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Top 25 Clinical Nurse Specialist Interview Questions

Would people say that you are compassionate?
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Question 2 of 25
What are some highlights of your internship?
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"One of my most memorable experiences was working with an elderly lady who broke her hip. She survived the hip surgery, which was amazing, but we noticed some problems with her heart in the meantime. After some investigating, we learned that she had a blockage. I learned how delicate and sensitive elderly patients could be, but I also learned how powerful having a good attitude can be. After multiple surgeries, this 85-year-old woman was still going and still smiling!"
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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Entry Level Example
"My most powerful experience during my internship was working with the pediatric oncology unit. I had worked with cancer patients in the past, but never with children and this rotation sparked my passion for oncology care and research. I left that rotation knowing that I wanted to work in hospitals for the rest of my career. This experience lit a spark in me."
Experienced Example
"I completed my internship many years ago and still have an amazing network of nurses, and other health professionals, that I have kept in touch with. This network has been a huge support to me and was the highlight of my time as an intern."
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Question 3 of 25
Have you obtained prescriptive authority?
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"Yes, I have gained prescriptive authority through the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). I was able to complete this step after completing my pharmacology-related courses. This authority has added a great deal to my professional opportunities and ability to help my patients more effectively."
It is highly recommended that clinical nurse specialists obtain prescriptive authority. Not only does this strengthen you as a health care professional, but it also benefits your patients! This is a simple yes and no answer; however, if you do not currently have prescriptive authority you should discuss your interest in gaining this credential.
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Entry Level Example
"I have not yet obtained prescriptive authority; however I plan to apply once I complete my pharmacology courses. This opportunity should come in the next two months."
Experienced Example
"I was the first clinical nurse specialist to gain prescriptive authority in my current hospital. It is a credential that I am incredibly proud of, and I encourage all other CNS' to gain this authority as well."
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Question 4 of 25
How do you like to be recognized for your nursing accomplishments?
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"I am very much an over-achiever and find that the best way for me to be recognized for a job well done is to be given words of kindness and recognition. I am easily encouraged, and the best reward for me is to know that my hard work is being noticed."
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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Entry Level Example
"I am very simple. I do not really require any formal recognition, but kind words from my coworkers and superiors will keep me motivated and working hard."
Experienced Example
"I love accolades given, in sincerity, by those whom I respect. It feels so great to know that my hard work is not only noticed but appreciated and commended."
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Question 5 of 25
When a patient suffers a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
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Question 6 of 25
Have you progressed in your nursing career as you have expected?
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Question 7 of 25
Who would you say inspires you?
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Question 8 of 25
How do you get along with your fellow nurses and physicians?
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Question 9 of 25
How do you deal with uncomfortable situations?
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Question 10 of 25
How many days were you absent from work last year?
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Question 11 of 25
A nurse must have high integrity. When have you shown great integrity at work?
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Question 12 of 25
Describe a recent issue you had with a doctor or co-worker's decision. How did you handle it?
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Question 13 of 25
We look favorably on volunteer work. How do you give back to your community?
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Question 14 of 25
Which automated medical records software are you trained in? Rate your technical abilities from 1-10.
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Question 15 of 25
Tell me about a time when you made a mistake with a patient. What happened and how did you correct it?
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Question 16 of 25
What are your salary expectations?
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Question 17 of 25
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?
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Question 18 of 25
What do you know about our hospital?
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Question 19 of 25
Have you had the opportunity to teach an important skill to a co-worker?
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Question 20 of 25
Do you have a Master's Degree or a Post-Master's Certificate? If so, what is your area of specialty?
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Question 21 of 25
In which states are you registered to work as a clinical nurse specialist?
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Question 22 of 25
Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
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Question 23 of 25
We are looking for a CNS with exceptional leadership skills. Tell me about your leadership qualities.
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Question 24 of 25
What type of medical equipment are you best versed in?
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Question 25 of 25
Are you applying for any other jobs?
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About Clinical Nurse Specialist

February 1st, 2017

A Clinical Nurse Specialist is an advanced-practice expert who provides patient care and consultation services for a variety of health care areas. These Clinical Nurses may specialize in oncology, pediatrics, geriatrics, psychiatric/mental health, adult health, acute/critical care, and community health programs. In addition to working in speciality areas, Clinical Nurse Specialists engage in teaching, mentoring, consulting and research for their fellow colleges and patients.

Clinical Nurse Specialist candidates are registered nurses who have a master’s or doctoral level degree. As a Clinical Nurse Specialist be prepared to take on a lead role. Candidates will be expected to not only serve as a mentor to other nursing professionals but serve as a consultant to other nurses and multidisciplinary health care team members. Candidates will also demonstrate professional leadership by taking an active role in the formulation and implementation of policies at the community, state and national levels.

When preparing for your interview you'll need to be able to speak to the specialized experience in your resume. Make sure you've done your homework on the facility and how you will fit into the team. Clinical Nurse Specialists are known to hold leadership roles based on their years of experience. Did your team win awards or get recognized for its accomplishments? If you are an experienced supervisor let the interviewer know how you led your team to its success.

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