MockQuestions

Charge Nurse Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Charge Nurse interview, here are 60 interview questions and answer examples.

Charge Nurse was written by and updated on November 6th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 60

How would you handle gossip on your unit?

How to Answer

This is an interesting question and a worthy one to answer well. Gossip is corrosive to cohesion, and your first task is to show you understand that. Gossip demands the workplace culture and, in turn, impacts productivity and care. Your answer should showcase team management, leadership, diplomacy, and communication skills.

Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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60 Charge Nurse Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. How would you handle gossip on your unit?

      How to Answer

      This is an interesting question and a worthy one to answer well. Gossip is corrosive to cohesion, and your first task is to show you understand that. Gossip demands the workplace culture and, in turn, impacts productivity and care. Your answer should showcase team management, leadership, diplomacy, and communication skills.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "Most companies I have worked for have a policy regarding gossip as it negatively affects the entire team and can ruin someone's reputation. If I heard team members gossiping, I would remind them of the policy and explain how gossip can destroy their coworkers' lives. I would then tell them that they should talk to me privately if they have an issue with a team member."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      General Example

      "One of my goals in leadership is to create an inclusive workplace culture, and I'm a firm believer that gossip breaks down that culture, breeds distrust, and ultimately impacts patient care. I lead by example, speak plainly about a no-gossip policy in the unit, and explain why. I want to be liked and respected by my team, and the best way is to lead by example. I like to build in activities of inclusion that give staff members things to talk about besides each other."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2. How do you handle stress and anxiety on the job?

      How to Answer

      Nursing is stressful, so this question is fair. The correct answer provides a solid and reasonable action plan for stress reduction and management. Few interviewers will believe the candidate who says they are bomb-proof. The interviewers want a candidate who cares without falling apart. They are not looking for someone insensitive and immune to feeling. They are looking for a candidate with an answer that highlights perseverance and the ability to handle pressure.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I understand this job is stressful, and I am prepared for that. If I feel overly stressed, I will discuss this with my supervisor. In addition, I eat a healthy, balanced diet, exercise, and spend time with my family on my days off. Taking care of myself mentally and physically prepares me to handle stressful situations."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      General Example

      "I have learned to work towards a healthy work-life balance. I meditate, run, and hike with my dogs. I work hard when I am at work, but I also work hard to leave work at work, as I want to be refreshed when I return. This system has worked well for me. I used to experience more stress, but managing it through my system works well for me."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

  • Career Goals

    3. What are your career goals?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know two things with this question: your intentions within the organization and your dedication to advanced education. Ideally, you plan on staying with this position for two or three years, and any future move would be within and up in the organization. It takes great effort and cost to seek and hire the optimal charge nurse, and the organization is searching for a candidate who is invested in this position and plans on staying in this position long term. It is always a good idea to mention that you would like to take advantage of the tuition reimbursement if available, for it shows commitment to furthering your education.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "My career goal in the next two to three years is to finish my Master's Degree in Nursing Administration and promote to an administrative position within your organization. Two to three years will allow me the opportunity to grow as a charge nurse and have the knowledge to work as an administrator effectively. I was happy to hear that your company offers tuition reimbursement for continued education and will be utilizing that benefit if hired."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      General Example

      "I always want to be a part of the leading edge of nursing knowledge, and I always want to be in a position where I can share my love of learning with others. At this stage of my career, my skillset aligns with leading a unit as a charge nurse. I prefer to be a part of the hub of direct patient care, and being a charge nurse allows me to lead and mentor other nurses to excellence. I also want to continue my education in nursing leadership at some point in the next three years."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

  • Competency

    4. Tell us the first steps of creating a budget for your unit.

      How to Answer

      Nursing units have ongoing needs, and developing a budget is one of the challenging tasks of leadership. For the unit to run optimally, it must have everything it needs to provide the best quality care. Nursing leadership should know how to create a strong plan and monitor its effectiveness. Whether the organization is non-profit or profit, it's still a business that requires financial management.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "The first step would be to review the current budget and see how the unit operates. If there are areas where the unit is in the red or losing money, I would determine how to lower costs to get into the positive. I would look for less expensive alternatives to items costing the unit a lot of money and give an in-service to all staff to show them where we need to tighten our resources."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Direct

