that medication must be reviewed and verified with the patient or a caregiver during each encounter. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would review and verify the medications with the patient. A more successful answer to this question could include an example of how the candidate has dealt with a similar situation in the past, learned from a mistake that was made because they did not verify the medication, or spearheaded a policy change at their facility to ensure medications are verified during each patient visit.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 39

  39. You are caring for a patient on your inpatient unit who is bedridden and unconscious. When the patient came to you, they already had a bedsore. How do you prevent this from happening again?
    • For patients who are bedridden, bedsores can be a common, but avoidable, problem. If these sores become infected, the consequences for the patients can be severe, especially if they are in a weakened medical state. To prevent bedsores for their patients who are bedridden, nurses should ensure their patients are repositioned at least once every two hours. This repositioning may be completed by a care partner or nursing assistant, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the nurse to ensure their patients are properly cared for. The interviewer is asking this question to ensure the candidate understands it is their responsibility to protect their patients from hazards such as bedsores. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would ensure the patient was repositioned at least every two hours. A more successful answer to this question could include examples of how the candidate has worked with physicians and the physical therapy department to ensure the patient was properly moved, trained care partners or nursing assistants on proper patient repositioning, or helped their colleagues prevent bedsores in similar situations with their patients.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 40

  40. You are caring for a patient on your inpatient unit who is taking a turn for the worse. You decide you need to call the hospitalist physician. Tell me how you will proceed.
    • Before calling for the assistance of a physician, therapist, or nursing colleague, unless it is a dire emergency, nurses should gather as much pertinent information on the patient as they can so they can effectively and succinctly explain the situation and the needs of the patient. If the nurse does not collect this information in advance of making the call to the physician, the call will likely take additional time as they will have to look the information up and take more of the physician's time. While patients are not typically put at risk in these situations, having the information ready to report during the call assists nurses with building professional relationships with the many professionals the must consult with on a daily basis. The interviewer is asking this question to determine how important the candidate feels it is to collect information before calling the physician. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would collect all pertinent information on the patient, including diagnosis, condition, impression, test results, and vital signs. A more successful answer to this question can include experience from the candidate's nursing career, information the candidate typically relays during such a call, or how the candidate assisted a colleague with such a call.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 41

  41. You are caring for a patient on your inpatient unit, and after making a call to the physician hospitalist on staff for support, you learn that the patient's medication regimen needs to be changed. Tell me the first steps you take.
    • While many individuals may believe the first step a nurse should take in this situation would be to give the patient the new drugs that were verbally ordered by the physician, this is not the case. The first step the nurse should take after receiving the verbal order by the physician is to document the medication change in the patient's electronic medical record. Documentation errors are very common among nurses, and these errors include failing to document medications, procedures, and/or nursing actions. Because nurses are extremely busy and often distracted by multiple tasks and demands, it is important for this type of information to be immediately be documented in the patient record. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would document the changes in the patient's medication regimen before administering medications to the patient. A more successful answer to this question would include specific details from a similar situation from the candidate's nursing career where they ensured changes to the patient's care regimen were documented before administering care to the patient.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 42

  42. You are rounding on your patients on your inpatient unit, and as you enter an elderly woman's room, you find her sitting up and alert. Tell me what steps you take to prevent her from falling between now and the next time you round.
    • Falls are a common risk for patients who are receiving inpatient care, particularly among the elderly or patients with decreased mobility. Because of this, falls prevention is a common initiative at most hospitals and care facilities. Most nurses are expected to round on their patients hourly, at a minimum, and during these rounds, they are expected to ask their patients about the four P's - Pain, Potty, Positioning, and Possessions. By ensuring the four P's are covered, the nurse is ensuring the patient is comfortable and has everything they need, which will likely prevent them from attempting to get up on their own, hence preventing falls. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate has an understanding of falls prevention and the four P's of nursing. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should describe how they would check on the patient using the four P's. A more successful answer to this question can include a situation of how the candidate has used the four P's to prevent a patient from falling in their nursing career, how they trained a colleague on the four P's, or even how they implemented a falls prevention program at their facility using the four P's.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 43

  43. In your inpatient unit, you are caring for a patient who is still weak from surgery. Upon reviewing physician orders, you see the patient is to get up and walk two laps in the hall. Tell me how you would proceed.
    • The interviewer is attempting to determine if the candidate would assess the patient's ability to participate in physical activity before getting her up to walk around the hall of the inpatient unit. Patient falls is one of the biggest patient safety concerns for hospitals, and it is the onus of the nursing staff to ensure they protect their patients from falls in all situations, even when there is a physician order stating otherwise. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would assess the patient's ability to participate in the physical activity, and if they, in fact, the patient was too weak, they would contact the physician for alternative orders. A more successful answer to this question would include a specific example from the candidate's nursing career where they prevented a patient fall by assessing their ability to participate in physical activity.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 44

  44. You just finished preparing IV medications for a patient, and you thoroughly washed your hands before doing so. As you enter the patient's room with the medication, describe the first thing you do to prevent patient infection.
    • While hospitalized or receiving outpatient medical treatment, patients are at significant risk of picking up an infection as a consequence of the care they are receiving. Although infection prevention measures in the healthcare industry have greatly improved over the years, the risk still exists and healthcare professionals must be vigilant in order to prevent healthcare-acquired infections. Although it may seem obvious, the simple task of handwashing is the first step in infection prevention. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate understands the importance of handwashing and is in the habit of washing their hands upon entering a patient's room and/or before administering IV medication. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should explain that the first step they would take to prevent infection would be to wash their hands thoroughly. A more successful answer to this question would include an example of how the candidate has helped train colleagues on handwashing in such situations and/or assisted in the development and implementation of handwashing policies for their nursing unit.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 45

