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Situational Nursing Interview Questions

42 Questions and Answers by

Kelly Burlison is an experienced healthcare and quality measurement professional with experience interviewing in the healthcare field focusing on IT.

Situational Nursing was updated on March 15th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 42

Give an example of how you may connect and find common ground with a patient to gain understanding.

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Situational Nursing Interview Questions & Answers

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  1. 1.

    Give an example of how you may connect and find common ground with a patient to gain understanding.

  2. 2.

    How would you change your communication style if the patient's family was having trouble understanding what you were trying to tell them?

  3. 3.

    Your coworker forgot to sign off that she gave Tylenol as a PRN before she punched out and calls you from the car. She asks you to initial that it was given so nobody gives it again. What do you do?

  4. 4.

    In your inpatient unit, you are caring for a patient who is still weak from surgery. Upon reviewing physician orders, you see the patient is to get up and walk two laps in the hall. Tell me how you would proceed.

  5. 5.

    You are caring for a patient on your inpatient unit, and after making a call to the physician hospitalist on staff for support, you learn that the patient's medication regimen needs to be changed. Tell me the first steps you take.

  6. 6.

    You are working phone triage for your physician practice when a patient calls asking for advice as he is having chest pains. Tell me what you direct the patient to do.

  7. 7.

    You are talking with a patient during rounds, and the patient tells you she does not understand what the doctors tell her and she is unsure of what is going on with her health. Tell me how you respond to the patient.

  8. 8.

    You are alone in an elevator with two nurses from another floor who are talking about a patient. How would you respond?

  9. 9.

    What kinds of review questions do you ask yourself after dealing with a difficult and challenging patient situation?

  10. 10.

    You are caring for a young patient who is being discharged with a prescription for an inhaler. Upon asking the patient if he knows how to use the inhaler, he says, "Yes, I do." Tell me how you proceed.

  11. 11.

    How would you handle a patient who is trying to manipulate you in some way or talks about the other shift to you?

  12. 12.

    How do you handle situations in which you disagree with a doctor's orders?

  13. 13.

    How would you handle a situation in which nursing leadership were to reject an idea you pitched to streamline your job?

  14. 14.

    During your shift in the ER, a patient presents with bruising from a fall. Her male companion answers questions for her, and she barely gives eye contact. What do you do in this situation to get the patient to answer independently?

  15. 15.

    You are currently in a patient's room during hourly rounds and although she is not due for another dose of pain medication for two more hours, she is complaining of increased pain. Tell me how you proceed.

  16. 16.

    What tools or techniques do you use to remember difficult information or instructions given verbally only?

  17. 17.

    You are caring for a patient who is three-years-old and the physician has ordered a weight-based medication. When you look at the patient's records, you find the weight is documented in pounds. Explain how you proceed.

  18. 18.

    You are rounding on your patients on your inpatient unit, and as you enter an elderly woman's room, you find her sitting up and alert. Tell me what steps you take to prevent her from falling between now and the next time you round.

  19. 19.

    How would you explain a complex task to someone using verbal instructions?

  20. 20.

    How do you handle being asked to do a nursing task you've never completed before?

  21. 21.

    We are work with difficult and uncooperative coworkers, at times. How do you handle uncooperative coworkers?

  22. 22.

    How would you handle a coworker who is habitually late, which causes you to leave work late?

  23. 23.

    How do you handle ethical or philosophical differences with a patient?

  24. 24.

    How would you handle someone asking you for medical advice or diagnosis validation outside the workplace?

  25. 25.

    How would you handle a patient that assumes a 'helpless' role, does not do what is necessary for their treatment, and asks you to do certain tasks that they could and should perform for themselves?

  26. 26.

    How do you handle difficult family members who disagree with the care that the patient agreed to?

  27. 27.

    Describe a situation where it may be appropriate to use humor in the workplace.

  28. 28.

    What are some action steps you could take to alleviate stress in patients in an ER waiting room?

  29. 29.

    A coworker left her computer open with sensitive information on the screen. You are the only one in the nurses' station. How would you address this with her?

  30. 30.

    If you have too many things on your to-do list, how to you decide which to do first and which to postpone?

  31. 31.

    You are preparing medication in your unit's med room when you are paged to the nurse's station. You plan to immediately return to the med room, which you can see from the nurse's station. Do you lock the door upon leaving the med room?

  32. 32.

    You are assisting a physician to perform a procedure when you are asked to retrieve a bottle of acetic acid that can be used on the patient. After retrieving the bottle from its normal location, what do you do before passing it to the physician?

  33. 33.

    Everyone on your unit is busy and you requested that your unit's nursing assistants bathe one of your patients earlier today. The patient has yet to be bathed and she is upset about it. Tell me how you proceed.

  34. 34.

    A patient on your unit you are caring for has had his peripheral venous catheter in place for approximately 100 hours. The catheter looks normal and the vein is open. Tell me how you proceed with administering more IV medications.

  35. 35.

    You are caring for a patient on your unit who is now resting well but has tried to get up and fallen multiple times over the past couple of days. As you prepare to leave the patient's room, do you restrain her to prevent her from falling again?

  36. 36.

    You are nearing the end of your 12-hour shift on your inpatient unit and you are exhausted from caring for eight high-acuity patients. As your colleague arrives to relieve you, tell me how you proceed.

  37. 37.

    You are caring for a patient and the physician has ordered an IV medication for them. You have collected the medication and the supplies needed to administer the IV. Tell me how you will proceed from this point.

  38. 38.

    You are conducting intake on a patient who was just seen at your facility earlier in the week. After you enter the patient's vital signs, you see their medication list, which was updated earlier in the week. Tell me how you proceed.

  39. 39.

    You are caring for a patient on your inpatient unit who is bedridden and unconscious. When the patient came to you, they already had a bedsore. How do you prevent this from happening again?

  40. 40.

    You are caring for a patient on your inpatient unit who is taking a turn for the worse. You decide you need to call the hospitalist physician. Tell me how you will proceed.

  41. 41.

    You just finished preparing IV medications for a patient, and you thoroughly washed your hands before doing so. As you enter the patient's room with the medication, describe the first thing you do to prevent patient infection.

  42. 42.

    Your patient, who has just returned from surgery, now has multiple tubes and lines that you did not insert. You need to administer a drug into her central line, but are having a hard time finding this tube. As you are in a rush, tell me how you proceed.