Nursing Interview Questions with Answers

Most Frequently Asked Common Nursing Interview Questions with Expert Answers: Ultimate Guide for Nurses

Prepare for your nursing interview like a pro with Mihiraa’s comprehensive guide featuring the most frequently asked common nursing interview questions and expert answers. Whether you’re an RN, LPN, new grad, or aspiring travel nurse, our guide covers everything you need to know. Learn how to ace your nursing job interview with confidence using the STAR method and valuable nursing interview tips. Get ready to impress potential employers and secure your dream nursing job today!


1. Why did you choose nursing?
I chose nursing for several compelling reasons. Firstly, the dedication and compassion demonstrated by my family members who are nurses deeply influenced my decision. Witnessing their unwavering commitment to patient care and the positive impact they made on individuals’ lives inspired me to pursue this noble profession.

Secondly, nursing resonates with my core values and aspirations. Above all, I am driven by a genuine desire to help others and contribute to their well-being. Providing comfort, support, and medical care during moments of vulnerability is deeply fulfilling to me. I believe that nursing offers a unique opportunity to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives every day, aligning perfectly with my personal ethos.

Moreover, nursing offers a wealth of career opportunities and avenues for professional growth. Whether it’s advancing to roles like nurse practitioner or specializing in areas such as pediatrics or oncology, the potential for development and specialization is vast.

Additionally, the global demand for skilled nurses presents exciting prospects for international work. The opportunity to experience different cultures while providing essential healthcare services to those in need is both enriching and rewarding.

In essence, nursing encompasses my passion for helping others, aligns with my values, and offers a fulfilling career path with endless possibilities for growth and impact.

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2. Tell me about a time you had to handle a difficult patient.
How would you handle a difficult patient?
I encountered a challenging situation when I was assigned to care for a patient who was refusing to take their prescribed medication and expressing a strong desire to be discharged from the hospital against medical advice.

My task was to address the patient’s concerns, assess the reasons behind their refusal to take medication and desire for discharge and collaborate with the healthcare team to ensure the patient’s safety and well-being while respecting their autonomy and preferences.

Firstly, I approached the patient with empathy and non-judgment, acknowledging their feelings and concerns. I engaged in active listening to understand the reasons behind their refusal to take medication and desire for discharge, exploring any underlying fears, misconceptions, or barriers to compliance.

Next, I collaborated with the healthcare team, including physicians, social workers, and other members of the interdisciplinary team, to discuss the patient’s case comprehensively. We reviewed the patient’s medical history, current condition, and treatment plan to identify any potential contributing factors to their refusal and explore alternative approaches to address their needs.

I engaged in therapeutic communication with the patient, providing education about the importance of their prescribed medication in managing their condition and preventing complications. I addressed any misconceptions or concerns they had about their treatment, clarifying information and providing reassurance.

Additionally, I explored the patient’s preferences and goals regarding their care, seeking to understand their reasons for desiring discharge and identifying any barriers to their hospital stay. We discussed potential solutions and compromises, such as adjusting their treatment plan, involving family members in their care, or providing additional support services to address their needs.

Through open communication, collaboration, and patient-centered care, we were able to address the patient’s concerns and reach a shared understanding of their care goals. The patient ultimately agreed to continue their medication regimen and remain in the hospital for further observation and treatment, feeling reassured and supported in their decision-making process. By respecting the patient’s autonomy and preferences while ensuring their safety and well-being, we achieved a positive outcome and maintained a therapeutic relationship built on trust and mutual respect.

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3. Why are you the best person for this nursing job?
I believe I am the best person for this nursing job because of my combination of clinical expertise, compassionate care, and strong communication skills.

First, my clinical training and hands-on experience have equipped me with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high-quality patient care. I have completed rigorous academic coursework and clinical rotations in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities, which have given me a well-rounded understanding of patient needs and the ability to adapt to different environments.

Second, I am deeply committed to patient-centered care. I prioritize empathy and compassion in all my interactions, understanding that each patient is unique and deserves personalized attention. My ability to connect with patients on a personal level helps build trust and ensures that they feel supported and understood throughout their healthcare journey.

Additionally, I have strong communication and teamwork skills. I am adept at collaborating with multidisciplinary teams to develop and implement effective care plans. My ability to communicate clearly and effectively with patients, families, and colleagues ensures that everyone is informed and involved in the care process.

Moreover, I am highly organized and detail-oriented, which is crucial in a fast-paced healthcare environment. I can manage multiple tasks efficiently while maintaining a high standard of care. My dedication to continuous learning and professional development also means that I stay updated with the latest advancements in nursing practice, ensuring that I provide the best possible care to my patients.