  45. You are caring for a young patient who is being discharged with a prescription for an inhaler. Upon asking the patient if he knows how to use the inhaler, he says, "Yes, I do." Tell me how you proceed.
    • Although most medications are dispensed with administration instructions at the pharmacy, many patients do not understand how to administer to themselves which results in their misuse. For medications such as beta agonists or corticosteroids which are administered via inhaler, misusing the inhalant device could mean the patient is not getting enough medication to help manage their condition. This is common for all medications which is why it is important for nurses to ensure patients understand how to properly take their medications before discharge. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate would ensure the understands how to use the inhaler before discharging him, rather than simply taking the patient's word for it. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should describe, in detail, how they would verify that the patient understands how to use the inhaler. A more successful answer to this question would include a specific example from the candidate's nursing career where they helped educate a patient on their medication regimen before discharge or how they developed patient education protocols or materials for their unit or organization.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 46

  46. You are preparing medication in your unit's med room when you are paged to the nurse's station. You plan to immediately return to the med room, which you can see from the nurse's station. Do you lock the door upon leaving the med room?
    • While most medication rooms in hospitals and clinical facilities automatically lock when closed with current technology, some do not, and in these cases, it is important that nurses and other clinical professionals keep the medication room secured at all times. Not only does leaving medications unsecured place the facility at significant financial risk, it also places patients and the public at risk as well. If an unauthorized individual enters an unlocked medication room and takes medications, these drugs will not be available to patients who need them and may end up being misused by those who end up receiving them. The interviewer is asking this question to ensure the candidate understands the importance of securing the unit's medications. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would ensure the medication room was secured. A more successful answer to this question would include a specific example from the candidate's nursing career where they were in a similar situation or when they helped develop or implement a new policy for securing medications for their unit.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 47

  47. You are assisting a physician perform a procedure, when you are asked to retrieve a bottle of acetic acid that can be used on the patient. After retrieving the bottle from its normal location, what do you do you do before passing it to the physician?
    • The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate would verify that they retrieved the correct chemical before passing it to the physician. This confirmation is important, as the nurse may have accidentally retrieved the incorrect bottle or a bottle containing a different chemical may have been in the place where the requested chemical was typically kept. If either of these were the case, and the incorrect chemical was passed to the physician and used on the patient, significant consequences could occur. Simply verifying that the correct chemical is being passed to the physician could help avoid a serious medical error. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would verify that they have the correct chemical by checking the label on the bottle. A more successful answer to this question would include a specific example from the candidate's nursing career where they avoided a medical error by verifying the name of a chemical or drug that was to be administered to a patient.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 48

  48. Everyone on your unit is busy and you requested that your unit's nursing assistants bathe one of your patients earlier today. The patient has yet to be bathed and she is upset about it. Tell me how you proceed.
    • Inpatient nursing is very much a team effort, and while nursing assistants and care partners are typically available to assist with tasks such as bathing patients, they are sometimes at capacity and are unable to take on all the requests. In these situations, it is a requirement of all members of the care team, including nurses, to care for the patient, and this includes changing, bathing, or otherwise cleaning them. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would take initiative and bathe the patient rather than allowing the patient to wait even longer and become even more upset. A more successful answer to this question would include a specific example from the candidate's nursing career where they provided similar care for a patient when nursing assistants were unavailable.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 49

  49. You are working phone triage for your physician practice when a patient calls asking for advice as he is having chest pains. Tell me what you direct the patient to do.
    • In this situation there are multiple directions the nurse could give the patient, but in a situation when a patient is having chest pains, the patient should be directed to go to the emergency department. While care can be given at a physician office or urgent care center, a patient with chest pains could be in the midst of a medical crisis which requires the service of an emergency department. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate understands the clinical significance of chest pains and the fact that the patient needs to be evaluated in the emergency department. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would direct the patient to hang up and immediately go to the emergency department. A more successful answer to this question would include a specific example from the nurse's career where they directed a patient with chest pains to the emergency department.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 50

  50. You are currently in a patient's room during hourly rounds and although she is not due for another dose of pain medication for two more hours, she is complaining of increased pain. Tell me how you proceed.
    • The interviewer is asking this question for two reasons - first, to ensure the candidate will not give the patient a dose of pain medication before it is due; and second, to see if the candidate will attempt to lower the patient's pain using other comfort measures. While the administration of pain medication will relieve a patient's pain, it is important that pain medication is administered as directed by the physician, in order to avoid patient overdose or other negative side effects. Although patients may ask for pain medication in advance of their scheduled dose, nurses can help reduce their pain using other comfort measures, such as repositioning, offering heated blankets or warm compresses, helping them stretch, or getting them up for a walk. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate that they would avoid giving the patient their pain medication early and instead use alternative comfort measures to help reduce the patient's pain. A more successful answer to this question would include an example from the candidate's nursing career where they helped a patient manage their pain using comfort measures rather than pain medication.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 51