    5. What are three possible negative things your former employer might say about you?

      How to Answer

      Nobody is perfect, so know that the employer is not looking for perfect. What they are looking for with this question are red flags such as chronic call-offs, tardiness, disciplinary actions, chronic med errors, and general personality traits that are disagreeable and difficult to deal with daily.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I have spoken with my former employer about self-improvement, and she gave me some suggestions. She pointed out that I have a hard time saying "no," which is not always a bad thing. However, consistently saying yes and taking on too many projects can lead to job burnout. I am actively working on saying no if my plate is too full, which has helped immensely. My employer pointed out two other things: my lack of formal leadership classes and waiting until the last minute to complete my continuing education courses. Since hearing that, I have enrolled in a leadership course at the community college and developed a monthly schedule to take at least one continuing education course each month. I appreciated her feedback and am always open to constructive criticism to improve professionally."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Direct

    6. Describe a time you disliked company rules in your last job.

      How to Answer

      Start by telling the interviewer that you follow all the company rules and support the company's leadership decisions regarding regulations. The interviewer wants to hear that you are not a rule-breaker and you support the rules the company has put into place. After all, there had to be some logic to their professional decision! Your willingness to remain a team player shows the interviewer that you respect decisions even when you recognize you would make different choices sometimes.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "Honestly, there were not any company rules that I disliked at my last job. I felt that every rule they had was typical of a large organization and was there to protect the company and employees."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Direct

    7. Why do you want to work for our organization?

      How to Answer

      This is a fair question and deserves a well-thought-out answer. This is your opportunity to show that you've done your research and legitimately want to work for this organization for reasons other than money. Describe the main factors that made you pursue this role, highlighting the unique opportunities the organization can provide.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I have wanted to work for your organization since a chemistry professor recommended you, but I did not meet your requirements when I was fresh out of school. I have gained experience over the years and now meet your requirements, so I applied for the position. I want to work for your organization because your core values and vision align with mine. I also believe everyone deserves access to high-quality healthcare while receiving compassionate care. I am honored to have this opportunity to interview with your reputable company."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    8. Tell us about a time you were most satisfied in a job.

      How to Answer

      This question shows the interviewer a view of you that your resume may not reveal. While having a high-paying position with a good shift goes far in job satisfaction, there is much more. So much so that some studies report that most people choose to stay at a lower paying job with satisfaction than to move to a higher paying job with less job satisfaction. This question is an opportunity to show what kinds of tangible and intangible things are important to you.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "It may come as a shock, but I was most satisfied when volunteering as a candy striper at a local hospital in my teens. Although I was not paid for my work, it was satisfying to spend time with patients and their loved ones and learn about their lives. I had various duties as a candy striper, which included spending time talking and reading to patients, delivering flowers, making phone calls to their families, and comforting them when needed. It was a great start to my nursing career, and I felt I got to learn exactly what patients need when feeling vulnerable and alone."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    9. Have you ever had disciplinary action brought against you as a nurse?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to hear if you have been disciplined during your nursing career to determine if they will have issues with you if hired. As with any interview question, be honest in your response, as the interviewer will find out if disciplinary action was taken against you during your background investigation. If you have been disciplined, tell the interviewer what happened and the outcome.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "No, I have never had disciplinary action brought against me as a nurse. I always follow my scope of practice and the policies and procedures of my employer. I would continue to do the same if hired by your organization."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    10. Would you describe yourself as a compassionate person?

      How to Answer

      Focus on ensuring the hiring manager understands you are a compassionate person. You can say you are compassionate, but giving an example where you have helped others is a better way to let the hiring manager know. For example, you can describe your volunteer experience, how you cared for an elderly relative, held the hand of dying patients, or comforted a grieving family member. Give an example that shows you have compassion for others.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "Yes, I most certainly consider myself a compassionate person. I take the opportunity to understand and help others whenever possible. While attending University, I spent a lot of time volunteering at a local hospice - not only for the added experience but also to give back to others. I would comfort patients and their family members during their last moments, brush their hair, hold their hands, and read and sing to them. I look forward to continuing this level of compassionate care with your organization."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    11. What made you pursue a career in nursing?

