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Licensed Practical Nurse Interview

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated February 16th, 2020 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
What is your favorite aspect about being a Licensed Practical Nurse?
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How to Answer
It is common for candidates to fret over open-ended questions like this. Where do you begin, and where do you end? With all of the career choices out there, the interviewer is interested in what truly makes you love your job. For this reason, it's essential to provide an honest and heartfelt response. You can share a personal experience or story that made you choose a career in nursing.
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Top 30 Licensed Practical Nurse Interview Questions with Full Content
What is your favorite aspect about being a Licensed Practical Nurse?
It is common for candidates to fret over open-ended questions like this. Where do you begin, and where do you end? With all of the career choices out there, the interviewer is interested in what truly makes you love your job. For this reason, it's essential to provide an honest and heartfelt response. You can share a personal experience or story that made you choose a career in nursing.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"There are several things I love about being an LPN. I am a caring person, and as a nurse, I get to meet different people with various needs all the time. Whether it's patients, their family members, or new team members, I like to get to know others and find ways that I can help. I aim to leave a positive impression on everyone I meet, and being a healthcare provider; I feel blessed to fulfill this mission every day."
Darby's Answer #2
"As a recently graduated LPN, I know that I will love seeing my patients continually improve with the help of my care and knowledge. During my internship, I observed many patients at their worst. When the care they received from their nurse began to have a positive effect, I saw the shift in them and found it incredible. When I can put my knowledge to better the health and life of someone else, that will be very satisfying."
During a shift change, the nurse you are replacing tells you to expect the narcotics count to be off because it was off when they began their shift. How would you handle this situation?
State and federal guidelines mandate accurate record-keeping of medications. No matter where you work as a Licensed Practical Nurse, part of the daily routine includes narcotics counts at the beginning and end of each shift. The interviewer wants to know that you understand the importance of accurate record-keeping and that you will handle any discrepancies within the legal guidelines.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"If I were taking over a shift and the nurse who worked before me told me about a discrepancy between the narcotics count book and the actual medications on hand, I would first ask them if we can do another count to verify the discrepancy. If the count did reflect that medications were missing, I would immediately report this to my supervisor. This situation is not about getting someone into trouble, but about being accountable for the safety and well being of our patients, myself, and the other healthcare providers. Medication errors can occur, but it is my responsibility to make sure I notify the appropriate authority to determine where the error occurred and to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Darby's Answer #2
"Any time the count of medications does not match the record book, I would report the incident to my supervisor. While errors do occur, unfortunately, there could be other reasons for inaccurate counts. It is my responsibility to notify a supervisor. This approach puts the situation in the hands of someone with more experience and authority while protecting me from any liability related to missing medications."
If the Registered Nurse on your unit told you that they had prepared a Rocephin injection, but now has an emergency to attend to and asked you to administer the dose, how would you respond?
One of the first rules of medication administration is that you should not administer any medication that you did not prepare yourself. Unfortunately, many new or inexperienced nurses are sometimes left feeling that if someone in a supervisory position requests this, they should comply. The interviewer wants to know that you are willing to protect the patient, yourself, and do what is right, even if it means declining a supervisor's request for you to perform a job.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I understand that emergencies arise, but I learned early in nursing school to never administer any medication that I did not prepare myself. If the RN asked me to administer an injection that they had prepared, I would tell them that I can't use the prepared medication. I would offer to either draw up a new injection myself and give it, or to assist with the other emergency so that they could administer the injection and then tend to the emergency afterward."
Darby's Answer #2
"If the RN asked me to administer an injection that I didn't prepare, I would tell them that, although I don't feel comfortable administering, I would be happy to assist in any other way."
Have you ever received negative feedback from a supervisor? If so, how did you handle it?
Receiving negative feedback can be discouraging, but it doesn't have to be something that leaves you feeling incapable of doing your job. Discuss a time when you received criticism or feedback and discuss what you did to pivot. When you answer, avoid speaking negatively about the person who gave you the feedback or seeming as though you are tough to manage.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I remember when I first began my career as an LPN, I thought I had to do everything for everyone. I ended up taking on too many tasks and falling behind with my assignments. One of my supervisors told me that a patient had complained because I seemed too rushed. I was so embarrassed because I didn't want anyone to feel like I couldn't do my job or that I didn't care about them. I apologized to the supervisor and my patient and explained that I had taken on some extra assignments, but that I didn't mean to make her feel neglected. When I apologized, the patient agreed to let me continue caring for her. I learned from that experience that it's ok to want to give more, but that I should not stretch myself too thin and risk compromising the best patient care."
Darby's Answer #2
"I am sure that the longer I work in the healthcare industry, the better I will learn that receiving negative feedback is not always a 'negative' thing. I once received a negative rating on one of my evaluations while earning my LPN certification. It was a disheartening experience because I pride myself on doing good work. I scheduled a time to sit and talk with my supervisor and understand his point of view concerning the negative rating and made a plan of action to improve on the issue."
How do you plan to continually grow as a Licensed Practical Nurse?
You have a certification or degree; however, it doesn't mean that you stop learning. Discuss your plans to take professional courses, obtain new certifications, or focus on professional growth. You may also want to mention a class or volunteer position to highlight your commitment to continual development.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am so happy to have completed my LPN certification; however, I am not done. I recently enrolled in a weekend course through the American Heart Association that will allow me to teach CPR classes at the local middle school on my days off."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I will never stop learning and believe that, especially in the healthcare industry, one must stay up to date on new trends and discoveries. I plan to continually grow as an LPN by taking monthly courses on a variety of related topics. If there are any courses you recommend, I would be happy to hear your recommendations."
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!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"It is never easy to be criticized or to receive unfavorable feedback. However, I believe that I can learn from each experience and constructively move forward. For example, a physician recently mentioned to me that my notes in the database were not as detailed as she would prefer. I had to take a minute and breathe because I spent extra time on those notes and felt frustrated by the feedback. However, I knew this physician could be tough to please, so I asked her to show me exactly how she preferred the notes in the system so that next time, as a team, we could be more efficient."
Darby's Answer #2
"I am newer to my career as an LPN, and with that information, sometimes comes additional critiques from physicians. I take every critique as a learning opportunity. I am thankful for any feedback that helps me to become a better healthcare provider."
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I think one of my biggest weaknesses is that I can get lost in providing too many unnecessary details in my documentation. I recognize this in myself and am sure to assess, before I do my charting, if the detail is critical to include. Since implementing this thinking, my speed of work has increased quite significantly."
Darby's Answer #2
"I know you may not think this about someone who has chosen a career as an LPN, but one of my weaknesses is that I can get nervous around people I don't know. I know many introverts feel this to a certain degree. To overcome this weakness, I attend social activities where I know there are going to be opportunities to meet new people so that I can practice being in situations where I need to strike up a conversation with people I may not know."
If you were the LPN in a clinic and your 15 yr old patient asked you to withhold the results of a positive urine drug screen from her parents, how would you respond?
Recent polls of adolescent patients (under the age of 18) have shown a tendency not to seek medical care or treatment if that care cannot be independent of a parent or guardian. Among those patients polled, many of them stated that there were specific topics that they do not want their parents to know about. These topics include sexual activity, presence or treatment of STDs, and alcohol or drug abuse. Many polled said that they would prefer to have no treatment at all if notification of their parents was required.

As an LPN, some of your patients will be younger than the legal age of consent for treatment. Knowing the law and how it affects what information you can or cannot provide is crucial. The interviewer wants to see that you are not only familiar with the laws in your region, but that you can explain legal issues to your patients in a way that they understand.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have had patients in the past who did not want their parents to know certain test results. While I understand some situations may cause an underage patient to feel reservation about disclosing information, I would explain that, because of their age, I cannot keep the information regarding their test results from the parents or guardians."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"According to my recent LPN education, while many minor consent laws contain explicit provisions regarding the disclosure of information to parents, some do not allow disclosure without the minor's permission. Others, still, leave the decision about disclosure to the physician's discretion. With all of that in mind, I believe that every LPN should be aware of their state's laws regarding privacy and also know the guidelines set in place within their facility. When in doubt, it will be important that I gain clarification from my charge nurse or attending physician."
If you suspected that one of your co-workers was abusing drugs, how would you handle the situation?
Working in healthcare is stressful, and even healthcare professionals are not exempt from developing addiction issues and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Statistics show that there has been an increase of healthcare providers who abuse prescription drugs or illegal substances. Unfortunately, this trend creates more strain 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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"It is impossible to give proper care to others if we are working in an impaired state. If I suspected that a co-worker was abusing drugs, I would ask to speak to my supervisor privately and disclose my concerns."
Darby's Answer #2
"If I suspected any drug abuse by a co-worker, I would direct any suspicion to my supervisor right away. Working while under the influence of any drug, illegal or not, could impair a nurse's ability to provide proper care. I am obligated, in the interest of protecting my patients, to report any concerns to my supervisor so that they can assess the situation, and take appropriate action."
What is something that you think people may not know or understand about LPNs that you would like for them to know?
Many people know what nurses do, but unless they are members of the nursing industry, they may not understand the differences in the roles of LPNs and RNs. One thing that is important to remember when answering this is to make your answer positive. If you miss using the proper wording, you could appear to devalue the LPN role in comparison to the RN role. The interviewer wants to know that you can appreciate the value of your position as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I think that people who are not nurses or are not familiar with the nursing industry hear 'LPN' and often feel that we don't have critical nursing skills like RNs. The truth is, LPNs provide a great deal of hands-on care to patients, and that care requires learning essential skills of nursing. I see many LPNs sell themselves short because they haven't sought a higher degree, and we must uphold that we are a valuable part of a multi-dimensional care team."
Darby's Answer #2
"While completing my LPN certification, even some of my fellow students misinterpreted the depth of what a Licensed Nurse Practitioner can do. To combat this, I will take pride in my work and learn everything that I can, ensuring that I will fully support my healthcare team without hesitation."
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