  51. A patient on your unit you are caring for has had his peripheral venous catheter in place for approximately 100 hours. The catheter looks normal and the vein is open. Tell me how you proceed with administering more IV medications.
    • In order to help prevent nosocomial infection, which is an infection a patient acquires while receiving care in a hospital, peripheral catheters should be replaced every 72-96 hours. If not changed, the IV catheter may become infected and cause the patient's hospital length of stay to increase or could even cause death in extreme cases. Although a peripheral catheter may look normal and the vein may be open, it is imperative the catheter be changed. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate understands the importance of changing peripheral catheters on time in order to prevent infections. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should indicate they would change the catheter, specifically noting that the catheter should have been changed at a maximum of 96 hours.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 52

  52. You are caring for a patient on your unit who is now resting well but has tried to get up and fallen multiple times over the past couple of days. As you prepare to leave the patient's room, do you restrain her to prevent her from falling again?
    • While it may seem like the most rationale step to take in this situation would be to restrain the patient, only current behavior should determine whether a patient should be restrained. The use of restraints can have physical and psychological consequences for the patient, so it is important that nurses and other medical professionals be very careful with their use. In this situation, since the patient is resting well and not agitated, the nurse should avoid using restraints. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate understands that restraints should be used judiciously, and to effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate they would not restrain the patient in this situation. A more successful answer this question would include an example from the candidate's nursing career where they chose not to restrain a patient based on current behavior, despite previous history of falls, violence, and/or intentional or unintentional self-harm.

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    SITUATIONAL NURSING

    Question 53

  53. You are talking with a patient during rounds, and the patient tells you she does not understand what the doctors tell her and she is unsure of what is going on with her health. Tell me how you respond to the patient.
    • Unfortunately, these types of situations are very common in the healthcare system, as patients are often confused or misinformed about their health. This is particularly true for elderly patients and/or patients without someone present to advocate for them. In this situation, the nurse should take time to help the patient understand what is going on with her health. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate would take initiative to help the patient; and to effectively answer this question, the candidate should indicate they would explain the medical situation to the patient in layman's terms. A more successful answer to this question would include a specific example from the nurse's career where they helped clarify a diagnosis, procedure, or other medical-related situation when a patient was confused.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 54

  54. Why did you choose to advance your studies beyond your RN degree?
    • In most regions, a nurse practitioner requires a Master's degree. Discuss the details surrounding your elevated degree. This is also an opportunity for you to highlight your motivations such as your desire to have more responsibility beyond typical registered nurse duties and to be a highly valued member of the patient care team. You may also want to mention why you chose the RN career path initially and how that experience led you to pursue an advanced degree in nursing.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 55

  55. What do you like most about being a nurse?
    • The interviewer wants to know what keeps you motivated to do a good job, even on the tough days. Why are you in this career? Perhaps you like working with children or diagnosing complicated issues. Discuss your commitment to providing exceptional patient care.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 56

  56. If you could change anything about your job, what would it be?
    • The interviewer is looking for you to identify a struggle you may have and share how you constructively handle this challenge in your typical workday. Be careful not to complain. Rather, present a solution to a challenging situation.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 57

  57. How did your experience as an RN, whether in clinicals or on the job, affect how you do your job as an NP?
    • Be sure to summarize your experience as an RN and share how it enhances your ability to be an excellent NP. If possible, give a specific example that will nicely incorporate RN duties along with NP collaboration.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 58

  58. What qualities should a leader have?
    • The interviewer would like to know that you understand the qualities that a great leader should possess. Highlight your ability to work with a team, and actively communicate. If you had a great mentor or supervisor in your past, feel free to mention something specific about what you learned from them.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 59

  59. Are you comfortable making tough decisions in regards to a patients care?
    • The interviewer wants to know how you handle difficult situations. Be sure to highlight your ability to think strategically and to make quick, thoughtful decisions. Provide an example of the confidence you have in your decision-making skills when it comes to patient care and the tough decisions that come with it.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 60

  60. How do you plan to continually grow as a nurse practitioner?
    • You have an elevated degree; however, that doesn't mean that you stop learning once you have reached the top. Discuss your plans to take professional courses, obtain new certifications or focus on personal growth. You may also want to mention a class or volunteer position to highlight your commitment to professional growth.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 61

  61. How do you feel when a physician criticizes your work?
    • Be authentic when answering this question but do avoid sounding cynical or begrudged. If you choose to give an example, be sure it allows you to demonstrate your ability to handle criticism with style. Do not use specific names, as the healthcare industry is tight-knit!

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 62

  62. What type of nursing tasks do you find least desirable, or most challenging?
    • The interviewer wants to know about your workplace challenges. This question allows you to highlight your ability to get things done, even if you don't enjoy EVERY part of your job. You can let your personality shine through a bit but keep it light and professional, overall.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 63

  63. What do you know about our facility?
    • The interviewer is asking you this question to see if you did your homework on the organization or if you are merely floating your resume. Be sure to read up on the organization that you are interviewing with and have a few questions prepared. The interviewer is looking for a baseline of your knowledge and level of interest.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 64

  64. Why should we hire you over any other nurse practitioner?
    • Go ahead and brag about yourself (a bit!)...be sure to keep it concise and relate it back to why you are the best choice for this position. You do not need to recap your resume, instead, highlight one or two things that you are most proud of. Use some unique words that make you memorable. You need to shine brighter than the rest!