      How to Answer

      Focus on giving your reason for choosing this career, responding with enthusiasm and passion. There is no right or wrong answer. The interviewer wants to gain insight into what motivates and inspires you as a charge nurse to determine if you will be a good fit for their organization.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I chose to pursue a career in nursing because my mom and dad are both nurses. I love caring for others and making them comfortable during difficult times. I grew up hearing the stories of the people my parents had helped and even those they could not. Still, I could tell they truly enjoyed their jobs, and I think it's in my blood. I cannot imagine choosing another career path."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    12. How do you expect to make a difference if hired by our organization?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to hear that you are looking forward to working for their organization and have thought about how you can make a positive impact while working there. Think about what kind of impact you could make. Possible responses include:

      - Creating a favorable environment for patients and family members by smiling, asking them how their day is going, and providing them with excellent care
      - Building business relationships with your coworkers so everyone looks forward to coming to work each day
      - Being the place where patients will refer others to based on your actions

      Whatever comes to mind that you are passionate about, share it with the interviewer!

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I will make a difference if hired by your organization by being a positive role model for my team. I always lead by example and have mentored many new nurses. I create a positive work environment and am open to suggestions from my team. I will also bring my compassionate nature and provide excellent care to all my patients."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    13. Do you speak any foreign languages fluently?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer asks this question to determine if you have additional skills to benefit your company if hired. Their care facility may have patients who speak foreign languages, and the interviewer wants to see if you speak any fluently to serve them better.

      Mention any foreign languages you speak fluently. If you are not fluent in any other language, tell the interviewer about any classes you have taken and how you would rate your skills. For example, if you had two years of Spanish in high school and can speak a little conversational Spanish, explain that in your response. Be sure to let the interviewer know you are open to taking foreign language speaking classes to improve your skills, showing your dedication to the profession.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I am fluent in American Sign Language as my mother is deaf. I also speak conversational Spanish, but I would not consider myself fluent. I took two years of Spanish in high school and have traveled extensively to Latin countries. I have always been able to understand the language and make myself understood, but I am interested in improving my skills."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    14. Have you ever testified in court? If so, how was your experience?

      How to Answer

      As a charge nurse, you may be called to give a deposition or testify in court during your career. The interviewer asks this question to see if you have testified in court and how comfortable you were doing so. If you have never testified in court, be honest and say that you have not. Then, describe how you feel you will do well since you are comfortable speaking in public and have excellent communication skills.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "No, I have never testified in court. However, I feel confident in my nursing and documentation skills and do not have an issue speaking in public. I have excellent communication skills, which will help me when testifying in court for the first time."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    15. After reading the job description, what do you like most about this position?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer asks this question to see that you have read the entire job description and determine what aspect of the role you like most. Most charge nurse job postings have many job duties you will be asked to perform. The interviewer wants to know what you like most to see where your strengths lie.

      Focus on describing what you like most about the job and explain why. For example, you might like that you will be responsible for training all new employees and providing regular performance evaluations. Tell the interviewer why this particular job duty excites you.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "There are many aspects of the job description that are appealing. What I like most about this position is training new employees and conducting annual performance evaluations. I have worked in a teaching capacity for the past five years and love sharing my knowledge and experience with others. I also enjoy the annual reviews because it lets me show my staff how well they are doing and how much I appreciate their work."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    16. What do you think will be the most challenging part of this position if hired?

      How to Answer

      To answer this question, you must have reviewed the organization, the policies, and the job description of the position and tailored your answer accordingly. Incorporate what you perceive are concerns of the administration, such as rapid staff turnover or poor surveys at the state level. Address these concerns realistically and directly and offer real solutions that are within your circle of influence. Address what you can do as a charge nurse to impact the concerns. Pair the challenges with things you will do well so that the interviewer remembers your answer as both a challenge and an opportunity.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "As with any new position, the most challenging part of the job is gaining the trust of my coworkers and supervisors. However, I have a very outgoing personality and have been told I am extremely approachable, which usually helps break the ice. I also work towards earning the respect and trust of my team by demonstrating a strong work ethic, doing exactly what I say I will do, and being open and accepting of their input."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    17. Why are you leaving your current place of employment?

      How to Answer

      Most people do not leave their employment if they are happy and well-paid. This can be a loaded question, so think about your answer carefully and structure it in a way that describes your reason without demeaning your former employer. Even if you worked for what is well-known as a challenging organization, do not discuss that. Keep it on the light side and focus on what benefits you seek with a job change.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I am leaving my current employment because I moved away from the area, and my commute was two hours each day. I moved here to be closer to my aging parents and would like a job closer to home. I gave my supervisor two weeks' notice and left on good terms. I have a letter of recommendation from my previous employer f you would like a copy for your records."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    18. What three words are used frequently to describe your personality?

