MockQuestions

Registered Nurse Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Registered Nurse interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Registered Nurse was written by and published on August 30th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Have you ever had a time where you were proud of your healthcare team? What role did you play in that effort?

How to Answer

By asking this question, your interviewer is ideally looking to hear that you would join their organization with a sense of pride in the work that do both yourself and as part of a larger team. Prior to you interview, think of a time when you felt a sense of pride and accomplishment in a team effort during your time as a Registered Nurse. Try to paint a clear picture for you interviewer on what the situation was, who was involved in making it a great team effort and what the ultimate outcome was. If you can relate your answer to a direct patient care situation, that is even better. In the end, make sure that your interviewer walks away knowing that you would take pride in what you do on the job at their organization.

Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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30 Registered Nurse Interview Questions & Answers

  • Accomplishment

    1. Have you ever had a time where you were proud of your healthcare team? What role did you play in that effort?

      How to Answer

      By asking this question, your interviewer is ideally looking to hear that you would join their organization with a sense of pride in the work that do both yourself and as part of a larger team. Prior to you interview, think of a time when you felt a sense of pride and accomplishment in a team effort during your time as a Registered Nurse. Try to paint a clear picture for you interviewer on what the situation was, who was involved in making it a great team effort and what the ultimate outcome was. If you can relate your answer to a direct patient care situation, that is even better. In the end, make sure that your interviewer walks away knowing that you would take pride in what you do on the job at their organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Working on a large rehab unit currently, there have been many proud moments that we enjoyed as a team. But the one that comes to mind first was this young patient who was in our unit following a car accident. With his original diagnosis being paralyzation from the waist down, our team of therapists, physicians and doctors worked with him for over three months on our inpatient unit. I felt so grateful to be working the day he took his first steps unassisted after four months on our unit. Many tears were shed that day, both by his family and our staff."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

  • Adaptability

    2. Talk about a time that you had to deal with a significant change in your work procedures or in your workplace. How did you handle that change?

      How to Answer

      The healthcare industry is always in a constant state of change. Organizations merge, laws change and new technology and processes are always emerging to better care for a patient. To succeed as a Registered Nurse, you need to be able to demonstrate that you can navigate change with ease in the workplace and this is your chance to talk in details about a specific change you have dealt with in the workplace with a positive outcome. In your answer, be sure to reiterate your ability to be flexible and open to change if you were to join this organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "In my last job, my organization went through a buyout to become the current organization that it is. Upon the buyout, nearly everything about my job changed. We were working on a new EMR, our pay structure changed, our benefits changed, our leadership structure changed and some of our work processes did too. Knowing about the buyout ahead of time, I was able to prepare myself under the notion that I only can control what I can control. As I saw other coworkers complain, cry and even look for new jobs, I took this as an opportunity to embrace change and become a better organization. Learning a new EMR and learning new work processes did end up making me a better nurse in the end and for that, I am grateful for that opportunity."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    3. How much supervision do you feel you would need in your initial months on the job here at our organization?

      How to Answer

      This is a tricky question, so think it through ahead of your interview and be prepared to give an answer that illustrates that you are 'coachable' without being too dependent or needy. You also want to project that you are confident and competent without being arrogant or trouble for the management. Your interviewer wants the best of both worlds in looking at a new Registered Nurse to join their team, so be prepared to describe your competency, initiative, and willingness to both ask for and receive supervision and direction.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I think it depends on the length of orientation I receive for the position. I am confident that I bring a level of competency to the position with my past experience, but every unit is different. I can be a self-starter with minimal supervision with regular cardiac catheter patients but would like access to supervision with more complicated patients. And I always appreciate supervision and critique from nursing leadership to learn and be better."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

  • Communication

    4. If hired at our organization, how would you ensure that patients receive education and information in terms that they understand?

      How to Answer

      As a Registered Nurse, you will often be in a position at this organization where you will be providing complicated information and education to patients. Your interviewer wants to hear that you have the ability to gauge each unique patient and their understanding of information so that you can take a personalized approach to educating every patient that you would be working with. If you have an example of a time where you successfully educated a patient in the simplest of terms, be sure to talk about that in your answer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Communication

    5. Tell me about a time you had to communicate bad news to a patient. How did you effectively communicate that news and what was the outcome?

