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150 Top Nursing School Interview Questions and Answers in 2022


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you preparing to pursue a career as a nurse? If so, you know there is much to do beforehand. Gathering documents, submitting test scores, and filling out college applications are just a few of the things you must do before you are "officially" a nursing student. Another important step is participating in a nursing school interview. Oh, I know what you're thinking, "An interview? Just to see if I can go to school?"

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me, “What are the top nursing school interview questions?" or "How can I prepare for my nursing school interview?" Don't worry, though. This article is just what you need to help you prepare. As you continue reading, you will discover 150 top nursing school interview questions + sample answers. I'll also share some do's and don'ts to help you succeed in the interview process.


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What Is A Nursing School Interview?


A nursing school interview is part of the admissions process for nursing programs. Admissions committees at college and university nursing schools review applications and other relevant documents to determine if an applicant meets admission criteria. Eligible applicants are then invited to participate in an admissions interview before deciding whether to extend an invitation for admission.


What Is The Main Purpose Of A Nursing School Interview?


The main purpose of a nursing school interview is to determine if an applicant is a good fit for the nursing program. The interview is an opportunity for applicants to meet face-to-face with nursing faculty and engage in a two-way exchange about the program, school, their goals, and expected outcomes.


Are Nursing School Interview Questions Hard To Crack?


You may feel nervous because you do not know which nursing school interview questions they will ask or feel unsure about answering them. The truth is, there is no code to crack when answering questions in a nursing school interview. If you have made it far enough in the application process to be invited to an interview, you know you already meet the minimum eligibility requirements. This interview is a chance for the admissions faculty to get to know you personally instead of what they read on your application or transcripts. Take a deep breath, relax, and just be honest.


5 Ways To Prepare For Nursing School Interview Questions


Preparing for a nursing school interview takes more than reviewing potential nursing school interview questions. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for meeting with the admissions committee for your interview.

1. Get to know the school.

Nursing schools may offer different levels of nursing degrees or nursing specialties. They have mission statements and program objectives. Make sure the school's values and mission align with yours. If the school is known for excellent graduate nursing programs, and you plan to pursue a graduate nursing degree one day, this may be something you want to mention in your interview.

2. Gather important documents and make extra copies.

Part of the application process includes submitting essential documents like official transcripts, admission essays, an updated resume, and copies of any certifications you already have. Although the school has your transcript and other documents, they may ask you about previous academic or professional achievements and experiences. Show you are prepared by having extra copies to offer the faculty as you answer their questions.

3. Know what you bring to the table.

No one can sell your worth better than you. Think of your previous experiences and what led you to apply to nursing school. Consider your personal qualities and characteristics and why they make you a good candidate for acceptance. You can be sure they will ask you why you are the best candidate for placement in their program. If you think about your qualities and experiences beforehand, you’ll be better prepared for those types of nursing school interview questions.

4. Be prepared to be upfront and honest about your academic record.

Lots of college applicants feel the need to embellish their academic achievements or try to over-explain poor academic histories. Don't put yourself through it. The admissions team will review your official transcripts, and if anything requires an explanation, they will ask you. As my grandfather used to say, "Don't fix something that's not broken."

5. Think of this interview as an opportunity to achieve your dreams!

It's natural to feel nervous going into a nursing school interview, but don't let yourself get so worked up that you forget about the opportunity before you. I used to tell prospective students to take a deep breath, relax, and remember... every member of the nursing admissions faculty once sat in their own nursing school interview.



WHAT ARE THE TOP NURSING SCHOOL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS?


The following are examples of 150 top questions you can expect to be asked in a nursing school interview in 2022. You will find the questions are divided into categories. Each category has ten questions with possible answers and additional five questions you may wish to consider.

NURSING SCHOOL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER AND PERSONALITY

The following are the 15 most common nursing school interview questions about your character and personality.

Question #1: What are some of your personal qualities that you believe will help you succeed in nursing?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is not a trick question. It is also not designed to get you to tell all the wonderful things you can think of about yourself. If this is included in one of your nursing school interview questions, the admission committee is trying to get to know you and what qualities you value enough to demonstrate in your own life. Share a few personal qualities that you value, and think will contribute to your success. Remember to be confident but humble!

Sample Answer:
“I tend to have a naturally inquisitive nature, which I think will help me as I grow and learn in nursing school and beyond. I value hard work and honesty and try to demonstrate those qualities in everything I do. I believe if I can be honest, work hard, and learn as much as possible, I can succeed in nursing school and in my career."


Question #2: Is there anything you would like to improve about yourself?

Why is this Question Asked:
You can almost bet this will be one of the nursing school interview questions you will answer. Admissions counselors or committees usually ask this question to see if they can get a genuine response from an applicant. You don't have to list everything you would like to change in your life. Simply think of something important to you and share how changing it may make you a better person or nurse. Whatever you do, do not make the mistake of saying you can't think of anything you want to improve. Remember, no one is perfect.

Sample Answer:
"I'm sure I could think of several things I'd like to change, but as I consider becoming a nursing student and pursuing my career, I think the first thing I'd like to improve is how I manage my time. I understand nursing school can be demanding, so I really want to work on ways to capitalize on the way I prioritize tasks and use my time wisely."


Question #3: What do you consider your most positive trait?

Why is this Question Asked:
We all have various personality traits and characteristics. Interviewers understand this, which is why they often include this as one of the nursing school interview questions. Even when two people share the same traits, one person's traits may stand out more for them individually than others. Think of something others may have complimented you about, such as your positive attitude or strong work ethic. Speak positively about yourself, but balance that positivity with an air of humility.

Sample Answer:
"I think one of my most positive traits is my ability to find the good in things. We all have bad days, but even when things aren't going exactly as I want, I try to look at the big picture and find ways the situation could work out well. I hope to carry that same outlook through nursing school and as a nurse so that I can be a source of encouragement to my patients and their families."


Question #4: Do you feel you are more a leader or a follower?

Why is this Question Asked:
It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round. Nursing is no exception. This is one of the most common nursing school interview questions because it is typically to gauge your response on whether you are a team player or not. The best way to respond is to include statements that support your leadership potential but a willingness to follow those with more experience.

Sample Answer:
“I believe I may be a bit of both, honestly. I'm not afraid to accept leadership's challenges, but I'm also smart enough to know that there is always something new to learn and value the leadership others bring into my life."


Question #5: How do you handle criticism from authority figures such as employers or teachers?

Why is this Question Asked:
Even when you put forth your best effort to achieve a task, there are chances you may face criticism. The admissions committee wants to know you are mature enough to accept criticism with a level head and learn from your experiences, which is why this is often one of the nursing school interview questions they ask. If you have a personal experience to draw from, you can mention it in your answer, but be careful to choose your words wisely and not sound offensive.

Sample Answer:
“If we live long enough, I believe we all face some criticism. It is important to consider the source of the criticism and why the person felt it necessary to mention something to us. For example, when I worked at my last job, my manager called me to his office to discuss some things he felt I needed to improve on. I was shocked because I thought I was doing a pretty good job. Still, I listened carefully to everything he had to say, and I asked what measures he thought I should implement to improve my performance. I listened to his advice and worked hard. Within two months, I got a raise!"


Question #6: Tell me about a time you received a negative evaluation. How did you respond?

Why is this Question Asked:
Talking about receiving a bad review or a negative evaluation can feel a bit embarrassing. Don't let this question worry you, as it is one of the most common nursing school interview questions. Faculty are more interested in how you responded and what you may do in the future to improve your performance and earn positive feedback.

Sample Answer:
"I remember going through a ninety-day performance review at a previous job. I was so disappointed when my supervisor didn't give me a perfect score for meeting all the criteria. I think I was so excited about my job and the fact that I was always on time and never called in sick that I didn't think about the little details.