      How to Answer

      Research the 'buzz' words employers seek in their job description and pick ones that resonate with you. Examples include intellectual, perfectionist (not a bad thing for a nurse), ethical, enthusiastic, team player, great communicator, invested, organized, or professional maturity. Choose words that showcase your unique qualities and excite the interviewer for you as a candidate for the job.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "My team frequently says I am a hard worker, approachable, and an excellent communicator. I like to lead by example and conduct myself professionally because I never know who is watching. I let my team know that I will work alongside them as hard as they do, and they can approach me with any concerns without retribution. I communicate effectively with my team, so my expectations are clear."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    19. What are three positive things that your former employer might say about you?

      How to Answer

      Your answer should be fair, accurate, substantiated, and verified by employer reports if they are obtained. You should never downplay your contributions, but embellishment is not a good idea. Pick three solid things that are special about you but of practical use to the employer, such as promptness, willingness to help, creativity, ingenuity, or awards for your contributions as a nurse.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I have a letter of recommendation from my previous employer if you would like a copy for your file. Three positive things she said about me in that letter are that I am honest, reliable, and a strong leader who is well-respected by the team. My supervisor mentioned that she was sorry to see me go and highly recommends me for any position I seek."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Experience

    20. Have you ever terminated an employee? If so, what was your experience?

      How to Answer

      One of a charge nurse's duties may be to terminate and discipline employees. The interviewer asks this question to see if you have experience terminating employees and, if so, how it went. They want to know that you can handle this job duty professionally and with compassion.

      Be honest with the interviewer. If you have terminated employees, describe your experience. If you have not let an employee go, explain the steps you would take when that time comes. If you have specific training on terminating employees, highlight that in your response. If you have not directly released an employee but were present as a neutral third party during the termination, describe your role in that experience.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "Yes, I have been present at an employee's termination as a neutral third party and have also been responsible for terminating several employees. While it is not a fun part of the job, the experience went well because I performed my due diligence and had documentation of the employee's behavior and offenses that led up to the termination. Since the employee's supervisor and I documented everything correctly, the employees realized they were not being discriminated against and understood why they were being let go."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Experience

    21. Tell us about yourself and your experience. What makes you a great candidate for this position?

      How to Answer

      Prepare the answer to this question carefully, as this question is certain to surface. Showcase your abilities as both a competent nurse and a leader. Mention optimal patient outcomes as a priority in addition to fidelity to the organization's standards and employee guidelines. Your answer should strike a balance between visionary leadership and staying on the cutting edge of nursing knowledge while assuring the highest standards of nursing care while maintaining organizational policy and procedures.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I have a Master's Degree in Nursing Leadership and Administration from Rasmussen University. I have worked as a charge nurse for 12 years in various units, including Med-Surg, neurology, and the emergency department. Working in various settings allowed me to learn more about different specialties, giving me a broad range of expertise. I have a strong work ethic and leadership style and have received awards for my leadership and compassionate patient care. I look forward to bringing my skills and knowledge to your incredible organization."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Leadership

    22. How do you provide feedback to your clinical staff?

      How to Answer

      To be an effective leader, you must be able to provide employees with both positive and constructive feedback. Consider times when you had to demonstrate empathy or handle a situation delicately. Give examples of techniques you use to deliver feedback and give examples where possible.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Leadership

    23. In your experience, what is the most effective way to train new nurses?

      How to Answer

      Every organization will have a system to train new staff, so your answer should be specific to your unit. Your answer should provide unique and fresh ideas to enrich and streamline the onboarding process.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I have found the best and most effective way to train new nurses is to have a new employee orientation where they are introduced to the employee handbook and tour the unit to see where everything is. After their tour, I have the new hires pair up with a mentor and shadow them for a shift or two, depending on their experience. After their mentor feels they are ready to work on their own, I assign them shifts and let them know they always have the support of myself and my staff if they have any questions."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Leadership

    24. How would you help or show your staff how to handle a challenging patient?

      How to Answer

      Charge nurses are responsible for overseeing the unit's day-to-day operations and taking the lead or charge of crises and challenging situations in a way that demonstrates confidence, competence, and respect for all involved. The interviewer wants to gain insight into your conflict resolution, communication, and problem-solving skills to determine if you will be a good fit for the team.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "There are many reasons a patient can be challenging, and I would adjust how I handle the situation based on the underlying reason the patient is being difficult. If the patient has a brain injury, dementia, or another medical condition, I will ensure they are properly medicated and cannot harm themselves. If the patient is being cranky, I would explain that my staff and I are trying to help them and we do not like being harassed. I would calmly ask them how we can help and provide them with what they need."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Leadership