      How to Answer

      As a Registered Nurse, the need to communicate effectively to a patient is vital and this is no more evident than when delivering bad news to a patient. By asking this question, your interviewer will be looking to see how you handled yourself in a particular instance by showing empathy and composure. Think of a time when you had to do this and talk about an instance that had a great outcome to prove your ability to do this if hired at their organization. To really sell yourself in your ability to handle delivering bad news to patients, talk about your ability to understand the patient's perspective and being open and available for questions from the patient.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Compatibility

    6. What professional nursing organizations do you belong to and which ones would you like to join in the future?

      How to Answer

      You may or may not get this question posed to you in an interview, but not belonging to any is not the answer that your interviewer is looking to hear if they do ask it. If you don't belong to any nursing organizations, maybe the first question to ask yourself is why not. If you are desiring a job as a critical care nurse, then join a specialty-specific organization before the interview. It's worth it, and it may tip the balance in your favor. Belonging to organizations brings access to other members and cutting edge information. There are lots of nursing organizations to join depending on your interests and career trajectory. As you answer, talk about the organizations that you do belong to and discuss any benefits that you've received from you membership. This can and should include any educational or training opportunities you have received.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Compatibility

    7. What is your work availability? Are you able to work nights? Weekends?

      How to Answer

      Heading into your interview with this organization, you should have a pretty good idea of the scheduling expectations of the position through the job posting that you read or the advertisement you saw. In truthfulness to yourself and potential future employer, you should be as honest as possible in what your availability is in regards to evening, night, weekend and holiday shifts. While reiterating that you are open and flexible, make sure that your interviewer knows of any personal commitments that you have because it is important that these things are discussed during the interview process.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Competency

    8. If you were working as a Registered Nurse at our organization and didn't know the answer to something, what resources would you use to find the right answer?

      How to Answer

      Your interviewer fully understands that Registered Nurses are often the go-to for questions from patients and their families and they also know it's impossible for even the best and most experienced nurse to know the answers to everything. What they are looking to hear is that you can be resourceful in finding an answer. As you answer, talk about your willingness to tap into physicians, colleagues, policies or any other materials to best help answer questions that may come your way. If you have an example of a time where you had to be creative in your resourcefulness to answer a question, don't hesitate to talk about it.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Creative Thinking

    9. How do you approach the documentation of patient records? Do you have specific strategies that you use?

      How to Answer

      Documentation of clinical encounters in patient records is extremely important at this organization and much of this responsibility rests on the shoulders of the Registered Nurses. If clinical encounters, medications, procedures, vital signs, and other information is not documented properly, unintended consequences could occur, some being dire. Your interviewer is asking this question to determine how seriously you take accurate and timely documentation and to see if you use any methods to improve efficiencies for documentation. To effectively answer this question, be prepared to talk about how you approach documentation, from beginning to end, and give examples of any strategies that you use to improve efficiency.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    10. What aspects of our organization drew you to apply here as a Registered Nurse?

      How to Answer

      Throughout your interviewer process, your interviewer wants to hear that you are attracted to their organization and hold similar values. This will help prove that you will be dedicated to your work their as a Registered Nurse. This question is allowing you to be direct in your approach to talking about what is drawing you to this organization. Prior to your interview, be sure to research the mission, values and goals of the organization and make sure that you put some serious thought into what you feel hits close to home for you in working for them. As you answer, talk about the values of the organization that you hold near and dear to your heart to prove your long-term dedication when hired.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    11. Are you able to handle the physical requirement of this job as a Registered Nurse?

      How to Answer

      The nursing profession can be physically demanding. Standing and walking for long stretches, assisting in lifting patients and staying awake for odd hours and long periods of time are some of the physical demands of the job. If your interviewer is posing this question during your interview, you can expect some physical demands in working as a Registered Nurse for their organization. For the position that you are interviewing for, make sure to research what the physical demands are for the job and point out how you are able to handle those tasks. It can also be beneficial to discuss your self-care methods because being a nurse often requires being in great shape.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    12. What makes you the ideal candidate to join our organization as a Registered Nurse?

      How to Answer

      Often one of the final questions during your interview, this is your final chance to sell yourself to the interviewer on why you are the best candidate to join their organization. This is a good question for you to have a prepared, but not rehearsed. Answer in a way which highlights your skills and how they will benefit the organization and their patients. As well, you can discuss your personal traits that you feel put you above the competition for the position.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    13. What motivates you to provide quality nursing care and how will you bring this to our organization?