My supervisor told me I had a great personality but seemed rushed, which meant customers didn't get to see that side of me. She told me that could eventually lead to poor customer satisfaction ratings. Of course, I didn't like hearing anything negative, but I always try to approach every situation with the mindset that I can do more and be more. So, I took her advice to slow down and get to know our customers better. It helped me build great rapport with our clients and in our team, and by the next time I had a review, I got a raise and a promotion."


Question #7: What do you think is the most important trait a nurse should have and why?

Why is this Question Asked:
Admissions teams like to hear your opinions about what nursing is or is not and how you think nurses should act. Therefore, this is another of the common nursing school interview questions. Think about a time when you needed healthcare services. How did the nurses act toward you? What stood out most?

Sample Answer:
"I think there are a lot of essential traits nurses should demonstrate. For example, I believe patience, empathy, and compassion are among some of the most important. Being sick and needing medical care can be scary. When nurses demonstrate these traits, I think it helps patients feel more at ease and leads to better experiences for everyone. "


Question #8: What do you feel is your worst character trait? How do you think you can improve it?

Why is this Question Asked:
Many times, interviewers will ask this question just to see if you are honest. We all have something we wish we could improve about ourselves. While you don't have to write a novel about all your faults, you also do not need to say there is nothing you would change. Think about something you think you could do to make yourself a better friend, student, or employee... then share it with the admissions committee. Don’t feel like they are looking for the bad in you. This is simply another way for them to get to know you and is another of the common nursing school interview questions.

Sample Answer:
"I must admit, I'm a little embarrassed to talk about my bad traits, but I guess we all are. One of my biggest flaws is taking things at face value instead of getting all the information. I've learned that is not the best way to win friends or influence people, as everything is not always as it seems. Because I recognize this in myself, I now try to listen more than I talk and give others a chance to express their thoughts and feelings. I've found that the more I do that, the better I relate to others in my personal and professional lives."


Question #9: How do you feel when failing to meet a goal? What drives you to keep trying?

Why is this Question Asked:
We all fall short of goals from time to time. That doesn't mean you are incapable or unworthy. It means you are human. Admission faculty often include this in the list of nursing school interview questions to see what a candidate's response to failure means to them and whether they have the drive to start over and succeed. Don't be afraid to be imperfect.

Sample Answer:
"I cannot tell you how many times I have set goals and fell short before achieving them. It can be disheartening. However, I believe if I want something bad enough, I must assess the situation, figure out where I went wrong, what I could do better, then start over. I have the drive to keep going because if I want something bad enough to set goals and develop plans for meeting them, then they are important enough for me to keep pressing forward until I get the results I want."


Question #10: What qualities do you have that you feel set you apart from other applicants or will make you a good candidate for our nursing program?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is one of the top questions for nursing school interviews, so be prepared to answer it. Nursing schools limit the number of applicants they accept in their programs based on how many faculty they have, the size of the school, and the number of clinical sites available. Because admission is competitive, you want to stand out during the interview. A few things to keep in mind are that you should clearly state your qualities without sounding boastful and do not put other applicants down to make yourself look better.

Sample Answer:
"Your nursing school's mission is to educate well-qualified nurses capable of embracing the changes in healthcare today and in the future and to develop culturally competent nurses who treat all patients as equals and work to promote cultural competence. I value those things, as well. I have a strong work ethic and desire to make a difference, and I believe this school is the best place for me to become the type of nurse we all need."


More Questions

Question #11: If I were to ask one of your family members to describe you, what do you think they would say?
Question #12: What would your best friend say is your biggest flaw?
Question #13: Tell me about a time when you felt like a failure. How did you overcome it?
Question #14: What do you do to ensure you have a healthy work-life balance, and how will you integrate those behaviors into your role as a nursing student?
Question #15: Question #10:v What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Nursing School Interview Questions About Your Educational Background

The following are the 15 most common nursing school interview questions about your educational background.

Question #1: What is your highest level of education up to this point?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is basically one of those “get to know you” nursing school interview questions. Some nursing applicants plan to go straight from high school to a four-year BSN program. Others may have already earned a licensed practical/vocational nurse license or an associate RN degree. The admissions committee needs to know how much schooling you have completed, so they can determine how many credits can transfer or what your placement should be in the program.

Sample Answer:
"After graduating high school, I attended community college for one year. My major was pre-nursing. However, I did not graduate from that program. I did bring a copy of my official transcript for your review."


Question #2: Do you have any certifications or special training you feel will benefit you as a student in this program?

Why is this Question Asked:
Many nursing school applicants take short courses before admission into nursing programs. Keep in mind, that it's not necessarily a requirement to take classes outside the nursing curriculum, but it could be helpful to you. Any class you've taken that you feel would make you more appealing in a nursing school interview, be sure to mention it.

Sample Answer:
"Last summer, I took a patient care technician course, earning three certifications: Phlebotomy, EKG, and Certified Nursing Assistant. I also worked as an administrative assistant at a local physician's office for over a year, which gave me some experience in the front end of medical office work."


Question #3: What was your favorite subject in school?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is one of those questions interviewers ask to get to know you and what interests you. Don't worry; there is no right or wrong answer. If you enjoy English or Literature, you may find that you enjoy communication classes in nursing school. On the other hand, if math and science were your strong classes, chemistry and biology may be your favorites in nursing school.

Sample Answer:
"When you answer this question, briefly tell the interviewer your favorite subject(s) and why you enjoyed them the most. For example: "I loved biology in high school. I have always had a particular interest in how living things grow and develop."


Question #4: Were you involved in any clubs or extracurricular activities in school? If so, what did you learn from them that you feel will help you in nursing school?

Why is this Question Asked:
While club memberships or extracurricular activities may not be part of the criteria for attending nursing school, this is common among nursing school interview questions. Interviewers typically ask this question because they know most people involved in organized clubs and or activities understand structure and teamwork, and they often have less trouble developing and implementing good communication. Remember, if you did not participate in clubs or memberships, you have no reason to be embarrassed or worried. Just be honest.

Sample Answer:
If you did participate in clubs or extracurricular activities, you may answer like this: "I was involved in a few clubs in high school, including Future Business Leaders of America and 4H. I also participated on the cheerleading team for four years, and played junior high and high school basketball and softball. I made great friends and memories during that time.

If you did not participate in activities, you might say something like this: "I was always so focused on academics that I didn't take time to participate in clubs or sports in school. I have been active in some local charities since I graduated high school and enjoy the different opportunities the community offers for members to get involved. I also look forward to learning about the National Student Nurses’ Association and opportunities to volunteer while in nursing school.”


Question #5: Have you ever struggled or fallen behind in a class? If so, how did you handle it, and do you think you could use the same approach with a similar situation in nursing school?

Why is this Question Asked:
Nursing programs are often fast-paced and can be quite challenging, even for the students who excelled academically in high school or other programs. Faculty understand what nursing students experience and include this question among the nursing school interview questions to see if you have a plan for when things get tough. Don't be embarrassed to be transparent and share an experience in which you felt challenged or struggled. The admissions council wants to know you are up for the challenge of overcoming difficult times, not that you are perfect.

Sample Answer:
"I do remember a time when I fell behind in a class. I enrolled in a chemistry class at the local community college where I used to live. In high school, I seemed to breeze through all my classes, especially anything related to math or science. So, I thought I could do the same in that class. It didn't take long to realize I wasn't in high school anymore. I quickly fell behind and almost failed the class.

I met with my instructor and got some pointers on how to succeed in the class. I had to change my mindset about studying and applying what I learned in the classroom. I carved out time dedicated to my chemistry class and stuck with a strict schedule of studying and applying myself, and I passed the class. Knowing what I know now, I'd like to think I would use the same approach when facing challenges in nursing school. I also feel like I can go into the program knowing what I experienced and apply it from the beginning, which should also be helpful."


