Common Interview Questions for Nurses

Hey, it’s been a while! A lot has happened since you saw me last. I graduated from nursing school, passed the NCLEX-RN exam, got my first RN job, and found out that my husband and I are expecting our first baby in November! I plan on writing bits and pieces about each of these milestones, but thought I should start out with the most common interview questions for nurses.

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This is still a strange and awesome sight to see. I have worked so hard to get those two letters behind my name!

Before interviewing, I prepared a list of 30 questions that I thought might be asked in my interviews. I typed out my answers to each one, including stories from clinical and work experiences that highlighted my strengths.

After typing out each answer, I rehearsed my answer OUT LOUD (the “out loud” part is very important). If you practice your answers out loud, you will be able to make your answers sound more natural, and you’ll know if you need to tweak it a little bit. The way I write is different than the way I talk, as I’m sure it is with most people (so rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!).

For your convenience, here are the 30 questions I prepared. If you think of any that I missed, please add them in the comment section below! As you answer each question, remember to be honest and positive!

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Tell me about a situation where you upheld patient confidentiality.
  3. Why should we hire you?
  4. Do you like to work alone or in teams?
  5. Are there any certifications that you’re interested in obtaining?
  6. Give me an example of how you have handled change in the past.
  7. Tell me a time when you went above and beyond.
  8. How would you prioritize your shifts?
  9. How would you respond if a patient is upset?
  10. Give me an example of how you’ve worked as a team.
  11. Tell me about a time when you had to problem-solve.
  12. What lead to your interest in nursing?
  13. Describe a challenging experience you had in one of your clinical rotations and how did you solve the problem?
  14. When faced with a stressful work situation, how do you relax?
  15. Give me an example of a time when you knew you did a good job as a nurse/student.
  16. How would you respond to the charge nurse if asked to do some of the menial tasks for patients which are not normally your responsibility?
  17. Do you think you’ll be a career nurse, or will you be eventually looking for another profession?
  18. Can you describe a situation connected with nursing that made you angry?
  19. What type of colleague do you least like to work with?
  20. How many years do you see yourself staying with this facility?
  21. How do you go about making a decision?
  22. Tell me about a time when you provided for a patient’s cultural needs.
  23. How could you contribute to this facility?
  24. Tell me about a previous mistake and the lessons you learned from it.
  25. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult person.
  26. What do you know about _____ hospital?
  27. What do you know about the _____ unit that you’re applying for?
  28. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work and how you dealt with it?
  29. What’s a time that you exercised leadership?
  30. Tell me about a time you disagreed with a decision made by an authority figure.

Giveaway – Mosby’s Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX Exam

I’m extending the contest until noon tomorrow (Monday, March 23). Don’t forget to follow all of the steps below to enter! Good luck!

Becoming a Nurse

Guess what?! My birthday was earlier this week, and I am celebrating by giving away a brand new copy of Mosby’s Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX Exam! Are you excited? I wrote about how awesome this book is here.

IMG_3155How to enter:

1. In order for a chance to win, you MUST commentbelow with one piece of advice on how to study well, how to be a great nurse, or how to include relaxation in your day. This will get you one entry.

2. If you would like to earn more entries, you can do the following:

3. Once you have completed the above steps, you must…

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Giveaway – Mosby’s Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX Exam

Guess what?! My birthday was earlier this week, and I am celebrating by giving away a brand new copy of Mosby’s Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX Exam! Are you excited? I wrote about how awesome this book is here.

IMG_3155

How to enter:

1. In order for a chance to win, you MUST comment below with one piece of advice on how to study well, how to be a great nurse, or how to include relaxation in your day. This will get you one entry.

2. If you would like to earn more entries, you can do the following:

3. Once you have completed the above steps, you must fill out a very short form at Giveawaytools.com. If this form is not filled out, you will not be entered into the contest.

The contest is open until 9 PM on Sunday, March 22, and I will announce the winner on Monday, March 23!

This contest is only open to those who live in the United States or Canada (sorry to my followers around the world).

Plan for the Week

What do you think about me doing weekly posts with updates and my plan for the week? I’m thinking about it…mostly because I’m addicted to planning. The accountability helps, too.😉

Friday tends to be the first day of the week for me, so these posts will likely show up on Fridays. I have class on Thursdays, so I usually spend Thursday afternoon relaxing from all of the preparation it took to get to Thursday. I use Friday as a day to look ahead and plan for the following Thursday’s class.

This week…I need to focus on really getting this content down. The tests have been more difficult this semester, and I need to figure out what I need to change in order to improve. I’m doing fine. I just know I could do better. Please leave your tips or encouragement in the comment section.:)

In other news, I received my nursing pin in the mail today. I purchased it on Etsy…you can find it here if you would like to purchase one for yourself!

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Friday

  1. Take one Kaplan test (I’m trying to be better about answering NCLEX questions daily).
  2. Read pharmacology content for Thursday (we have a case study on infectious diseases).
  3. Clean the house (I had a test yesterday…’nuff said).

Saturday

  1. Take one Kaplan test.
  2. Read about infection control precautions.
  3. Read about infectious diseases in the Med/Surg book.

Sunday

  1. Create two tables. One for infectious diseases and one for medications to treat infectious diseases.
  2. Hang out with Mark & Kass!

Monday

  1. Complete case study for Thursday.
  2. Take one Kaplan test.

Tuesday

  1. Finish creating tables from Sunday.
  2. Review notes.

Wednesday

  1. Meet up with my study group to go over Thursday’s case study.
  2. Take a long nap.:)

A Beginner’s Guide to Pharmacology

I have received several requests regarding how to learn pharmacology content. You asked, now I’ll answer…to the best of my ability.

Here are the basics to get you off to a great start in your pharmacology course:

1. This course is largely memorization, which could be good news for us nursing students who struggle with choosing the most correct answer out of other correct answers. For the most part, pharmacology is straight-forward, and flashcards work great for this kind of learning. On the flip-side, know that you will never be able to remember every detail about every drug. And that is okay!

2. Know your A & P. A good understanding of A & P is crucial to understanding how the medications work! This makes it much easier to remember how the medication might affect body systems and what adverse reactions or side effects you might see in your patient.

3. Separate into classifications and keep your focus there. Do not memorize individual drugs! Memorize the classes of drugs. And suffixes! Also, a little birdie told me that the proprietary names of drugs will no longer be provided on the NCLEX. This still doesn’t mean that you need to memorize each generic name, but it does increase the importance of memorizing suffixes. By the way, my favorite suffix is “lol” for obvious reasons.

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4. This is the best class to use my handy-dandy tables. I know I say this a lot, but you should really add table-making to your study repertoire. I think the table study technique really shines with pharmacology content. Just dream a little with me…each table could be a class of drugs that you could whip out at a moments notice and study for your next exam or for the exam to end all exams (ahem…the NCLEX).

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5. Go to YouTube! If you ever need a visual, just enter the class of drug into a YouTube search! Here are a few to get you started. If you find some other good videos, post the links in the comment section!

Principles of PharmacologyDiureticsAntibioticsAntidiabeticsCalcium Channel BlockersAutonomic Drugs.