While the focus of most of a nursing career is on patient care, administrative duties are often a part of the job, especially if a nurse chooses to transition into management positions. There are many nurses who are great in working with patients on a daily basis but struggle with the administrative duties that their employer requires and this can lead to on-the-job performance issues. The interviewer is asking this question to assess the candidate's ability to successfully complete administrative duties and tasks and to determine which software programs they may be proficient in. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should describe, in detail, an administrative task or project that they have worked on in the past, including details on how they used software programs to organize their work. A stronger answer to this question would include an example of when the candidate led or spearheaded an administrative project.
"Two years ago, when the company I was working for was undergoing their EHR upgrade, my manager put me in charge of ensuring that all clinicians, nurses, and staff on my unit were trained on the upgraded product. Since there were three separate required training classes, each offered at multiple times and dates, it was difficult to keep up with who had attended which session. To make it easy for me to track who had attended the training sessions, I created a tracking spreadsheet on Excel with validations and dropdown boxes, so I could easily visualize who had completed each training and who had not. I posted this spreadsheet on my unit's share drive so each employee could update it accordingly, and weekly, I would verify the information with the training office's records."
"A few months ago, my clinical unit received a new piece of equipment that no one on the nursing staff knew how to use. Because this equipment would eventually save everyone time and become beneficial to our patients, it was important for everyone to learn how to use it, so my manager sent me to training to become a superuser. Once I returned from the training, it was my responsibility to develop a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on how to operate the equipment, so that everyone on the staff would have a guide. Since I had never developed such a document in the past, I had to work closely with our quality nursing department to ensure I was using appropriate language while writing it. In the end, I used Microsoft Word to develop a new SOP that has helped everyone as they have learned to use the equipment."
"When I first started working in my current position in pediatric primary care, we would send young patients to the lab for their blood lead tests; however, management found that the parents were not following up and taking the patients to the lab for the tests. Since this test is important, we started doing the tests in the clinic. Along with conducting the actual tests, I was responsible for tracking how many tests were conducted at our clinical location each week and reporting the count back to our department administrator. Each day, as I closed the clinic, I would count the number of testing slips that were ready to be shipped to the lab and document them on a manual tracker; then at the end of the week, I would email the daily counts to my administrator in a table format so she could get an overall visual of our daily progress."
"My clinical unit often participates in quality improvement projects that are part of the hospital's larger quality initiatives; however, since our manager is very passionate about quality and improvement science, our unit often runs our own QI projects to improve our process and patient outcomes. Because I have a background in informatics and have strong analytical skills, I am often tasked with data collection and analysis when we run our own QI projects. When I am tasked with such, I build advanced data queries in tableau so the information will display on our dashboard, and I also extract raw data so I can conduct additional analytics in Excel and Access."