Question #6: Have you ever experienced a disagreement with a teacher or instructor that was difficult to overcome? How did you resolve the issue?

Why is this Question Asked:
Be careful about how you answer this question. It is normal to have different opinions, but it should never escalate into an argument and should always be respectful. Admission faculty want to know you respect the authority of your instructors and that, even in tough situations, you will try to resolve issues professionally.

Sample Answer:
"Unfortunately, I have disagreed with an instructor before. It was a frustrating experience, as I was struggling in her class and worried I might fail. Looking back, I believe the situation might not have led to a disagreement if I had not been so overwhelmed. I am grateful for the experience because I learned it's okay to disagree with someone without it negatively impacting your future relationship with them. In this situation, my professor took the time to counsel me and listen to my concerns. In the end, I was wrong, but thankfully we were able to move forward, and I later excelled in her class."


Question #7: Who was your favorite teacher, and why?

Why is this Question Asked:
Interviewers often ask this question during nursing school interviews. They are more interested in why the teacher was your favorite than who was your favorite. Your answer gives them insight into the kind of people you mesh with best. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer.

Sample Answer:
"My favorite teacher of all time was Mrs. Bufkin. She was my English teacher during my sophomore through senior years of high school. I honestly don't know if there is just one thing that made her my favorite. I remember in her class, I always felt like I could succeed at anything. She encouraged me to take my journal writings to another level, and when I did, I won local writing contests. She celebrated my victories, but she also held me accountable. If I became lazy in her class, she wasn't afraid to call me out on it and remind me how capable I was of accomplishing good things. I continue to carry the confidence she helped cultivate within me."


Question #8: Can you give me a brief overview of your educational background?

Why is this Question Asked:
An admissions committee reviews your transcript and other pertinent information before inviting you to an admissions interview. So, unless you left something out of your paperwork, they should have a good idea about your educational background. They typically ask this as one of the nursing school interview questions so they can verify the information on your transcripts or admission essay. Remember, the question says, "brief overview." You give the overview, and they will ask more in-depth questions if they feel the need to do so.

Sample Answer:
"I graduated high school and was the valedictorian of my senior class in 2019. I took the summer following graduation off from academic pursuits. However, in the fall of 2019, I began my pursuit of a nursing degree. I attended ABC Community College and completed all the nursing prerequisite courses. Now, here I am, ready to take the next steps toward earning a registered nurse degree."


Question #9: If there was one thing you could do over regarding education, what would it be, and why?

Why is this Question Asked:
Sometimes you will get this question in a nursing school interview because the interviewer wants to see how you respond to questions about your previous performance. It's not a judgmental question, but more an opportunity for you to reflect on past academic experiences and how you may wish to do differently in the future.

Sample Answer:
"I could probably think of many things I'd do differently regarding my education. If I were to choose only one, I'd say I wish I could go back and take all the classes I thought were too hard instead of opting for the ones I knew I'd easily pass. I've learned that anything worth having is worth the challenge it takes to achieve it, including good grades and college degrees."


Question #10: What do you feel is your greatest achievement in life, so far?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is another question the admission committee will use to get to know you on a personal level. Don't feel like you must impress them. Just be honest and share something you've achieved that has real meaning to you.

Sample Answer:
"I've had the privilege of doing several things that made me feel accomplished. Perhaps the one thing I am most proud of is the nonprofit I helped establish to help military veterans with PTSD. I partnered with a local animal trainer and worked together to start pairing veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder with a specially trained support dog. These pets undergo rigorous training on ways to identify stress and lead their human partners away from situations that may trigger a traumatic episode, as well as other one-on-one training. It has been a wonderful experience."