    25. Describe a possible first-step correction action plan for a staff nurse who is chronically late for their shift.

      How to Answer

      The interviewing team seeks a direct and planned approach to a frequent problem with nursing personnel. Your job as the unit leader is staff management, so this question should be expected and answered with confidence. Be decisive, fair, and direct with your response. Your answer should showcase your team management, including diplomacy and communication skills.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "The first step I would take is to speak with the nurse when they were late the first time, so it would not turn into a chronic issue. I understand people are late sometimes, but I let all my staff know to contact me beforehand if they are running late so there are no surprises. I would not let this turn into a chronic problem as it is unfair to the rest of the staff."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Leadership

    26. How do you deal with employee reviews and establishing corrective plans of action for them?

      How to Answer

      This question assesses your ability to perform some of the more uncomfortable aspects of leadership, so be prepared with a decisive and effective response.

      Evaluating your employees and establishing corrective action plans are essential to providing excellent patient care. It's not comfortable or pleasant, but it is essential in running an effective unit.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I follow my employer's policies and procedures regarding an employee's review schedule. I also have my own policies and procedures that outline performance expectations so my team is clear about what is expected of them. I like to give regular and consistent feedback, document performance issues, and take corrective action immediately. The action plan must be agreed upon and signed by my staff member and myself to make it valid. If the staff member continues to perform poorly, I have another meeting with them and a member of human resources as a witness."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Leadership

    27. Why do you think you are a good fit for this position with our organization?

      How to Answer

      This question is an excellent opportunity for you to illustrate your enthusiasm for the position and diligence in researching the organization. A good answer provides the interviewer with layered insight into how you work. Take the time before the interview to craft your response to optimize your chances for a second interview.

      Written by Ryan Brown on November 6th, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "After researching your organization and speaking with the administration and other healthcare professionals, I believe I will be a great fit due to my expertise as a charge nurse in various units. I am well-rounded and can work in the emergency department, the ICU, the pediatric NICU, and labor and delivery. Although I am interviewing to work as a charge nurse on the medical floor, I have the expertise to cover other areas if needed."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Operational

    28. How do you balance patient care and administrative duties as a charge nurse?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you have a proven method of balancing patient care and administrative duties. Nursing is a stressful career, and being a charge nurse is even more so. The interviewer wants to hear that you have the organizational skills to do your job without getting overwhelmed by your workload. Describe how you balance the duties required of you as a charge nurse.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I always take care of my patients first, as they are my top priority. I then complete my administrative duties, which I have on a spreadsheet on my computer. Every morning, I list what needs to be done and prioritize the most urgent tasks. I also have no problem delegating duties to other nursing staff, which gives them the knowledge and confidence needed if they decide to promote to a charge nurse."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Operational

    29. Describe how you organize and prioritize your work.

      How to Answer

      The interview team is looking for a candidate who can balance patient care while overseeing day-to-day operations, which requires organizational skills. Your answer should outline an organizational system that addresses both needs without watering down the effectiveness or importance of either one.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I work very well under pressure, and the best thing to do when there is a lot of pressure is to stay organized. I create a list in my time management software, prioritize the most urgent assignments, and delegate work where I can. The workflow is seamless if I stay focused and know exactly what needs to be done."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Situational

    30. How would you handle an angry patient or family member?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer asks this question to understand your conflict resolution, communication, and problem-solving skills. Working in a healthcare and customer service position requires handling angry patients and family members calmly and professionally. The interviewer wants to see that you have these skills and will be an asset to the team if hired.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I have extensive training in customer dispute management from my previous employer. If a patient or family member is ever unhappy with their service, I would stop what I was doing, apologize, and ask them what I can do to make them happy. Most patients and family members will tell you exactly what they want to satisfy their needs."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Situational

    31. How do you handle disagreements between nursing staff?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers ask this question to gain insight into your conflict resolution, problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills. Charge nurses often deal with disgruntled staff, and you should demonstrate how you do so calmly and professionally. If you have a real-life example, share your story with the interviewer without naming the staff members. If you have not had to intervene in a disagreement between nursing staff, explain how you would do so if faced with the situation.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "When my nursing staff has a conflict, I meet with each of them separately. I first let them tell me their sides of the story, and then I have a meeting with both of them. I explain what each has told me and let them discuss their issue. I then ask them to resolve the issue so we can all get along."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Situational

    32. What do you do when a team member does not show up for their shift?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers ask this question to see your conflict resolution, communication, and problem-solving skills. When a team member does not show up for their shift, it puts added stress on the team and takes away from your duties as a charge nurse. Describe how you remain calm, contact the team member, and get coverage.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "When a team member does not show up for their shift, I will call to see where they are. If I cannot reach them, I ask my staff if they can cover the shift. If none of the staff can work a double shift, I will assign a nurse to care for my patients while I make phone calls to find coverage."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Technical

    33. What computer skills or software programs would you use to train your staff?

      How to Answer

      We live in the age of computers, so you should present as a tech-savvy charge nurse. Technology streamlines care; it doesn't replace the need for hands-on excellence, but it certainly streamlines access to information and standardizes specific tasks, such as scheduling. The organization may already have training software; ask what is already available. Be prepared and knowledgeable about the available options and why they would be helpful.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I have excellent computer skills and can quickly learn new software programs. My favorite software programs for educational purposes are Skyscape Nursing Constellation All-In-One Nursing Solution and Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. When my staff has a medical question and needs a reliable source to answer their questions, they use these two programs to find their answer quickly."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    Hospital

    34. How would you balance administrative, supervisory, and clinical duties in this role?

      How to Answer

      As a charge nurse, you will be responsible for several clinical, supervisory, and administrative tasks. To effectively balance your workload, you must possess strong organizational skills and exercise sound judgment when delegating and prioritizing. Discuss the strategies or techniques you use to manage your time and ensure your responsibilities are taken care of.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    Psychiatric

    35. You may be asked to work beyond your shift or be on call. What is your availability for overtime?

      How to Answer

      Charge nurse schedules can often be demanding and unpredictable as you may be asked to stay over to cover or be on call in case of a staff member call-out. Now is the time to understand the expectations and discuss any flexibility and challenges you may have. Be open and honest about your availability.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Psychiatric

    36. Working in mental and behavioral health settings can be taxing to clinical staff. How do you ensure your staff is not burned out?

      How to Answer

      Turnover among psychiatric nurses is among the highest in any setting, so it's essential that you, as the leader, can monitor, identify and address signs of burnout among staff. Describe ways that you take a proactive approach and communicate with your staff regularly. Discuss with the interviewer your strategies to keep your team engaged and retained.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

    37. How would you advise a nurse to care for a patient who is unable to communicate?

      How to Answer

      Many ICU patients are unable to communicate at some point during their hospitalization, whether it be from a brain injury, coma, intubation, or other injury or illness. Demonstrate that you treat them with the same level of respect and deliver the same quality care that you would to other patients. You can acknowledge that these patients may require more time, patience, and reassurance. Give examples of techniques you would encourage your staff to communicate and care for these types of patients.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

    38. What experience and certifications do you have that will benefit you in this role on the ICU?

      How to Answer

      Give the interviewer an overview of your total years of experience, and mention how many of those were working on a similar or related unit. If you have certificates beyond your RN license, share that with the interviewer. Often, possessing certificates like the CCRN could result in a higher salary.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

    39. What experience do you have overseeing medication logs?

      How to Answer

      Medication log oversight and auditing are necessary to prevent and catch medication and documentation errors. Describe your experience reviewing medication logs and explain what you typically look for (correct medication names, dosages, time administered, nurse initials, patient refusals, disposal records, etc.) ICUs are more likely to have narcotics on med carts, so the charge nurse will be responsible for ensuring proper administration and documentation of all drugs, with scrutiny on narcotics.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Pediatric

    40. How do you communicate with your team when you have clinical students on your unit?

      How to Answer

      Having students do clinical rotations on your unit or floor can be a great benefit but can also be hectic with so many extra bodies in patient rooms and hallways. Effective communication is key to ensuring all patient care tasks are complete and shift documentation is completed properly. Describe how you communicate with the student's instructor, the students, and your staff to ensure optimal operation as a team.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Emergency Room