Overall, my clinical skills, compassionate approach, effective communication, and dedication to excellence make me the ideal candidate for this nursing position. I am confident that I can contribute positively to your team and provide outstanding care to your patients.

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4. How do you handle workplace stress?

How do you deal with the stress of nursing?

Handling workplace stress is a critical aspect of being an effective nurse, and I have developed several strategies to manage it effectively. One of the key approaches I use is maintaining a strong sense of organization and prioritization. By keeping a detailed schedule and to-do list, I ensure that I am on top of my responsibilities and can tackle tasks systematically, reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed. Additionally, I practice mindfulness and stress-relief techniques such as deep breathing exercises and brief meditation sessions during breaks. These practices help me stay centered and calm, even during the most hectic shifts.

Another important aspect of managing stress is seeking support from colleagues. Nursing is inherently a team-based profession, and I believe in the power of collaboration and mutual support. By discussing challenging situations with my peers and supervisors, I can gain new perspectives and advice, which not only helps in finding solutions but also fosters a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. Furthermore, I am proactive about seeking feedback and continuously improving my skills, which boosts my confidence and reduces anxiety about handling complex cases.

Outside of work, I prioritize self-care by engaging in activities that recharge me mentally and physically. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep are essential components of my routine. I also make time for hobbies and activities that I enjoy, such as reading, spending time with family and friends, and exploring nature. These activities provide a much-needed break from the demands of the job and help me return to work with a refreshed and positive mindset.

By combining these strategies, I can effectively manage workplace stress and maintain a high level of performance and well-being. This holistic approach ensures that I am able to provide the best care for my patients while also taking care of my own health and happiness.

5. What do you do if your replacement doesn’t arrive on time?

During a busy evening shift at the hospital, my replacement for the night shift had not arrived on time. This was concerning because it was a peak time with several patients needing continuous care.

My primary responsibility was to ensure that patient care remained uninterrupted while also addressing the issue of the absent replacement. It was crucial to maintain a smooth transition between shifts to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients.

First, I informed the charge nurse about the situation to ensure that the management was aware of the delay. Then, I checked the staff schedule to see if any other nurse could step in temporarily or if any adjustments could be made. While waiting for a solution, I continued to monitor my patients closely, updating their charts and administering any necessary medications to ensure their care was not compromised. I also made sure to communicate with my patients, letting them know that I was still there to assist them and address any of their immediate needs.

By taking these steps, we were able to manage the situation without any disruption to patient care. The charge nurse found another nurse who could temporarily cover until my replacement arrived, which minimized the impact of the delay. My patients received consistent care, and the transition to the night shift was eventually completed smoothly. This experience reinforced the importance of teamwork, communication, and flexibility in ensuring high-quality patient care, even in unexpected situations.

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6. Do you work well with other nurses, doctors, and staff members?
Absolutely, I work very well with other nurses, doctors, and staff members. Collaboration and teamwork are essential components of providing high-quality patient care, and I prioritize building strong, professional relationships with my colleagues.

I believe effective communication is key to teamwork. I make it a point to clearly and respectfully communicate with my fellow nurses, doctors, and other staff members, ensuring that everyone is on the same page regarding patient care plans and any changes that need to be made. I also actively listen to their input and value their perspectives, as healthcare is a multidisciplinary field where each team member’s expertise contributes to the overall well-being of the patient.

Furthermore, I am always willing to lend a helping hand and support my colleagues when needed. Whether it’s assisting with a difficult procedure, covering for someone during a busy shift, or sharing knowledge and skills, I am committed to fostering a cooperative and supportive work environment.

In addition, I regularly participate in team meetings and interdisciplinary rounds, which help in coordinating care and addressing any issues that may arise. By working collaboratively, we can provide more comprehensive and effective care to our patients.

Overall, my ability to work well with others, combined with my commitment to effective communication and teamwork, ensures that we can deliver the best possible care to our patients.

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7. Describe how you manage a busy workload.
Managing a busy workload effectively is essential in nursing, and I use several strategies to stay organized and ensure high-quality patient care. First, I prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. At the beginning of my shift, I review the patients’ charts and care plans, identifying which tasks need immediate attention and which can be scheduled for later. This helps me create a clear plan for the day and ensures that critical tasks are addressed promptly.

Second, I maintain meticulous documentation. Keeping accurate and up-to-date records helps me track patient progress, medications, and treatments, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring continuity of care. This also allows for more efficient handovers to the next shift, as they can quickly understand the patient’s current status and needs.

