nursing interview questions

Common Nursing interview questions and answers

Are you looking forward to practicing your nursing profession or changing your current job to a better one? If yes, here we have the different nursing interview questions and answers to prepare you for a bright future in your career.

This article allows us to walk you through the types of nursing specialties available, the themes for nursing interview questions, and the questions you will likely encounter when job hunting.

Let’s get rolling!

Nursing as a profession

Nurses’ and caregivers’ roles cannot be underestimated in every community, either big or small. Nurses are professional experts that provide care and support for patients from birth to the end of life.

Their roles may range from case management to direct patient care, establishing nurse practice standards, running complex nursing care systems, and developing quality assurance procedures. They are an integral part of the community to ensure patients receive the best care and treatments.

Types of nursing specialties

As the demand for nurses is on the rise, there are different specialties you can opt for. Some of these include

  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Cardiac Nurse
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Critical Care Nurse
  • ER Nurse
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Perioperative Nurse (Surgical/OR Nurse)
  • Mental Healthcare Nurse
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Manager
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Administrator
  • Oncology Nurse

Themes for nursing interview questions

Nursing interview questions are behavioral questions. The interviewer aims to decode how you will react to challenging situations and know if you can adapt to the work environment. So, the questions revolve around using real-life examples and stories to ask questions that relate to nursing.

The three different themes of nursing interviews questions include:

  • Patient care
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability

Using the STAR method to answer nursing interview questions

STAR, an abbreviation for Situation, Task, Action, and Result, is a common technique often used in answering behavioral-based interview questions. You can apply the STAR method to respond if faced with questions likened to a real-life situation. The acronym is explained as follows:

Situation: Think of similar problems you had dealt with before that have proven a successful outcome.

Task: Think of the job you were responsible for in that situation. Ensure that you state your contribution concisely and clearly.

Action: Once you have clearly defined your task, think about the action you took to ensure the success of the situation.

Result: After making your action known, you can state the situation’s results. Ensure to specify your contribution to the outcome. Also, include the lessons you learn and the experience you gain.

By so doing, you can give a concise and complete expression of your experience and how you will be able to tackle patients’ medical situations in the future.

Common nursing interview questions and answers

The following are examples of practical nursing interview questions and a guide to the appropriate response to help you prepare for your next job.

Nursing interview questions on patient care

#1. Question: Discuss how you dealt with a problematic and unhappy patient or family member

Answer: To answer this question correctly, explain the situation perfectly without violating HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Please do not make the mistake of speaking negatively about the patients or their caregivers. In other words, show empathy and give an impression that you care about them. And yes, if you make a mistake while treating the patient, acknowledge it and share your significant corrections.

#2. Question: How do you explain treatment medication or healthcare situations without using necessary healthcare or medical jargon to patients?

Answer: This question is your opportunity to showcase your communication skills. Let your interviewer know what you said and how you explained to the patient in easy-to-understand language and terminology. Also, emphasize how you made sure your patient understood your explanation.

Nursing interview questions on teamwork

#1. Question: Discuss a situation where you had to partner with an uneasy coworker. Explain the problem and how you resolved it.

Answer: To answer this type of question, you must be sensitive enough not to insult anyone. On another note, it is your best chance to explain how to handle conflict. So, explain the situation, why it wasn’t easy, and why the coworker was challenging to work with. Also, stress how you handled the situation and pinpoint the outcome and the lessons from it that you can teach in the future.

#2. Question: Discuss a situation where you display teamwork

Answer: To answer this question correctly, you must show you are a good team player. So, think of a problem where you came through for a coworker. Also, tell your interviewer the outcome and how the team reacted to your assistance.

Nursing interview questions on adaptability

#1. Question: Discuss how you handle a situation where you don’t have answers to questions from your patient.

Answer: If you face this question, do not fidget, as no one knows everything. So, don’t be afraid to describe when you cannot assist a patient. However, you must explain the step-wise action you took to address the situation and how you ensured your patient was happy.

#2. Question: How do you respond to changes in unit assignments and schedules?

Answer: To answer this question satisfactorily, explain why everything is forever changing and why one needs to be flexible regardless of work position. So, take advantage of this opportunity to explain how you can adapt to changes.

Other frequently Asked nursing interview questions

Tell me about yourself.

When asked about your personal information, note that you must respond positively and honestly. Avoid any temptation of bragging about yourself or showing off. However, do justice by highlighting your best qualities so your interviewer can see you as the best person for the position.

What do you like most about being a nurse?

Answer by telling them that you have many reasons why you are passionate about being a nurse. Tell them why you enjoy rendering medical assistance to people and making a positive difference in their lives. In addition, explain how you love taking on challenges that come with the role and why you take all opportunities to learn new things.

What do you find most challenging about being a nurse?

Answer by saying that they are always challenges that come with every job. Think about the emotional part of the job to answer the question correctly. Show that you’re empathetic, don’t like seeing people suffer, and cannot offer anything to ease their pain. However, end your answer on the note that your passion for the job outweighs the challenges you face whatsoever.

Why are you leaving your current position?

Make your answer simple without talking ill about your current position. You may tell them you are looking for a new challenge that will help you use your skills and expertise differently.

Why do you want to work here?

Answer by discussing their missions and visions and how it interests you to contribute to them. Tell them that you are impressed by their focus on a collaborative environment and the quality of patient care provided in the organization. In addition, let them know that you trust the setting will be the perfect place for you to thrive as a nurse.


With the guide and information in this prose, there’s no limit to how far you can go as a nurse in any organization. Ensure to be bold when answering questions. Also, feel free to object if unsure about a question.

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