    41. How do you handle the pressures of working in the ER?

      How to Answer

      Emergency department staff face high levels of stress regularly. It's critical that you can manage your stress and help those on your shift cope and manage the pressures they face. Discuss techniques and strategies you use to combat issues, such as short staffing, burnout, long hours, fatigue, emotional stress, the constant fast pace, etc.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Emergency Room

    42. What do you expect your responsibilities to entail as an ER charge nurse?

      How to Answer

      A charge nurse in the ER department wears many hats, and the interviewer would like to know that you understand what responsibilities and tasks will be required. Thoroughly read the job description to fully understand the role and the company-specific job duties and requirements. If you have questions about what you will be responsible for, ask at the end of your response.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Pediatric

    43. What techniques do you use or teach your nurses to use to calm a patient who is refusing treatment or medication?

      How to Answer

      As a pediatric charge nurse, you must possess critical thinking and well-developed problem-solving skills to handle these types of situations. It's not uncommon for a child to refuse treatment or medication, so it's crucial to demonstrate to the interviewer that you have a strategy to overcome this. Describe how you communicate with patients, show empathy and patience, and persuade your pediatric patients to cooperate with treatment plans.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Pediatric

    44. What differences have you found between caring for adult and pediatric patients?

      How to Answer

      There are many differences between working with adult patients and pediatric patients. The interviewer is looking for insight into what you view as the biggest differences in the population groups. Keep your answer positive and give two or three examples of how you feel the care and approaches differ.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Pediatric

    45. Tell me about a time you had to handle a situation that involved an upset parent.

      How to Answer

      Pediatric charge nurses interact with pediatric parents or guardians in this setting, often serving as a liaison for the clinical team of aides, nurses, and doctors. The interviewer wants to learn more about how you react under pressure and in tense situations. Speak to your ability to de-escalate situations, show empathy and compassion for parents, and ways that you communicate, educate and provide support in these scenarios. Give examples that highlight your abilities where possible.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Pediatric

    46. What do you enjoy about working with pediatric patients?

      How to Answer

      Charge nurses can work in many different settings, whether it be in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, schools, etc. The interviewer would like to learn more about why you chose to work with pediatric patients. Give an honest answer about why you're passionate about working with children and what you find most rewarding.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Psychiatric

    47. As a new charge nurse at our facility, what are some challenges you anticipate?

      How to Answer

      There are challenges anytime you change jobs or begin working at a new facility, and psychiatric nursing has its own unique set of challenges. Be honest when describing what you anticipate will be a challenge, and discuss how you plan to overcome it. Perhaps it's meeting new coworkers, gaining patients' trust, learning new policies and procedures, etc. Keep a positive attitude and tone in your response.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Psychiatric

    48. Tell me about a time you had to write up a staff member.

      How to Answer

      As a charge nurse, you will be responsible for managing others; sometimes, that responsibility includes disciplining staff members. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable situation at times, so the interviewer would like to understand your approach and process in this type of situation. Give an example, and include the cause of the disciplinary action and how you followed a company policy and addressed the situation. This is an opportunity to showcase your communication, conflict resolution, and problem-solving skills!

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

    49. How do you support a staff member who is upset after losing a patient?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to gain insight into your empathy, communication, and compassion skills. They want to hear that you understand your staff member's emotions while comforting them and allowing them to manage their grief.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I understand how hard it is to lose a patient, but I also know it is part of our job. I would support my staff member by pulling them aside and letting them know they did all they could for the patient. I would allow them to grieve but remind them they have other patients who need their excellent care. I would suggest they use the resources provided by the organization to address compassion fatigue and let them take time to recover before attending to their patients."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Psychiatric

    50. If a staff member comes to you with safety concerns, how do you address the situation?

      How to Answer

      As the charge nurse responsible for the shift, you will be the "point person" for staff to come to with concerns and questions. You must be able to assess the situation and provide a solution that promotes the safety of your staff and patients while also ensuring necessary care is provided. Give an example of a time you have encountered this type of situation or describe how you would handle the situation in the future. Be sure to highlight your listening and communication skills and ability to remain calm and think critically.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Psychiatric

    51. How do you communicate with your team of nurses and aides?

      How to Answer

      For your unit to run optimally, you must be able to communicate with the clinical staff that you are overseeing effectively. Consider how you actively listen to your team and address their feedback and concerns. Since you are the "point person" of the shift, you will likely have the most up-to-date patient information and updates on admissions and discharges before the rest of the staff. Describe how you pass the information to the team to ensure continuity of care and operation.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Emergency Room

    52. What experience do you have with EHR? Please include specific systems and your experience training others as well.

      How to Answer

      Nearly all hospitals use some form of EHR system today. Some of the top systems include Epic, Oracle Cerner, and MEDITECH. Discuss the systems you are familiar with, your length of experience using them, how comfortable you feel using EHRs, and your experience training others. If you lack experience, assure the interviewer that you're willing and able to learn!