More Questions

Question #11:
What was your least favorite subject in school?
Question #12:
Are you more of a visual learner or an auditory learner?
Question #13:
Do you prefer to study independently, or does joining a study group interest you?
Question #14:
What atmosphere do you feel you learn best in?
Question #15:
How well do you articulate your thoughts into written words?

Nursing School Interview Questions About Your Work Experience

The following are the 15 most common nursing school interview questions about your work experience.

Question #1: Do you have any experience working in healthcare?

Why is this Question Asked:
This question is pretty cut and dry. It lets the admissions faculty know how much firsthand knowledge you have about the healthcare industry. Include any relevant healthcare experience, even if it is not nursing-related.

Sample Answer:
"I spent a few summers working the front office and helping with billing at a local dentist's office. Other than that, I don't have experience working a healthcare job. I hope to find part-time work as a CNA as soon as I can get certified."


2. Question #2: What is the longest amount of time you worked at one job?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is not one of the most common nursing school interview questions, but you may be asked, nevertheless. Accepting a job and staying on long-term shows determination and commitment. That does not mean you will be rejected if you don't have a history of long-term employment. It's just one more way for the committee to get to know you. Remember, applicants going straight from high school to college may have little or no work experience. That doesn't mean you won't be a good candidate for the nursing program.

Sample Answer:
"Most of my work experience until now has been after school or summer jobs. After graduating high school last spring, I worked at a local grocery store. I decided to stay with them as long as possible through nursing school because they are known to work with college students to accommodate class and clinical schedules."


Question #3: Who was your favorite previous employer, and why?

Why is this Question Asked:
If I can give you any word of caution about this nursing school interview question, it would be to not say an employer was your favorite because you could get away with anything on the job. Even if your boss had a relaxed attitude or personality, make sure you share it in a professional manner instead of making it look like you wasted time at work all the time.

Sample Answer:
"My favorite previous employer was Mr. Hank at Hank's Department Store. He was always happy and easy to talk to. Even though he ran a tight ship as far as work goes, he made employees comfortable, making him easy to work for. Employees and customers alike loved him."


Question #4: Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with a coworker. What did you do to resolve the conflict, and what was the outcome?

Why is this Question Asked:
Nursing school can be very stressful. Sometimes the stress spills over into relationships with classmates. The admission faculty understand that several things can lead to disagreements. What they are most interested in is how you plan to resolve conflicts when they arise.

Sample Answer:
"I like to think I'm easy to get along with, but that's not to say I have never disagreed with someone. I remember having a disagreement with one of my coworkers while working as a receptionist at a family practice clinic. Our clinic had just reopened after a holiday weekend off. So, we were swamped. We were also working short-handed. One of the nurses became angry with me because I didn't do some paperwork right in a new patient's packet, which meant delaying seeing them until the paperwork was fixed. It was truly my error.

I acknowledged that I made a mistake and worked as quickly as possible to ensure everything was in order. I apologized to the nurse, told her I knew everyone was working under pressure that day, and offered to do anything she needed to help make the workflow better. She apologized for getting angry with me, as well. From that day forward, we worked well together."


Question #5: Have you worked in a supervisory role in any previous job?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is another nursing school interview question that gives the interviewers a chance to find out more about your previous experiences and leadership abilities. If you've never worked as a supervisor, it's okay. Remember, the nursing school interview is a form of two-way communication so faculty can get to know you better.

Sample Answer:
"I've never worked in a manager or lead supervisor position. I have worked as a crew leader in a few restaurants. Although I didn't have the authority to hire or fire employees or handle disciplinary issues, I helped with schedules and daily assignments."


Question #6: Tell me about a time at work when you felt unsure about your responsibilities. How did you handle the situation?

Why is this Question Asked:
We all have days when we feel like things are going a little backward, or we feel unsure about what steps to take next. There's nothing wrong with that, and it certainly doesn't mean you are incapable of handling a job. If the admissions interviewer asks a question like this, their objective is to see how you may react under the pressure of uncertainty.