      How to Answer

      No matter how many years of experience a nurse has, they must stay motivated in order to provide quality nursing care. Nursing, while often a very rewarding career, can be exhausting and emotionally draining, so it is important for nurses to be able to stay motivated in their current work environments. Your interviewer is proposing this question to determine what motivates and drives you internally and to determine if their environment would be a good fit for you. To successfully answer this question, you should describe what motivates you to be the best that you can be each day on the job.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Education

    14. How do you stay current on the latest news, breakthroughs and education in the field of nursing?

      How to Answer

      The healthcare field is continually changing with new technology, new patient care techniques and up-to-date research methods. Due to this, most healthcare organizations require their Registered Nurses to attend continuing education courses. On top of required education, many nurses choose to stay up to speed in their field by attending training, reading publications or participating in workshops. To successfully answer this question, be ready to talk about one of the most recent training sessions you attended and expand on your particular interests in learning more in the nursing field and how you educate yourself on a regular basis.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Experience

    15. What patient education skills would you bring to our team as a Registered Nurse?

      How to Answer

      Your interviewer is asking this question to assess your overall ability and skill level in providing education to the patients. Providing patient education and/or discharge instructions cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach, as patients have varying capacities for comprehending information. Registered Nurses should demonstrate an ability to adjust their delivery of patient education. To effectively answer this question, you should specifically explain how you deliver instructions to patients. A stronger answer to this question would include a specific example of how you adjusted the delivery of educational information or discharge instructions to ensure the patient understood what was being communicated.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Experience

    16. What IV skills as a Registered Nurse would you bring to our team?

      How to Answer

      One of the skills that Registered Nurses will be expected to have at this organization is starting intravenous lines (IVs). IVs can be used for many purposes including administering fluids, blood transfusions, and medications. Proper delivery of IV therapy is important because if the therapy is delivered incorrectly, the patient's life could be put in danger. In order for IV therapy to be properly administered, the IV must be inserted into the vein properly, which requires a specific skill-set and the ability to follow protocols. To successfully answer this question, you should elaborate on your ability and experience in starting and managing IVs. A more successful answer would include an example of when the candidate successfully handled a difficult circumstance while starting and/or managing an IV.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Leadership

    17. What supervising or mentoring experiences would you bring to the nursing team at our organization?

      How to Answer

      For Registered Nurses, there are ample career opportunities to mentor peers or advance into leadership positions where they will supervise their colleagues. Your interviewer is asking this question to assess your experience in mentorship and/or supervision to determine how these skills could potentially be utilized at their organization. To successfully answer this question, talk about any experiences you have in formally supervising others and any experiences you have in mentoring colleagues and/or students. If you do not have experience supervising or mentoring other nurses, a supervision or mentorship experience in another setting would suffice for your answer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Management

    18. How do you make seamless transitions on shift changes?

      How to Answer

      In almost any nursing setting, handing off a unit at shift change time in a smooth fashion is important. Your interviewer is looking to see how you handle the transition during shift changes to get a feel for how you will handle this task at their organization. It is important for you to showcase your communication and listening skills and talk about how you take information and put it to work. Walking step by step through your previous employers' handoffs can be beneficial as well because it will reassure the interviewer that you are familiar with sound processes in these situations.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Management

    19. During you career as a Registered Nurse, have you been open to participating on any project teams or other administrative projects?

      How to Answer

      While the primary focus of a Registered Nurse is on patient care, administrative duties are often a part of the job, especially if a you choose to transition into a management position at some point in your career. There are many nurses who are great in working with patients on a daily basis but struggle with the administrative duties that their employer asks of them and this can lead to performance issues. Your interviewer is proposing this question to assess your ability to successfully complete administrative duties and tasks. To successfully answer this question, you should describe any administrative tasks or projects that you have worked on in the past. A stronger answer to this question would include an example of when you led or spearheaded an administrative project.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    20. Tell me about a time when you committed a medical error in your nursing career. How did you handle that situation and what did you learn from it that you can bring to our organization?

      How to Answer

      No matter the career or profession, mistakes happen in the workplace. The repercussions of medical errors that Registered Nurses can commit can range anywhere from minor to very severe and life-threatening. When a medical error is committed by a Registered Nurse, it is important that they immediately report the error and do not attempt to cover it up. To successfully answer this question, be prepared to talk about a situation in your career when you committed a medical error and explain how you took action to resolve and report the situation in a timely manner. In the end, be sure to include details of what you learned from the error, and how learning from the situation will prevent you from making the mistake again.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    21. If you noticed a colleague not taking proper safety precautions on the job here, how would you handle that situation?

