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Seasoned with Sage
Nursing School Interview Questions

To enter the nursing profession, a candidate must get accepted into a nursing school. Generally, nursing schools have more candidates than positions in the school. This means that besides meeting the requirements of the application, you will be competing with a number of students with like intent.

There are a number of ways nursing schools admit students. Some assign points to each application based on grades, classes taken, past experience, nursing experience, legacy points and the number of times one has applied to the program. Other schools simply put the applications in a pool and pick the winners. However, most schools interview candidates as a way of deciding between them. Here are some interview tips for nurses and candidates to help answer nursing school interview questions.


Why Do You Want to be a Nurse?

Be prepared to answer the question of why you want to go into nursing. Bad answers are because I need a job or I want to be a nurse practitioner. The nursing school will not expect you to give answers similar to medical school interview questions. They will have some goals, however, with the interview. Unless you are entering a master's program, a nursing school will train you to be an entry level nurse. They will not expect you to have mastered the nursing field or have extensive medical knowledge before entering school. You will start out taking care of bedridden patients on a hospital floor. Upon graduation, you will have mastered all basic aspects of bedside care and will have picked up the ability to handle changes in your patient's condition. This is why you are here. You want to learn how to perform bedside care of the sick, learn how to respond to changes in the patient's condition and hopefully assist the patient to improve to discharge. Of course, in the other event, you want to learn how to provide comfort to a patient during the end of their life. This is what the school will teach you and you need to be prepared to tell them you are aware of these facts.

Questions About Yourself

The nursing school will want to know about you. They want to know that you are a responsible person that will complete what you start, why you decided on nursing school, have home support to complete the program, and what kind of transportation you have to reach an assortment of hospitals. They are not looking for a complete history of your life or the accomplishments of your family. Nursing is a busy profession and schools will want to ensure you are in good health. For women, pregnancy is not a reason to deny admission to school. Pregnancy is not considered to be a health problem. If you are pregnant, do let the school know of your condition so they can plan to work with you. I had my first son while in nursing school and we are both just fine.

Be a Great Communicator

Part of nursing school is learning to read non-verbal signs of communication. This includes signs of pain, boredom, nervousness, closed reactions and signs of not listening. The interviewer will know from your non-verbal cues alone how good a communicator you are. A nurse must communicate with her patients and you must show the school that you are able to do this. Offer to shake the hand of the main interviewer and introduce yourself. Sit up straight and keep your hands on the table. Maintain eye contact with the interviewers for the most part. It is fine to pause in answering a question to firm up your response, but you need to practice speaking until your answers come out sounding warm and purposeful. You don't need to sound like you would be a great talk show host, but you do need to show you can teach your patients and find out what their problems are.

Dress Professional

Unless you are entering a master's program, perhaps, don't show up in a nursing uniform for your interview. Show the school you have the ability to dress professionally in your everyday life. Don't wear a casual outfit or an evening dress outfit. You are here for a professional work appearance. Usually darker colors are best combined with a top with lighter shades. Wear closed shoes, pants, skirt or a dress with a jacket or other accessories. Match your purse to your shoes and outfit. Jewelry is fine, but should not be too showy. Your hair should be combed and styled in a professional way. Don't show up with a pink Mohawk. Hair that is swept up is fine, since as a nurse your hair will be worn up if it is longer than your shoulders. Fingernails is another area to consider. Long, painted nails don't make schools excited because nurses can't wear nail polish or have long fingernails. Just wear clean, unpolished shorter nails to your interview. Of course, make sure you have washed and don't wear heavy perfumes. Soap is a great odor to a nurse.

Successful Nursing School Interview

With preparation, you can do a great interview. While this does not guarantee a place in the nursing school, it will ensure that you will stand out from other students who are far less prepared.

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