Effective time management is another crucial aspect of handling a busy workload. I break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps and set realistic time frames for completing each one. This approach helps me stay focused and reduces the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed.

Additionally, I make sure to delegate tasks appropriately. Understanding the strengths and competencies of my colleagues allows me to assign tasks to the right people, ensuring that patient care remains efficient and effective.

I also utilize technology to streamline my workflow. Electronic health records (EHRs) and other digital tools help me access patient information quickly, communicate with other healthcare team members, and manage my schedule more efficiently.

Moreover, I remain adaptable and flexible. In a dynamic healthcare environment, unexpected situations often arise. I stay calm and composed, quickly adjusting my plans as needed while maintaining a high standard of care.

Lastly, I prioritize self-care and stress management. Taking short breaks when possible, practicing mindfulness, and seeking support from colleagues helped me stay resilient and focused throughout my shift.

By combining these strategies—prioritization, meticulous documentation, effective time management, appropriate delegation, technology utilization, adaptability, and self-care—I can manage a busy workload efficiently while providing excellent patient care.

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8. How do you respond when people ask for your personal diagnosis outside of a clinical setting?

When approached for personal diagnosis outside of a clinical setting, I approach the situation with empathy and professionalism. I kindly explain that offering medical advice or diagnosis without a proper examination is neither ethical nor safe. I stress the importance of consulting a qualified healthcare provider who can conduct a thorough assessment and provide tailored recommendations based on their specific health needs.

I express understanding for their concerns and reassure them that seeking professional medical help is the best course of action. I might suggest making an appointment with their primary care physician or visiting a nearby healthcare facility for further evaluation. Additionally, I offer to provide general health advice or direct them to reliable resources where they can find information about their symptoms or conditions.
Maintaining professional boundaries and upholding ethical standards is crucial in such situations to ensure the individual’s well-being and safety. By guiding them towards appropriate medical care, I strive to support their health journey responsibly and compassionately.

9. What’s your strongest skill as a nurse?
My strongest skill as a nurse lies in effective communication. I firmly believe that clear and empathetic communication is the cornerstone of providing exceptional care. Whether I’m interacting with patients, and their families, or collaborating with fellow healthcare professionals, I prioritize listening attentively and conveying information in a manner that is easily understandable and compassionate.

In my experience, I’ve found that strong communication not only fosters trust and rapport with patients but also allows me to better understand their needs and concerns. By actively listening and engaging with patients, I can address their fears, clarify any doubts, and involve them in decision-making regarding their care, empowering them to take an active role in their health journey.

Furthermore, effective communication extends beyond patient interactions to encompass collaboration within interdisciplinary teams. By communicating clearly and succinctly with colleagues, I ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding patient care plans, facilitating seamless coordination and promoting optimal outcomes.

Ultimately, my commitment to communication as a nurse enables me to establish meaningful connections with patients, provide personalized care, and contribute to a supportive and cohesive healthcare environment.

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10. What do you find most rewarding about being a nurse?
The most rewarding aspect of being a nurse is the opportunity to make a positive difference in people’s lives every day. Whether it’s easing someone’s pain, comforting a distressed patient, or celebrating a milestone in their recovery, the ability to provide care and support during some of life’s most challenging moments is incredibly fulfilling.

Building meaningful connections with patients and their families is another immensely rewarding aspect of nursing. Being trusted to provide comfort, guidance, and advocacy during times of vulnerability fosters a sense of purpose and fulfillment that is unmatched.

Moreover, witnessing the resilience and strength of patients in the face of adversity is truly inspiring. Every day, I am humbled by their courage and determination, and being able to play a role in their journey towards healing and recovery is immensely gratifying.

Additionally, nursing offers constant opportunities for growth and learning. The dynamic nature of healthcare means that there’s always something new to learn, whether it’s mastering a new skill, staying updated on medical advancements, or finding innovative ways to improve patient care.

Overall, the most rewarding aspect of being a nurse is knowing that I have the privilege to positively impact the lives of others and contribute to their well-being and comfort in meaningful ways.

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11. What’s the hardest thing about being a nurse?
As a nurse, one of the most challenging aspects of our profession is grappling with the emotional toll that comes with caring for patients, especially during times of suffering and loss. Witnessing patients in pain, dealing with difficult diagnoses, or experiencing tragic outcomes can take a significant emotional toll on us. We invest deeply in our patients’ well-being, and when we are unable to alleviate their suffering or prevent negative outcomes, it can be incredibly challenging to cope with feelings of helplessness and grief.