      How to Answer

      Safety is of the utmost importance at the organization you are interviewing for. When it comes to patient safety, Registered Nurses are at the frontline of providing a safe environment for both patients and staff. By proposing this question during your interview, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you will be an advocate for safety at all times. Whether you notice a colleague not washing their hands before and after seeing a patient or about to administer an improper does of a medicine, reiterate to your interviewer that you wouldn't hesitate to intervene immediately. As you answer, make sure to stress that you understand why a focus on safety is important in the role that you would play with this organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    22. Tell me about a time when you cared for a patient whose values or beliefs were different from your own. How did you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      In the healthcare arena, diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of patient care and your interviewer is asking this question to assess your ability to set aside your own personal biases and provide care for patients whose values and beliefs are different from your own. By being employed in the healthcare field, Register Nurses will encounter patients from all walks of life and from all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds as well as genders, sexual orientations, religions, and other belief systems. In order to provide the best care to all of your patients, you should always be aware of any conscious or unconscious biases you may have and set them aside while providing care. To successfully answer this question, you should give a specific example of a time when they recognized a patient had values and beliefs different from your own and explain how you worked with them in a compassionate and caring manner.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    23. Describe a recent issue you had with a doctor or co-worker's decision. How did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      In the fast-paced world that a Registered Nurse lived in on a daily basis, you won't always agree with the decisions that are made by your co-workers or physicians that you work with. When a disagreement happens, you have to make a decision whether it is something to take issue with, or leave alone. Show your interviewer that you trusted your final decision and the outcome of the situation was acceptable.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    24. Talk about a time where you had to handle an irate colleague or patient. How did you handle that situation and what were the results?

      How to Answer

      Registered Nurses often deal with patients, their family members, and co-workers during very stressful times. These stressful times can lead to emotional outbursts like rage or sadness. Prior to your interview, think of a situation you have been in where you can clearly demonstrate your ability to diffuse a high-conflict situation. In dealing with someone who was angry, it is important to demonstrate your listening skills, problem-solving skills and your ability to remain calm and collected to not escalate the situation.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    25. How do you prioritize your work when multiple patients and procedures demand your attention at once?

      How to Answer

      Working in any patient unit or clinic can be overwhelming on the Registered Nurses. During these times, nurses are often the glue that holds everything together in the department to ensure that medical support run smoothly. Your interviewer is asking this question to determine how you manage situations like this and how you will be able to manage these types of situations at this organization. To successfully answer this question, be able to talk about a particular situation where you had to prioritize multiple patients at once and describe how you handled the situation with a great outcome.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Stress

    26. Talk about the most stressful situation you've had to deal with in the workplace. What did you learn from that situation that you can bring to our team?

      How to Answer

      Registered Nurses can find themselves in very stressful working conditions from time to time due to a variety of reasons. With this question, your interviewer is looking to see how you personally manage those stressful situations in the workplace to get a feel for how you will handle these times as a part of their organization. Think of a specific time you had to manage a stressful situation, describe how you handled it, talk about what tools or resources you used and explain what the outcome was of the situation. If possible, talk about specific coping techniques that you used to help you through that particular situation.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    27. What is your preferred role in working as part of a larger team of Registered Nurses on a unit?

      How to Answer

      During your interview with their organization, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you can be the ultimate team player if you were to be hired. You know that Registered Nurses don't work alone in silos and that the success of the greater good relies on a true team effort. While being open and honest about the type of role that you are most comfortable in playing as part of the larger team in this role, discuss how flexibility and cohesiveness are important in a true team effort. As well, don't hesitate to reiterate that you can function well in both a team setting and working alone.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    28. Describe your typical relationship with physicians you work with. What would your ideal physician relationship be at our organization?

      How to Answer

      As a Registered Nurse, you have had close working relationships with many physicians throughout your careers. This question will enable you to showcase your relationship with the physicians that you have worked with and what your communication style is. As a nurse, building trust with physicians is important as well, so some examples of how you've built that trust can be beneficial. To really seal this answer for your interviewer, describe what an ideal relationship with a physician would look like if you were hired at their organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Trust

    29. If hired for this position, what would you say is your ideal patient load that you are able to handle comfortably and effectively?

      How to Answer

      This is a question where you can open up and be honest with your past experiences and talk about what you feel comfortable working with as a Registered Nurse. Each facility/unit/department has different patients with different acuity levels, so the exact number of patients can vary from department to department. This is a good time to emphasize how you keep yourself organized in your work and let the interviewer know what kind of workload you can manage.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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  • Trust

    30. If I were to talk with some recent patients that you interacted with, how would they describe you?

      How to Answer

      Because the interactions that Registered Nurses have with their patients at this organizations are vitally important, your interviewer is looking to hear how you value your interactions with patients by asking this question. As you answer, talk openly and honestly about your strengths in your interactions with patients by speaking from the perspective of the patients that you work with. This is a great question for you to do some self reflection as well. If you have examples of direct feedback that you've received from patients or survey data, don't hesitate to talk about the positive feedback that you've received.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 30th, 2021

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