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 65

  65. What are your salary requirements?
    • The best thing that you can do when asked about your salary expectations is to be open and honest about what you are currently earning, and where you want to be in the future.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 66

  66. Tell us about your community involvement.
    • Most hiring authorities prefer candidates who have some volunteer experience. As a nurse practitioner you have a love for helping others, but do you support your community through volunteering? Share a bit about your core values or your commitments outside of work.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 67

  67. Do you have any restrictions on your RN or NP license?
    • This is a "yes" or "no" answer. If you have had restrictions on your license, you'll want to be very clear about the timing and resolution of those restrictions. Word travels fast in the healthcare community so be sure to be honest and upfront about your past.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 68

  68. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
    • Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with setbacks in the workplace.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 69

  69. What accomplishment do you believe was the most difficult for you to achieve?
    • Being able to face a challenge or difficult situation, and still gain some accomplishment, in the end, is very satisfying. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to come out on top despite being faced with an obstacle.

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 70

  70. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
    • On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

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    NURSE PRACTITIONER

    Question 71

  71. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
    • This question is a stress test! You need to be honest about your feelings about this meeting while maintaining an air of confidence at the same time. Be honest. It's okay to ask the interviewer to circle back if you aren't pleased with your initial response. If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: "I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 72

  72. Would people say that you are compassionate?
    • Do you encourage others, show kindness and respect to others? Then you are a compassionate person! One of the best qualities to have as a CNS is to be kind and caring. It's important to let the interviewer know that your compassion isn't turned on and off like a switch. Your kindness spills into your daily routine and to those around you. Show the interviewer that you are a genuine and caring person in your personal life as well as at work by sharing a quick, and applicable, story.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 73

  73. As a CNS you will be on your feet most of the day, and often lifting patients. Are you able to meet the physical demands of this role?
    • The interviewer would like to know that you can handle the demanding physical requirements associated with nursing. Every day, you will need to lift patients, walk around the hospital, stand for long periods of time, move equipment and beds, and all with a smile on your face! Assure the interviewer that you are capable of meeting these physical demands.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 74

  74. Have you had the opportunity to teach an important skill to a co-worker?
    • Interviewers want to hear that you have experience teaching or mentoring other employees one-on-one. This could include registered nurses or junior hospital staff. You may have taught a new hire all of your department's standard processes. Perhaps you taught a long-standing employee how to use a newly implemented medical records software. All of these scenarios are great examples to draw on. Better yet, if you have personally seen someone struggling with workplace skills or knowledge, approached them, and offered to mentor them, it is a shining example of leadership! Whatever your scenario may be, tell the interviewer what you helped the person with, while highlighting the positive outcome of their skills improvement.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 75

  75. Do you have a Master's Degree or a Post-Master's Certificate? If so, what is your area of specialty?
    • The interviewer would like a short overview of your post-secondary education. There is no need to go into significant depth when answering this question; however, you should include a bit about your GPA, any special awards or accolades you may have received. Include your specialty if that is applicable information.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 76

  76. Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
    • A clinical nurse specialist must be highly skilled in both written, and verbal, communication. In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or oral? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 77

  77. We are looking for a CNS with exceptional leadership skills. Tell me about your leadership qualities.
    • The interviewer would like to know what you consider to be strong leadership qualities. When describing leadership qualities, try to avoid general terms and give some unique ideas. A great leader is someone who people naturally want to follow. They have exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with nearly any personality type. A respected leader will take ownership of their mistakes and will always lead their team by example. True leaders see the importance of motivating others and recognizing even the smallest achievements. Which of these qualities do you most identify with?

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 78

  78. What type of medical equipment are you best versed in?
    • The interviewer would like to know the type of equipment that you have spent the most time with. Your answer will allow them to gauge if you would be prepared to train other nurses on the use of the equipment or use the devices with minor levels of supervision. You can rate your skills from 1-10 or application language such as beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert. If specific types of equipment are mentioned in the job posting or job description, be sure to say those as well.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 79

  79. Which automated medical records software are you trained in? Rate your technical abilities from 1-10.
    • A clinical nurse specialist should be tech savvy and able to pick up new medical records software quickly. You should also be at least an intermediate skill level when it comes to typing, data entry, and creating word documents. Rate your skill level and list the types of programs and software in which you are best versed.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 80

  80. We look favorably on volunteer work. How do you give back to your community?
    • Did you know that 82% of hiring managers give preference to candidates with volunteer experience? Show that you can spend time giving back the community, in any way, big or small! Be sure to give examples that are more recent. A hiring manager will not care that you volunteered for your sons t-ball club fifteen years ago.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 81

  81. Describe a recent issue you had with a doctor or co-worker's decision. How did you handle it?
    • You won't always agree with the decisions of other professionals at your facility. That's a reality of being a nurse; however, your response is far more important than your opinion in those situations. If you argue or put up a fuss, you're not helping the case. When the doctor decides what they believe is best, taking a step down and following orders might indeed be your best option.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 82

  82. What are some highlights of your internship?
    • You likely have a long list of experiences worth sharing! After logging your internship hours, you have learned about treating everything from broken bones to infectious diseases. Stick to a couple of notable highlights to avoid rambling on in your answer. Make sure they are memorable so that you become a candidate not quickly forgotten!

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 83

  83. How do you like to be recognized for your nursing accomplishments?
    • We all like to be recognized in some way for our accomplishments in the workplace. Share with the interviewer how you would want to be known for your hard work. Public recognition? Kind words? Title promotions?