Sample Answer:
"I can think of several times I've felt a little uneasy or unsure about my responsibilities at work. I've learned it is always best to admit what you don't know and ask for guidance. For instance, I was once assigned to work in customer service and handle returns. Although I was used to taking customer service calls, I did not know the process of accepting returns and how to document exchanges. If I had not asked for help, I could have made mistakes that would have affected the end-of-day money count. I talked to my supervisor, asked him to assist me with the first few transactions, and then felt comfortable enough to work independently."


Question #7: Have you ever trained newly hired employees? If so, what was that experience like for you?

Why is this Question Asked:
Admissions teams often ask this question during nursing school interviews because it gives them an idea about your leadership abilities and experience. Don't worry; if you don't have leadership experience, that won't make you ineligible for admission.

Sample Answer:
"I do have experience training new team members. I know what it's like being the new person and feeling anxious, so I always try to make new employees feel welcome and help them become acclimated to the work environment and our roles. I really enjoy having those opportunities."


Question #8: Have you had to deal with an angry customer at work? How did you handle the situation, and what was the outcome?

Why is this Question Asked:
Nursing is a job requiring excellent customer service. The way you handle people in their most vulnerable times says a lot about your character. The admissions team wants to know if you can remain calm and steadfast under pressure and, if needed, help deescalate a situation.

Sample Answer:
"I have had to deal with angry customers at work. Some situations were not as serious as others, but the main objective was always to try and handle the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible. I always approach angry or disgruntled customers calmly and ask if they will share why they are upset so I can help fix things. I've learned that most of the time, just listening and letting customers vent before making a judgment call makes a huge difference in the outcome."


Question #9: What life experiences or experiences from previous jobs do you think will help you as you pursue a career in nursing?

Why is this Question Asked:
You don't need past healthcare experience to be successful in nursing school. Previous life and work experiences significantly influence how we respond to new situations, including beginning nursing school. Interviewers may include this as one of your nursing school interview questions to see if you recognize the importance and impact of previous experiences.

Sample Answer:
"I have the privilege of having a large family and a great host of friends. I've learned things from them like how to communicate with others, put others first, and find effective ways to resolve conflicts. My work experiences have taught me to be a team player and value the knowledge and experiences of supervisors and peers. I believe the life lessons I've learned up to this point will help me as I learn from nursing faculty and grow with my classmates."


Question #10: In your opinion, how important is open communication between team members?

Why is this Question Asked:
Effective communication is one of the most essential skills nurses must develop. Nursing students must learn to appreciate and value how effective communication can set the tone for therapeutic nurse-patient relationships and solid interpersonal relationships.

Sample Answer:
"I believe open communication is crucial for team members, no matter what profession one chooses. As a nursing student and future nurse, I understand how I communicate with peers and patients could significantly impact how our team functions and how well patients respond to our care."


More Questions

Question #11:
If you could work anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Question #12:
Is there a nursing position you would prefer not to work in?
Question #13:
How do you prioritize multiple tasks to ensure you complete all your work on time?
Question #14:
Do you prefer to work independently or with a partner or team?
Question #15:
Have you ever felt threatened by a coworker? If so, how did you handle it?

Nursing School Interview Questions About Being A Nurse

The following are the 15 most common nursing school interview questions about being a nurse.

Question #1: What are some things you think are challenging about nursing?

Why is this Question Asked:
Things that feel challenging to me may seem like a breeze to you and vice versa. Admissions advisors understand this. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. If the interviewer asks this nursing school interview question, they simply want to know your opinion. If you have a personal experience as a patient and recall how the nurse acted, you may be able to draw from that experience to give your answer.

Sample Answer:
"I can only imagine some of the challenging things nurses face. One thing I think may be most challenging is handling situations when patients do not want to pursue life-saving efforts, but their families disagree. I also feel if we are not careful to learn about and practice cultural competence, significant challenges could arise due to the cultural diversity within healthcare facilities and among patient populations."


