Top 25 Nursing Interview Questions (with sample answers)

The field of nursing is as challenging as it is rewarding, calling for a unique blend of skills, knowledge, and compassion. Whether you’re a seasoned nurse or a recent graduate preparing for your first job interview, understanding the potential questions you might face is crucial.

Interviews for nursing positions often delve into technical skills, ethical dilemmas, teamwork, patient care, and personal motivations.

This article presents the top 25 nursing interview questions with sample answers, complete with elaborative answers, to help you articulate your qualifications, experiences, and approach to nursing. These responses are designed not only to help you prepare for your interview but also to refine your professional philosophy and approach to patient care.

Page Contents

25 Nursing Interview Questions (with Sample Answers)

1. Why did you choose a career in nursing?

  • Sample Answer: I chose nursing because I have always been passionate about helping others and making a tangible difference in their lives. From a young age, I was inspired by the compassionate care nurses provided to a family member. This experience showed me the impact nurses have on patients’ well-being, sparking my desire to pursue this noble profession.

2. How do you handle stress on the job?

  • Sample Answer: I manage stress by prioritizing tasks, practicing self-care, and seeking support from colleagues when necessary. I also find that staying organized and taking brief moments to regroup can significantly reduce stress levels, allowing me to provide the best possible care to my patients.

3. Can you describe a time when you disagreed with a doctor’s order and how you handled it?

  • Sample Answer: Yes, there was a situation where I believed a prescribed medication might adversely affect a patient’s existing condition. I calmly discussed my concerns with the doctor, providing relevant patient history and medical literature that supported my viewpoint. The doctor appreciated my proactive approach and revised the order, which ultimately benefited the patient’s care plan.

4. How do you stay current with medical findings and practices?

  • Sample Answer: I stay current by regularly attending professional workshops, participating in continuing education courses, and reading nursing journals and publications. Engaging with online forums and attending conferences also helps me stay informed about the latest advancements in nursing and healthcare.

5. Describe a time when you had to handle a difficult patient or family member.

  • Sample Answer: I once cared for a patient who was extremely anxious about their surgery and lashed out due to fear. I listened to their concerns, provided reassurance, and explained the procedure in detail. By establishing trust and demonstrating empathy, I was able to calm the patient and ensure they felt supported throughout their care.

6. What are your strengths as a nurse?

  • Sample Answer: My greatest strength is my ability to communicate effectively with patients and their families, providing clear information and emotional support. Additionally, my organizational skills and attention to detail ensure that I deliver accurate and efficient care.

7. How do you prioritize your tasks while managing multiple patients?

  • Sample Answer: I prioritize tasks based on the urgency and severity of each patient’s condition. I also use effective time management strategies, such as creating a to-do list at the start of my shift and adjusting priorities as needed, to ensure all patients receive timely and appropriate care.

8. What is your approach to working with a multidisciplinary team?

  • Sample Answer: I believe in open communication, respect, and collaboration when working with a multidisciplinary team. By sharing knowledge and listening to the perspectives of other healthcare professionals, we can develop more comprehensive care plans and achieve better outcomes for our patients.

9. How do you ensure you provide compassionate care to every patient?

  • Sample Answer: I ensure compassionate care by treating each patient as an individual, taking the time to listen to their concerns, and empathizing with their situation. I strive to make a positive impact on their experience by being attentive, respectful, and providing comfort during difficult times.

10. Can you describe a time when you contributed to improving patient safety?

  • Sample Answer: In a previous role, I noticed a recurring issue with medication administration errors. I proposed the implementation of a double-check system for high-risk medications. This initiative significantly reduced errors and enhanced patient safety, demonstrating my commitment to continuous improvement in care delivery.

11. What motivates you in your work as a nurse?

  • Sample Answer: What motivates me is seeing the positive impact I can have on patients’ lives, whether it’s through providing care that leads to recovery or offering support during challenging times. The gratitude from patients and their families is incredibly rewarding and reinforces my passion for nursing.

12. How do you handle a situation where a patient refuses care?

  • Sample Answer: When a patient refuses care, I first seek to understand their reasons and concerns. I provide information about the benefits and potential risks of refusal in a respectful and non-confrontational manner. By building trust and rapport, I often can persuade them to accept the necessary treatment or find a compromise that respects their wishes while ensuring their safety.

13. What is your experience with electronic medical records (EMR)?

  • Sample Answer: I have extensive experience with several EMR systems, including Epic and Cerner. I’m proficient in documenting patient care, accessing patient history, and managing medication orders. I also stay updated on EMR best practices through continuous learning and training.

