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17 Nursing School Interview Questions

September 12, 2022
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Nursing School Interview Questions and AnswersOther Common Nursing School Interview QuestionsNursing School Interview TipsFAQs: Nursing School Interview


Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Chief Resident in Anesthesiology, Weill Cornell Medicine, & Admissions Officer, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/13/22

Nursing school interviews can be very nerve-wracking and difficult to prepare for. We have 17 nursing school interview questions and answers to help you get through the process.

Thinking about what nursing school interview questions you might get can be very stressful. The best way to deal with that stress is to prepare answers to questions you think might be on the interview. This article will guide you through some of the most common nursing school interview questions and help you prepare for the big day.

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Nursing School Interview Questions and Answers

In this section, we will give you three very common nursing school interview questions with example answers. Read through the answers to see how you might want to prepare for your nursing school interview.

Question 1

Tell me about yourself.”

This is a very common interview question. The interviewer wants to get to know you. This is a great opportunity to tell them about how your schooling and life experiences shaped your decision to go to nursing school.

Sample Answer 

“I am Shonda King, and I grew up in a small town in New York State. My mother was a nurse, and I’ve always admired the work that she does. In high school, I volunteered at a local hospital which I loved, and this is what pushed me to study science in college. 

My fascination for science, and my desire to care for those who need it most, sparked my interest in the healthcare field. I spent a summer in Mexico working at a small family health clinic and found that the people I helped inspired me to always do my best. The resilience people showed in dark times helped me realize that I could do anything. 

This past year I have been working as a receptionist at a local doctor’s office, and it is there that I decided I wanted to be a nurse. I think all of my interests have worked together to get me on this path, and I hope to be a lifelong learner of science.”

Why This Answer Works

This answer would be considered good by the interviewer. The student briefly explains the life experiences that brought them to the decision to become a nurse. They also show that they have been dedicated to healthcare and helping others from a young age. 

When answering this question, you want to avoid simply restating your academic achievements; the school already has access to that information. Instead, move beyond what you discussed in your application and pick a few experiences that helped you decide that nursing was the right profession for you.

Question 2

“Nurses often complain about long shifts. In your view, what are some of the negative side effects of having nurses work prolonged periods without rest?”

This question is one that allows the interviewer to see how you think about issues within nursing. They want to know if you’ve considered the difficulty of being a nurse and your commitment to the profession.

Sample Answer

“Though I see why nurses have to work long hours, I do see why it can be detrimental. The long hours can mean nurses might become sleep-deprived, which could cause mistakes to happen due to lack of concentration. Also, overnight shifts can be difficult if your body is used to being asleep at night or you have a hard time sleeping during the day. 

That being said, I do think that working long hours can allow for more continuity of care, especially in settings like the ER. 

Too many shift changes would be very difficult on patients; having continuity of care allows the patient to feel more relaxed and form a trusting relationship with their nurse.”

Why This Answer Works

This response demonstrates that the student has put some thought into this issue and is able to form their own opinion. The interviewer wants to know that students are interested in the nursing profession as a whole and have thought about what it might be like to be a nurse. 

The answer also illustrates the student’s ability to use critical thinking to support their opinion with evidence. This is a skill needed in nursing school; sometimes there are no clear answers in the profession.  

Question 3 

“The field of nursing consists of interprofessional collaboration and teamwork. Describe a time when you worked as part of a highly diverse team.”

This question is about your experience and how it might fit in with the nursing profession. They will expect you to provide an example, so try to make sure your answer is as specific as possible.

Sample Answer

“As a receptionist at the YYZ Health Clinic, I work with a diverse group of co-workers and patients. I have learned that it is always important to listen carefully and make sure that the patient’s needs are met. 

Even if a patient is complaining, it is important to treat them with the utmost respect and let them voice their opinions without interrupting. Sometimes, what people want is to feel heard, so if you can provide a safe space for that, most patients will feel grateful.

When working with a diverse staff, respect is still at the forefront. You want to treat each practitioner the same, no matter their designation or role. I have learned through observing the caregivers at the clinic that treating everyone with dignity is important, and do not just assume you know something about their cultural traditions when you haven’t taken the time to ask.”

Why This Answer Works:

The above answer is a great example of how to use your experiences to highlight your readiness to enter the profession. It shows that you are able to observe others and learn about certain aspects of the job. 

It also demonstrates that you care about your role as a nurse within the healthcare system. Being able to work well with others is vital in nursing. This answer shows the interviewer that you value collaboration and understand the importance of working with a diverse team in the workplace.   

By using the above examples, you will be able to prepare your own answers for those difficult nursing school interview questions.

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Other Common Nursing School Interview Questions

Here are a few other common nursing school interview questions that you can use to practice. Each example will explain how to approach the question so that you can get an idea of what you might say during the interview.

What Are Your Views on Mandatory Vaccinations for Nurses?

This is a good example of a question that can show the interviewer whether you are thinking about current issues in healthcare. Be confident when expressing your own opinion on this question. 

Nursing schools look for candidates who can be independent thinkers and use reason and science to back up their answers. Even if you do not agree with mandatory vaccinations, you can still explain why vaccinations are important.