Additionally, the demanding nature of nursing, both physically and emotionally, can lead to burnout and fatigue. Long hours, high-stress environments, and the constant need to stay alert and attentive to patients’ needs can wear us down over time. Balancing the demands of the job with self-care and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is an ongoing struggle for many nurses.

Furthermore, navigating complex healthcare systems, dealing with administrative tasks, and encountering obstacles that impede the delivery of quality care can be frustrating and disheartening. As advocates for our patients, we strive to provide the best possible care under challenging circumstances, but bureaucratic hurdles and resource constraints can hinder our efforts.

Despite these challenges, nurses remain resilient and dedicated to our profession. We find strength in the relationships we build with our patients and colleagues, and we draw upon our passion for helping others to persevere through difficult times.

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12. How would you handle a patient who struggles with pain management?
Recently, I encountered a patient who was struggling with pain management following a surgical procedure. Despite receiving medication, they continued to experience significant discomfort, which was impacting their recovery and overall well-being.
My task was to assess the patient’s pain management needs comprehensively and develop an effective plan to alleviate their discomfort while promoting their recovery.

Firstly, I approached the patient with empathy, acknowledging their pain and validating their experience. I engaged in active listening to understand the nature and intensity of their pain, as well as any concerns or preferences they had regarding pain management. I assessed their vital signs and conducted a thorough physical examination to identify any underlying factors contributing to their pain.

Next, I collaborated with the interdisciplinary team, including physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals, to review the patient’s medical history, surgical procedure, and current medication regimen. Together, we discussed potential interventions and adjustments to optimize pain relief while minimizing side effects and risks.

Based on the assessment findings and collaborative discussions, I developed a tailored pain management plan for the patient. This plan included a combination of pharmacological interventions, such as adjusting the dosage or type of pain medication, implementing non-pharmacological interventions like relaxation techniques or guided imagery, and ensuring adequate hydration and nutrition to support healing.

I educated the patient and their family about the importance of adhering to the pain management plan, including the proper administration of medications, potential side effects to watch for, and when to seek assistance if the pain persists or worsens. I emphasized the importance of open communication and encouraged the patient to express any concerns or changes in their pain experience promptly.

Through a collaborative and patient-centered approach, we were able to effectively address the patient’s pain management needs. The patient reported a significant improvement in pain relief and overall comfort, which positively impacted their recovery and quality of life. By empowering the patient to take an active role in managing their pain and providing comprehensive support, we achieved optimal outcomes and fostered a sense of trust and partnership in their care journey.

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13. How would you handle a crisis such as an outbreak?
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our healthcare facility faced the daunting challenge of managing an outbreak within our community. The rapid spread of the virus posed a significant threat to the health and safety of both patients and healthcare workers, requiring a coordinated and decisive response.

My task was to collaborate with the healthcare team to implement effective measures to contain the outbreak, mitigate its impact, and ensure the safety and well-being of patients and staff.

Firstly, I ensured clear and timely communication with all members of the healthcare team, keeping them informed about the evolving situation, updated guidelines, and protocols for infection control and prevention. I facilitated regular meetings to discuss strategies, address concerns, and coordinate our response efforts.

Next, I worked closely with infection control experts and public health authorities to conduct thorough contact tracing, identify individuals potentially exposed to the virus, and implement quarantine or isolation measures as necessary. We established designated areas within the facility for the care of COVID-19 patients, ensuring proper isolation protocols and adequate staffing to provide comprehensive care while minimizing the risk of transmission.

I also played a key role in educating patients, families, and staff about infection prevention practices, including proper hand hygiene, mask-wearing, and social distancing measures. We implemented screening protocols for all individuals entering the facility, including temperature checks and symptom assessments, to identify potential cases early and prevent further spread.

Additionally, I supported the emotional well-being of patients and staff by providing empathetic support, addressing concerns, and connecting them with resources for coping with stress and anxiety related to the outbreak. We implemented measures to ensure the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and prioritized the mental health needs of frontline healthcare workers, offering support services and counseling as needed.

Through a coordinated and proactive response, we successfully managed the outbreak, containing the spread of the virus within our healthcare facility and safeguarding the health and safety of patients and staff. Our efforts to implement comprehensive infection control measures, educate and support individuals, and prioritize communication and collaboration were instrumental in mitigating the impact of the crisis and navigating through this challenging period.

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Other Nurse’s Interview Questions

Nursing Interview Questions and Answers 

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