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

    53. How do you ensure smooth shift changes and hand-offs?

      How to Answer

      A patient in the ICU may receive care from several clinical staff throughout their visit, so ensuring continuity of care through shift changes is critical. Nurse aides, nurses, and nurse leaders must conduct effective end-of-shift reporting to maintain quality patient care. Describe your process and communication as you wrap up your shift and hand over responsibilities to the next charge nurse on duty.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Emergency Room

    54. What would you do if several patients complained to you about one of your staff nurses?

      How to Answer

      An effective leader will possess good communication and listening skills, investigative skills, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution skills. The interviewer wants to know that you take complaints seriously and would follow the proper channels to investigate the complaints and take appropriate action. Walk the interviewer through your process to handle such situations.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Nursing Home

    55. Why do you prefer to work in a nursing home versus other settings?

      How to Answer

      Nurses can work in hospitals, clinics, correctional facilities, schools, home health, skilled nursing facilities, and more! The interviewer is interested in hearing why you want to work in a nursing home setting. Be sure to give a genuine answer and refrain from speaking negatively about specific age groups, other facilities, or settings.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Nursing Home

    56. How would you handle staff who are not following appropriate safety and health guidelines?

      How to Answer

      As a charge nurse, you will oversee the clinical team to ensure compliance with safety and health guidelines and policies. Demonstrate your commitment to excellence and compliance and assure the interviewer that you take violations seriously. Explain how you would quickly address the situation and your approach to ensuring the same mistakes are not repeated.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Nursing Home

    57. In the event of a call-out that you couldn't find coverage for, are you willing to work the floor and med cart as necessary?

      How to Answer

      While many facilities have a designated scheduler to ensure the units are staffed and backup staff is on call, there may still be occasions where it's not possible to fill a hole in the schedule. When that occurs, you may be asked to cover the floor to provide patient care or to help pass medications. Be open and honest in your answer about what you're willing to cover.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Nursing Home

    58. While conducting a chart audit, you find a number of patients with errors in their charts. What do you do?

      How to Answer

      A charge nurse may have to do routine audits to prepare for annual state surveys. To be effective in this process, you must possess strong attention to detail, the ability to think critically and identify patterns, and the ability to address the situation with an employee through coaching and sometimes even disciplinary action. Describe your experience with this situation, and if you are a new charge nurse, describe how you would react.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Nursing Home

    59. As a charge nurse in a skilled nursing facility, what are some of your typical responsibilities?

      How to Answer

      Charge nurses are typically responsible for unit oversight on their designated shift, ensuring operations run smoothly. Responsibilities range from caring for patients and overseeing the clinical staff to managing the staff schedule and finding coverage for callouts. If you have worked as a charge nurse in a nursing home setting before, describe your responsibilities. If you are new to this type of facility, read the job description and discuss your responsibilities in other settings, like a hospital, doctor's office, etc., that would demonstrate experience and transferable skills.

      Written by Jaymie Payne on December 2nd, 2022

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  • Role-Specific

    Emergency Room

    60. Have you ever worked with a physician who was challenging to communicate with? How did you overcome this challenge?

      How to Answer

      As a charge nurse, you will most likely encounter a physician who is challenging to communicate with. The interviewer wants to gain insight into your problem-solving and communication skills. Explain that you understand everyone has different ways of communicating, and describe how you try to learn the best way to communicate with challenging people. When answering, don't mention the physician's name.

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

      Entry Level Example

      "I realize everyone has their own communication style, and if a physician has a different personality, approach, or communication style, I'm adaptable and can work effectively alongside them. I don't take things personally, and I keep my focus on providing the best patient care. I will have a candid, private conversation with the physician to address my concerns if a communication issue causes a delay, hinders treatment plans, or prevents my staff from doing their job. I firmly believe in direct communication and problem-solving; however, if issues continued to put my staff or patients at risk, I would escalate that to my manager."

      Written by Krista Wenz on December 2nd, 2022

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