What Are Your Thoughts On Working in a Remote Area or in Communities With Little Health Care Resources?

This question might be asked to gauge your ability to be flexible and dedicated to the profession no matter what the circumstances. Remote areas may not be your first choice, but you need to seem open to helping all people, no matter their background. 

Nursing schools are looking for students who want a variety of experiences to widen their range of knowledge of the profession.

Tell Us About a Time Your Confidence Was Shaken.

This type of question can help the school determine how you deal with adversity. Nursing is a difficult profession, and you have to be able to overcome difficult situations with ease. 

If you can tell a personal or professional story about losing confidence and how you got it back again, they will know you are able to move forward even when things are difficult.

Scenario: You Are Working With a Pediatrician And Find Out That The Dr. Refuses to Work With Children if Their Parents Do Not Get Them Vaccinated. How Would You Deal With This Situation? Is The Dr. Being Responsible?

Nursing schools want to know that you can deal with difficult situations.Being able to stand up for a patient is sometimes needed as a nurse. If you can show your ability to do so in your answer, your interviewer will know you are ready to become a nurse.

Why Do You Want to be a Nurse?

This common nursing interview question will show the school your dedication to the profession. Do you have a passion for the profession, or are you just picking it out of a long list of jobs?

Why Do You Want to Study at This School?

When asking this question, the school is looking to see what it is about their specific program that you like. If there is something specific about their school that made you want to apply, this is where you should talk about it.

How Do You Deal With Disagreement in a Professional Setting?

Having a disagreement with a colleague is relatively common in any work setting. This question will indicate how you deal with conflict, which will indicate to them how you would act in real-world scenarios.

Have You Ever Had to Deal With Someone Who Did Not Want Your Help? How Did You Deal With It?

Having a patient who refuses your help is a difficult situation that nurses have to deal with. This question will show how you can empathize with a patient while still getting the job done.

What Do You Think the Most Pressing Issue is in Health Care in Your Location?

This loaded question is very important to think about before a nursing school interview. You want to be knowledgeable about the profession, as it shows your passion for nursing and health care. 

By asking this question the interviewer will be able to gauge whether you have thought about issues facing the profession which can help you illustrate your passion for nursing. 

What Was Your Favorite Class and Why? What Was Your Least Favorite Class and Why?

These two questions can show a bit of your personality to the interviewer. They want to know if you would gravitate towards the classes you’ll be taking or if you would struggle to stay motivated.

What Would You Do if a Patient Discloses Information That They Do Not Want You to Share With the Doctor?

This is another scenario question that will show the interviewer how you deal with difficult situations. They are checking your ability to deal with difficult patients, keep confidentiality and also get the best care for your patients. This type of question isn’t as much about getting the right answer but rather how you approach a difficult situation.

What Makes You a Good Leader?

Here you want to talk about a time in your life when you showed great leadership skills. Try to find something that is recent and, if possible, has to do with health care.

What Will You Do If You’re Not Accepted?

This question will show how you deal with adversity and your passion for nursing. Being determined to try again in the next admissions cycle shows that you are committed to the profession and willing to learn from your mistakes.

Though there could be other nursing school interview questions, the above examples will give you a great start in preparing for your interview.

Nursing School Interview Tips

Once you’ve finished preparing for the big day, all you need to do is have the interview. Here are a few tips for your nursing school interview:

Be Confident 

Try to present yourself as being confident in your answers; the nursing school interview questions are not there to stump you. Interviewers will be looking for students that are confident, so try to remember that during the interview.

It’s Okay To Be Nervous 

Sometimes the best thing to do at the beginning of an interview is to remind the interviewer that you’re human. It’s fine to say that you are a bit nervous; they won’t hold this against you.

You Do Not Need to Know Medical Science for the Interview

It is great to show a bit of science knowledge during your nursing school interview, but it is not necessary. The interviewer is more interested in knowing that you will be teachable and open to expanding your horizons.

FAQs: Nursing School Interview

Here are a few of the top questions you have about the nursing school interview.

1. What Questions Do They Ask In a Nursing School Interview?

There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to nursing school interview questions. Assume that they will want to know a bit about you, why you want to be a nurse, and possibly a bit about how you think.

2. How Do You Pass a Nursing School Interview?

The best way to pass a nursing school interview is to be yourself. Put your best foot forward and show how passionate you are about nursing. Getting someone to help you prepare for the interview is also always a good idea.

3. How Do You Introduce Yourself In a Nursing School Interview?

The best way to introduce yourself in a nursing school interview is by saying a short statement with your name, where you come from, and what school you attended. If they need more information from you, they will ask.

4. What Questions Should I Ask At The End Of a Nursing School Interview?

Asking the interviewer about themselves is always a good thing to do in an interview. That way, it shows that you are interested in them, and you might learn a bit about different paths people take after nursing school.

Final Thoughts

Preparing nursing school interview questions is difficult, but with the right help, you can be sure to pass the interview easily. Always try to practice different nursing school interview questions so you feel prepared for anything.

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