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 84

  84. When a patient suffers a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
    • Every health care professional handles the stress and disappointment of patient setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with setbacks in the workplace.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 85

  85. Who would you say inspires you?
    • This question is something that you should have an answer ready for at all times. Perhaps you look up to a parent who was a hard worker, or a teacher who encouraged you to become who you are today. Whomever this inspiring person may be, remember that the interviewer is looking for a heartfelt response.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 86

  86. How many days were you absent from work last year?
    • A part of being a diligent health care practitioner is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It's great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance.

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    CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST

    Question 87

  87. A nurse must have high integrity. When have you shown great integrity at work?
    • Integrity is best displayed through honesty and consistent moral values. Talk to the interviewer about the way(s) that you show your integrity in the workplace.

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    CRITICAL CARE NURSE

    Question 88

  88. Working in the ICU can be very stressful. What are some ways you manage stress on the job?
    • Providing care for critically ill patients is inherently stressful. Each shift presents what could be a life or death situation. A hiring official needs to know that you can handle stress. Moreover, how you handle it, speaks volume. In a critical care nursing interview, be prepared to provide examples of how stress impacts you.

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    CRITICAL CARE NURSE

    Question 89

  89. What are some aspects of your specialty that make it unique compared to other specialties?
    • This question really gives the interviewer a chance to see what your personal thoughts are regarding being a critical care nurse. There is really no right or wrong answer to this question. This is another opportunity for you to show what you thought was special about this specialty that led you to choose it as a career.

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    CRITICAL CARE NURSE

    Question 90

  90. Do you feel like you have strong relationship building skills?
    • Building strong relationships is essential for success of any business. The healthcare industry is no exception. Share why you think you have good relationship building skills.

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    CRITICAL CARE NURSE

    Question 91

  91. What would you describe as your biggest weakness?
    • This is probably one of the most dreaded questions in a job interview. Answering this question requires self evaluation and honesty. Remember, whatever weakness you decide to share, make sure it is not a key characteristic needed to perform your job as a phlebotomist.

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    CRITICAL CARE NURSE

    Question 92

  92. What is your greatest fear about being a critical care nurse?
    • We all have things that make us feel afraid from time to time. Recognizing them is the first step in overcoming them. This question is an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know you on a personal level. Being willing to talk openly to someone about things like this shows your softer side, which is important when you are trying to build a good rapport during an interview.

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    CRITICAL CARE NURSE

    Question 93

  93. If you were the person responsible for hiring new employees, what qualities would you look for in a candidate, and do you think you possess those qualities?
    • There is more than one reason for asking this question. First, the interviewer wants to know what qualities you think are important to perform this job. Second, and most importantly, your answer will tell the interviewer if you hold yourself to the same standard as you do others. If you want to see certain characteristics in your peers, you should be able to tell the interviewer with confidence that you possess those traits, as well. This question is one that interviewers often use to distinguish sincerity on the part of the candidate.

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    CRITICAL CARE NURSE

    Question 94

  94. Why do you think critical care nurses often report experiencing 'burn out' and what do you do to help try to prevent that?
    • Being a healthcare provider is a great responsibility. Unfortunately, because of the great responsibility, many providers do report experiencing the need to take a break. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of handling stress and that you know when to ask for help.

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    CRITICAL CARE NURSE

    Question 95

  95. In addition to providing care to seriously ill patients, critical care nurses must attend to stressed out family members. How do you approach offering support to family members?
    • Patients in a critical care unit are facing uncertain outcomes. Family and patient supporters are naturally fraught with fear and anxiety. Communicating your compassion and knack for comforting others will show a hiring official how well-rounded you are as a nursing professional.

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    CRITICAL CARE NURSE

    Question 96

  96. What about your job as a critical care nurse gives you the most satisfaction?
    • We all have things that give us a feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction. The interviewer uses questions like this to get to know you, not just as a nurse, but as a person. Often the things that bring us satisfaction at work have a parallel in our personal lives that affect us in much the same way.

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    CRITICAL CARE NURSE

    Question 97

  97. Have you ever considered relocation? If so, what area would you be willing to travel to?
    • While relocation may not be a determining factor for employment, larger companies almost always ask this question. The important thing to remember is, if you are 100% confident that you are willing to relocate, answer yes. However, if there is any hesitation, there are ways to answer this question without an emphatic NO.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 98

  98. What made you choose a career as an Addiction Nurse?
    • In almost all interviews, the employer will ask why you chose this specific career. Everybody has his own story to tell, and the interviewer wants to hear yours. If you had some experience that led you to this career choice, this is a good time to share that. Remember, though, this is an interview, not a conference where you are a guest speaker. Tell your 'why' and tell it with passion, but be conscientious of the time that you are being given.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 99

  99. Has there ever been a time when you felt threatened by a patient? If so, how did you handle the situation?
    • Healthcare providers work with risks daily. Whether it's the risk of being exposed to an illness, possible injury from lifting heavy patients or equipment, or the risk of being hurt by a patient who is angry or aggressive. For nurses and other healthcare providers who work with patients who suffer from addictions, this risk is increased, especially during the detox period when patients are agitated and feel more 'on edge.' The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of handling a stressful, potentially threatening situation. Remember to exhibit signs of professionalism, even in the most tense situation.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 100