14. Describe a time you made a mistake and how you dealt with it.

  • Sample Answer: Once, I misread a medication dosage and administered a higher dose than prescribed. I immediately realized the error, monitored the patient closely for adverse effects, and reported the incident to my supervisor. We reviewed the situation together to prevent future errors, reinforcing the importance of double-checking all orders.

15. What are your career goals as a nurse?

  • Sample Answer: My short-term goal is to gain more experience in acute care, enhancing my clinical skills and knowledge. Long-term, I aim to pursue further education to become a Nurse Practitioner, focusing on family medicine, to expand my ability to care for patients across their lifespan.

16. How do you manage confidentiality in your work?

  • Sample Answer: I strictly adhere to regulations and the nursing code of ethics to protect patient privacy and confidentiality. I ensure that all communications about patients are conducted discreetly and that records are securely stored and accessed only by authorized personnel.

17. Can you give an example of how you’ve used evidence-based practice in your nursing care?

  • Sample Answer: In managing patients with chronic wounds, I implemented a care plan based on the latest evidence-based guidelines for wound care and dressing changes. This approach led to improved healing rates and patient satisfaction, highlighting the value of integrating research findings into clinical practice.

18. How do you ensure effective communication with patients who have language barriers?

  • Sample Answer: I utilize translation services or language assistance tools to communicate with patients who have language barriers. I also employ non-verbal communication techniques and ensure that educational materials are available in the patient’s preferred language to enhance understanding and care.

19. Describe a challenging ethical dilemma you faced and how you resolved it.

  • Sample Answer: I once cared for a terminally ill patient who wished to cease life-sustaining treatment, contrary to their family’s wishes. I facilitated a meeting between the patient, their family, and the healthcare team to discuss the patient’s rights and desires.

20. How do you handle the emotional impact of working with critically ill or dying patients?

  • Sample Answer: I manage the emotional impact by seeking support from colleagues, participating in debriefing sessions, and utilizing employee assistance programs. I also engage in self-care activities outside of work to maintain my emotional and mental health, allowing me to provide compassionate care to my patients.

21. What strategies do you use to educate patients and their families about health and treatment plans?

  • Sample Answer: I use clear, simple language and visual aids to explain health conditions and treatment options. I encourage questions and provide written instructions for reference. By assessing their understanding and adapting my approach to their learning style, I ensure they are informed and engaged in the care process.

22. How do you handle working with a patient who has complex health needs?

  • Sample Answer: I approach complex health needs with thorough assessment, interdisciplinary collaboration, and individualized care planning. I prioritize communication with the healthcare team to coordinate care and ensure all aspects of the patient’s health are addressed comprehensively.

23. Describe a time when you advocated for a patient.

  • Sample Answer: I advocated for a patient who was not receiving adequate pain management due to previous substance abuse history. By presenting current pain assessment scores and advocating for alternative pain management strategies, I ensured the patient received compassionate and effective care.

24. How do you stay organized and prioritize care with a high patient load?

  • Sample Answer: I stay organized by using detailed shift plans, prioritizing care based on clinical urgency, and delegating tasks appropriately to other team members. Effective communication and time management skills help me ensure that all patients receive timely and high-quality care.

25. What is your approach to continuous professional development?

  • Sample Answer: I actively pursue professional development opportunities, including certifications, workshops, and conferences, relevant to my nursing specialty.


In conclusion, succeeding in a nursing interview requires not just a demonstration of technical skills and knowledge, but also the ability to articulate a deep understanding of patient care, ethical considerations, and the emotional intelligence necessary to navigate the complexities of healthcare.

The answers provided to these top 25 nursing interview questions showcase not only the breadth of competencies expected from a nurse but also the depth of compassion, dedication, and commitment to continuous improvement that define the profession.

As you prepare for your interview, remember that each question is an opportunity to highlight your unique experiences, your approach to challenges, and your vision for your career in nursing.

It’s about showing your potential employer that you possess not only the qualifications on paper but also the qualities that make a truly exceptional nurse.

Reflect on your experiences, stay true to your professional and personal values, and approach each question as a chance to demonstrate your passion for nursing and your readiness to make a positive impact on the lives of your patients.

With thorough preparation and a genuine approach, you’re well on your way to securing a rewarding position in the field of nursing, contributing to the health and well-being of your community, and advancing in a career that offers endless opportunities for growth and fulfillment.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *