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Clinical Nurse Specialist Interview Questions

25 Clinical Nurse Specialist Interview Questions
Question 1 of 25
We look favorably on volunteer work. How do you give back to your community?
How to Answer
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.

Answer Example
"I believe that it's my responsibility to give back to the community by offering free nursing services to programs in need such as the local drop-in center and the women's center. I have volunteered twice per month for the last two years. It's gratifying to contribute to the health of others."
Entry Level Example
"I recently completed my nursing internship at the local women's health care center. They asked me if I would volunteer one Saturday per month after I am fully certified, and I happily agreed."
Experienced Example
"Volunteering is so important! I spend one day per week working as a volunteer nurse for the children's hospital, as a baby cuddler! I help to cuddle and feed the newborns in ICU. They need the contact of another person to thrive. This is often the best part of my week!"
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Question 2 of 25
Are you applying for any other jobs?
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How to Answer
It always puts a little bit of fire under the hiring manager if they are aware that you are actively looking for a new position. Tell the interviewer about your search so far.

Answer Example
"I am keeping an eye out for viable positions. Although I am not in final stages with any other hospital, I am actively seeking a new position."
Entry Level Example
"I am a recent graduate and am interested in making a move as soon as possible; however, I need to ensure that my next career move is one that aligns well with my career goals and desire for a healthy workplace culture."
Experienced Example
"I am looking for a job that will provide me as much value as I am looking to contribute to an organization, so yes, I am in the process of exploring opportunities at companies that appeal to me."
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Question 3 of 25
A nurse must have high integrity. When have you shown great integrity at work?
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How to Answer
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.

Answer Example
"I have never had a complaint or a discrepancy, in the four years that I have worked as a nurse. I best show my integrity by being a consistently reliable healthcare professional."
Entry Level Example
"Honesty and integrity are two values at the center of my being. I like to think I practice this in the workplace by always doing the right thing by the hospital for which I work, my colleagues, and my patients."
Experienced Example
"I show integrity every day at work by being my true self. The "me" that you see at work is the "me" that my family and friends get. I am an honest and genuine person."
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Question 4 of 25
How many days were you absent from work last year?
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How to Answer
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.

Answer Example
"I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2, and a note from my physician accompanied those. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."
Entry Level Example
"I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with notice."
Experienced Example
"I think I missed ten days, counting vacation time. Of those, five were for my vacation. For three days, I was excused under a doctor's note. The other two absences were pre-approved family days. I am dedicated to my career as a nurse and understand that my colleagues and patients rely on me."
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Question 5 of 25
How do you deal with uncomfortable situations?
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Question 6 of 25
How do you get along with your fellow nurses and physicians?
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Question 7 of 25
Who would you say inspires you?
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Question 8 of 25
Have you progressed in your nursing career as you have expected?
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Question 9 of 25
When a patient suffers a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
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Question 10 of 25
How do you like to be recognized for your nursing accomplishments?
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Creators of Clinical Nurse Specialist Answers and Questions

Heather Douglass
Heather Douglass has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates. She has a knack for resume writing. You can find her on twitter at @heatherinidaho.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 11/04/2014
Last modified on: 08/30/2018

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Question 11 of 25
Have you obtained prescriptive authority?
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Question 12 of 25
What are some highlights of your internship?
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Question 13 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 14 of 25
Would people say that you are compassionate?
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Question 15 of 25
Which automated medical records software are you trained in? Rate your technical abilities from 1-10.
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Question 16 of 25
What type of medical equipment are you best versed in?
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Question 17 of 25
We are looking for a CNS with exceptional leadership skills. Tell me about your leadership qualities.
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Question 18 of 25
Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
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Question 19 of 25
In which states are you registered to work as a clinical nurse specialist?
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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
Have you had the opportunity to teach an important skill to a co-worker?
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Question 22 of 25
What do you know about our hospital?
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Question 23 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 24 of 25
What are your salary expectations?
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Question 25 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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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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