  100. Have you or a loved one ever been directly affected by an addiction?
    • Many times an interviewer will ask a question related to your career choice like this. Having been affected by an addiction is not a disqualifier for employment, so don't be alarmed if you have a personal history of addiction. The rationale behind this kind of question is to see how well you relate to someone who is suffering from a condition for which you are providing treatment. If you've never been affected, that's fine. You have the qualifications to help those who are, or you wouldn't be in this interview. If you have, however, this would be a good opportunity for you to share your thoughts and to display an attitude of true empathy for those who are struggling. Either way, just be honest and show a true desire to help others.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 101

  101. What would you do if a patient complained to you about a coworker's conduct toward him/her?
    • This question aims to test your knowledge of internal procedures used within healthcare establishments. While the exact protocol for this may be specific to the place you're applying, there are general rules that should be followed by all healthcare providers, no matter which facility you work in. It is important to explain that all complaints must be handled seriously and be directed to the appropriate member of staff so that appropriate action can be taken. Emphasise that patient concerns should never be ignored.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 102

  102. What is something that is rewarding to you about being an addiction nurse?
    • Working a field where addictions is the focus can often have days that feel very difficult, even heartbreaking. However, there are times that something happens that can give you a feeling of assurance that all that you do is not in vain. Sharing how you feel about your job and something that makes you happy or makes you feel rewarded shows the interviewer that, despite the difficulties the job brings, you can still find the positive in what you do.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 103

  103. What are some major factors that may cause a patient to relapse, and how do you approach preparing clients to cope with or avoid these risk factors?
    • Being able to identify risk factors associated with addiction is a crucial skill for anyone working with patients battling addiction. Further, teaching coping mechanisms to at-risk clients is one of the major goals in the plan of care. The interviewer wants to know that you are able to identify risk factors and that you can demonstrate proper education to assist with prevention of relapse.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 104

  104. Is there a type of patient or specific diagnosis that you find it more difficult to work with?
    • Behavioral issues and dual diagnosis, like a bipolar alcoholic, can make treatment extremely difficult. What can make treatment even more difficult are those who don't cooperate or follow through with the plan of care. Tell the interviewer about a particular situation or patient. Be sure to respect patient confidentiality when sharing any examples.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 105

  105. Give me an example of a workplace challenge you encountered, and how did you handle it?
    • As an addiction nurse, you may face various workplace challenges. Internal struggles or co-workers struggles. Tell the interviewer about a situation you faced and how you handled it. Burnout, people problems and not being challenged may be a few issues you could bring up.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 106

  106. What are some aspects of being an addiction nurse that make the career different from other nursing careers?
    • This question really gives the interviewer a chance to see what your personal thoughts are regarding being an addiction nurse. There is really no right or wrong answer to this question. This is another opportunity for you to show what you thought was special about this specialty that led you to choose it as a career.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 107

  107. If you suspected that one of your co-workers was abusing drugs, how would you handle the situation?
    • Working with patients who are recovering from addiction is a very stressful job. Statistics show that there has been an increase of healthcare providers who rely on drugs or illegal substances. Unfortunately this trend creates more stress on the healthcare providers who do not abuse drugs. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of identifying signs of drug abuse and that you will make professional decisions to ensure the safety of your patients and the healthcare team.

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    ADDICTION NURSE

    Question 108

  108. One common recommendation for people in addiction recovery is to avoid an intimate relationship with someone else in recovery. How would you explain the importance of this to a patient?
    • Many healthcare providers say that the choice of addiction patients to establish new relationships with other addicts is, in a way, a 'comfort zone' for them. While some people feel that establishing a support system with people who have had the same experiences can be beneficial, research indicates that this could lead to an increased chance of relapse because those, especially in early recovery, are still learning coping mechanisms to help prevent relapse. The interviewer wants to know that you are able to understand and be able to educate patients on how to associate with people who will be a strength to them during this critical time in their lives and on ways to make healthy decisions regarding their support system and relationships so that the patient can increase his chances of staying clean and sober.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 109

  109. Tell me about a time you had to deal with a distraught family member and how you handled it.
    • Pediatric nursing requires not only dealing with a patient, but the family members who are responsible for the child. Being able to identify stressors that may affect a family member is important for a nurse in this specialty. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of addressing the needs of the family member as well as the patient and that you understand why that skill is important for a pediatric nurse.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 110

  110. What made you choose to become a pediatric nurse?
    • Your choice of profession tells alot about you. Interviewers often ask what made you choose a specific profession. It's their way of getting to know you and seeing how passionate you come across regarding your choice.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 111

  111. What about your job as a pediatric nurse gives you the most satisfaction?
    • We all have things that give us a feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction. The interviewer uses questions like this to get to know you, not just as a nurse, but as a person. Often the things that bring us satisfaction at work have a parallel in our personal lives that affect us in much the same way.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 112

  112. Nurses at our facility often work on rotation. Are you willing to work, nights,weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?
    • Being flexible with the schedule you are willing to work is always a plus. However, many people work more than one job or have a one parent home which requires them to have a flexible schedule. Others simply prefer to work one shift rather than another. Being upfront with the interviewer about what schedule suits your preference could help prevent conflict later on. It is easier to plan a schedule you can agree on than it is to fix problems that arise due to fear of being rejected. Be honest and direct.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 113

  113. Have you ever cared for children with autism, and can you share your knowledge of one of the disorders within the Autism spectrum?
    • There are several disorders associated with autism. Until recent years, this diagnosis was not understood and much research is still be conducted to find ways of preventing and diagnosing the disease early. What do you know about autism?

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 114

  114. Have you ever done wellness exams or given immunizations to pediatric patients?
    • Depending on the services a facility provides, some pediatric nurses may be expected to assist with well child exams and/or give immunizations. While every skill you are asked about in an interview may not be a mandatory skill for employment, the interviewer will be able to compare your experience and skills with all possible openings.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 115

  115. What about your work feeds your spirit?
    • This question will give the interviewer an inside look at how you think and what motivates you. This is an opportunity to let the interviewer see inside you, not just watch perform a task. Be open. If you can recall a specific event that happened while working that made you happy or feel fulfilled, share it.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 116

  116. What would you say is your greatest strength as a pediatric nurse?
    • Understanding one's own strengths and weaknesses is critical. It is always a good idea to read over the job description of the job for which you are applying while preparing for an interview. Compare your strengths to the required skills listed in the job overview highlight those when the interviewer asks this question.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 117

  117. What changes have you seen in terms of children's chronic health issues since you became a pediatric nurse?
    • Medicine is an ever-evolving industry. Staying on top of recent studies, breakthroughs, and technological advances is crucial for a nurse to do her job effectively. Also, being able to identify changes that are occuring within the population of patients, a nurse cares for, helps to determine if there is something that needs to be reported and/or followed.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 118

  118. What advice would you give to a nurse who is about to begin a career in pediatrics?
    • Your thoughts and opinions are important. It is important to remember when you are asked a question like that that the interviewer will be observing for sincerity. Don't use this as an opportunity to say all of the things you would change in this specialty. Rather, highlight the things that are positive, things that would encourage others to want to be a part of your team.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 119

  119. In addition to providing care to seriously ill children, pediatric nurses must attend to stressed out family members. How do you approach offering support to family members?
    • It is natural for parents or other caregivers to be afraid and experience anxiety.. Communicating your compassion and knack for comforting others will show an interviewer how well-rounded you are as a nursing professional.

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    PEDIATRIC NURSE

    Question 120

  120. Is there a particular story about a pediatric patient that was personally moving for you?
    • Nursing, although rewarding, can be very stressful at times. It is important to recognize the things that make you feel stressed, but it is just as important to be able to remember events that brought you satisfaction or happiness within the job. These are the things that keep a nurse motivated. The interviewer wants to see that you are able to balance the negatives with positives.

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    TRAVEL NURSE

    Question 121

  121. What made you decide on a career as a travel nurse?
    • Interviewers almost always ask a candidate what made them choose their career. This is an opportunity to tell the interviewer what you like, what drives you. This is a chance for the interviewer to get to know you on a more personal level

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    TRAVEL NURSE

    Question 122

  122. What measures did you take to prepare yourself for the travel demands that this career requires?
    • Travel nursing requires that a nurse be comfortable in strange hospitals while performing their job with skill and ease. One way to simulate a travel nurse experience is to become a float nurse at your present job. Do you hate to float because supplies are in an unfamiliar spot? Don't know your co-workers? Are you perturbed that the patient's rooms are not in a familiar layout? Or, would you view these issues as a challenge instead of being frustrated? Remember when you are out on assignment, you will be in a totally unfamiliar facility. Everything will probably be different, from the flow of parking to the computer system. If you do not float in your own facility comfortably, you may want to reconsider travel nursing, or at least have a backup plan.

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    TRAVEL NURSE

    Question 123

  123. Travel nurses are often required to work odd shifts. Are you willing to work, nights, weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?
    • Being flexible with the schedule you are willing to work is always a plus, especially for a travel nurse. Being upfront with the interviewer about what schedule suits your preference could help prevent conflict later on. It is easier to plan a schedule you can agree on than it is to fix problems that arise due to fear of being rejected. Be honest and direct.

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    TRAVEL NURSE

    Question 124

  124. What are some things that you do to keep your medical records portfolio up to date?
    • Different travel agencies have different ways of handling medical records that are required for the nurse's assignment sites. Keeping a portfolio of important medical Records on hand and available for inspection, if needed, is always a good idea. Some facilities will not allow a travel nurse to practice without specific documentation.

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    TRAVEL NURSE

    Question 125

  125. Some travel nurses are assigned to well-child clinics. Have you ever done wellness exams or given immunizations to pediatric patients?
    • Depending on the services a facility provides, some pediatric nurses may be expected to assist with well child exams and/or give immunizations. While every skill you are asked about in an interview may not be a mandatory skill for employment, the interviewer will be able to compare your experience and skills with all possible openings.

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    TRAVEL NURSE

    Question 126

  126. Have you ever considered choosing a different specialty?
    • Many employee candidates are unsure of how to answer this question. Most feel that if they say they may have other interests that the interviewer will not recommend them for employment. This is not necessarily the case. This is simply an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know your interests.

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    TRAVEL NURSE

    Question 127

  127. How would you respond to an emergency situation at work?
    • Depending on the situation, you will want to respond quickly and make yourself available to assist the doctor in any way you can. Be aware of the surroundings and also observe the patient. Your best response will be one where you are sensitive to the situation by listening closely to the doctor and nurses involved. There may not be anything you can do to help, but if you get in the way, you could definitely create more problems. Ask what you can do and pay attention. If you need to step aside, be respectful and understanding.

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    TRAVEL NURSE

    Question 128

  128. Can you recall a time when you had a disagreement with a co-worker or boss? If so, how was it resolved?
    • Any time you work with someone else, there is a chance of having a disagreement about something at one time or another. The interviewer knows this. It's human nature for people to have their own opinions. What is important to the interviewer in this question is whether or not you are willing to compromise and work through difficult situations with your co-workers. Being unwilling to compromise or find alternative solutions to a dispute can affect everyone on the team, even if it is indirectly. Sharing a personal experience is OK, but do not embellish it to 'be the hero.'

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    TRAVEL NURSE

    Question 129

  129. In your position now, knowing what you do, what would you say to someone who is just now starting a nursing career?
    • The old saying 'Hindsight is 20/20' is something many people say is true. This question gives you an opportunity to show how you have grown and what kind of wisdom you may pass on to someone who is coming into this career after you.

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    LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE

    Question 130

  130. If you discovered that a coworker was violating patient privacy by discussing information outside of the care team, how would you respond?
    • In most areas of the world, there are laws in place protecting patient privacy. In the USA, we often refer to HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which has been in place since 1996. Anyone who works in the healthcare industry is required to understand and follow the regulations in place by HIPAA. Failure to do so can result in loss of employment and possible criminal charges. The interviewer wants to see that you know your role in protecting a patient's privacy and that you will make wise decisions if you feel a patient's confidentiality was compromised.

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    LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE

    Question 131

  131. What is your greatest hesitation when it comes to your work as a Licensed Practical Nurse?
    • We all have factors that make us second guess our wor from time to time. Recognizing those fears is the first step in overcoming them. This question is an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know you on a personal level. Being willing to talk openly and vulnerably showcases the fact that you are self-aware, which is an incredible quality to have as a healthcare professional.

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    LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE

    Question 132

  132. Do you have experience working with peers from diverse backgrounds?
    • In an industry as large as healthcare, diversity among peers is inevitable. It is crucial to learn how to work with a diverse group of people. Some people are intimidated when faced with learning new cultures and beliefs, but in the healthcare industry, it is an essential factor in providing adequate care. The interviewer wants to know that you are open to meeting and learning about new people and becoming an integral part of their diverse team. Be positive and enthusiastic in your response.

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    LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE

    Question 133

  133. Have you ever had a patient be combative toward you? If so, how did you handle the situation?
    • Unfortunately, there are times when a patient may be more challenging to care for than others. As a licensed practical nurse, you understand that aggressive or abusive patient behavior likely stems from a medical problem, a mental health problem, an emotional issue, or a combination of all these factors. The interviewer wants to know that, when faced with this type of situation, you will be able to maintain your composure and handle the incident as a professional licensed practical nurse. If possible, tell a brief story of a time when you faced this situation. Be sure to use the STAR method when giving your example (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

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    LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE

    Question 134

  134. If a patient were to tell you that they do not agree with a doctor's orders or diagnosis, how would you respond?
    • With a potentially controversial situation like this, it is okay to have an opinion. However, it is always best to keep your delivery professional and as neutral as possible. Feeding into a patient's feelings of negativity could cause a bigger problem in the end. Remember, as an LPN; you should always listen to a patient's concerns and then direct your thoughts to the appropriate person in a supervisory position. This type of question gives the interviewer a chance to see how you may handle conflict in the workplace.

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    LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE

    Question 135

  135. Do you find it easy to gain the trust of others? As an LPN, what are some things you do to earn the trust of others?
    • Having a career in healthcare requires you to establish trust between yourself, your patients, their family members, and even your coworkers. The interviewer wants to know that you have an understanding of the importance of establishing trust and how you approach building this trust.

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    LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE

    Question 136

  136. As a Licensed Practical Nurse, what is one of your weaknesses and what action steps are you taking to improve?
    • This question is probably one of the most dreaded queries in a job interview. Answering this question requires self-evaluation and honesty. Remember, whatever weakness you decide to share, make sure it is not a fundamental characteristic needed to perform your job as an LPN.

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    NURSE ANESTHETIST

    Question 137

  137. Describe your role as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
    • The interviewer would like to see that you fully understand your role as a Nurse Anesthetist. Briefly, describe what are the most important details of your role as a nurse anesthetist. Feel free to share a story that highlights your experience as a Nurse Anesthtist.

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    NURSE ANESTHETIST

    Question 138

  138. As a nurse anesthetist, ethics are incredibly important. Provide an example of when your ethics were tested.
    • The interviewer would like to see evidence that you are an ethical individual. Give an example of a time when you chose to do the right thing in the face of an ethical dilemma.

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    NURSE ANESTHETIST

    Question 139

  139. As a nurse anesthetist it's very important to manage your time well. How do you ensure you are always on task?
    • The interviewer would like to see that you are able to maintain focus and produce quality work at the same time. Discuss the ways that you keep on task and on time.

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    NURSE ANESTHETIST

    Question 140

  140. In your professional opinion, what is normal intracranial pressure (ICP)?
    • The interviewer is assessing your knowledge as a nurse anesthetist. Keep your answer brief, and to the point. Feel free to share a story that challenged this situation within your career.

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    NURSE ANESTHETIST

    Question 141

  141. Why did you become a Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CNA)?
    • The interviewer is looking for further insight into the personal reasons you became a Nurse Anesthetist. Bring passion to your answer and discuss what brought you to this career path

    • View Answer Example