Question #2: Why did you choose nursing as a career?

Why is this Question Asked:
As a nursing instructor, I always like to encourage my students to consider what made them decide to become a nurse and to prepare to articulate it to others. Make your answer personal. If you have a love for people and feel compassion for the hurting, that may be why you decided to become a nurse. Perhaps you want a career that offers long-term stability and opportunities for growth. While there is no wrong answer to this question, some answers are more appropriate than others.

Sample Answer:
Although nursing creates good income earning potential, "I want to make good money" is not the best answer. Instead, you can say, "I have always wanted a career that offers long-term employment and financial stability and the opportunity to give back to others without limiting my ability to care for my family. I feel like nursing can give me the best of both."


Question #3: What are some negative effects experienced by nurses required to work long hours, such as twelve-to-eighteen-hour shifts?

Why is this Question Asked:
Although this is not a trick question, answering it wisely can feel a little tricky. Anytime an interviewer asks you a question with the word "negative" in it, you should consider it carefully before answering. Providing exceptional patient care requires nurses to care for themselves first. Working long hours, especially frequently, can make you tired, stressed, or irritable. The interview committee wants to know if you can handle stress when it occurs.

Sample Answer:
An appropriate answer would be, "Some negative effects of long work hours are fatigue, stress, or anxiety. I think that's true of any job or situation that requires a lot of time and effort. I try to combat the negative effects of stress both personally and professionally by practicing self-care and relaxation techniques. I also try to spend time with friends and loved ones outside work so I can have a healthy work-life balance."


Question #4: Tell me some responsibilities you believe are part of the nurse’s role.

Why is this Question Asked:
The interview committee does not expect you to know everything there is to know about nursing. They simply want to assess how much you know (or don't) about the role.

Sample Answer:
“I think the nurse's role is certainly multi-dimensional. Aside from performing assessments, giving medications and treatments, I believe nurses play an essential role in promoting good relationships between patients and their healthcare teams. I also feel that if we use the right platforms, nurses can be instrumental in initiating and supporting measures to promote the profession for the good of patients, nurses, and all healthcare professionals."


Question #5: Is there a person or situation that influenced your decision to become a nurse?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is one of the most common nursing school interview questions. Admissions committees want to know what drives you and if your reason for choosing a nursing career is strong enough to help you endure the challenges nursing students face.

Sample Answer:
"As long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to have a career in healthcare and always leaned toward nursing. Several years ago, my grandfather passed away, and the nurses who cared for them made such an impression on my family and me that it kind of "sealed the deal" for me. I realized I wanted to impact others and encourage and lift them up the way those nurses did for my family."


Question #6: If you could choose any nursing job, what would you choose and why?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is another of the common nursing school interview questions. The admission faculty want to know what interests you most. Although nursing school curriculum may vary from one school to another, accredited nursing programs must cover specific content. The curriculum includes clinical experiences in various settings with diverse patient populations. Your answer to this question may change as you gain more clinical experience.

Sample Answer:
"My sister was very ill through much of her childhood, and we spent countless hours at the hospital. She had excellent doctors and nurses who impacted me and led to my decision to become a nurse. Although I realize I need to gain work experience and certification, my dream nursing job is to work in pediatric critical care.


Question #7: What do you imagine is the most difficult thing about being a nurse?

Sample Answer:
“I am sure there are many difficult things nurses face. I think one of the most difficult things about being a nurse is knowing you have done all you can for a patient and facing the fact that the only thing left to do is make them comfortable.”


Question #8: A patient or parent's choice to vaccinate or not is a controversial issue for many people. If you worked with a pediatrician who refused to continue as a child's physician because the parents refuse to vaccinate their child, would you agree with the pediatrician? Why or why not?

Sample Answer:
“I believe it is every doctor and nurse's responsibility to provide care to patients without discriminating against them because of personal choices. While the pediatrician may raise a strong argument about his reasons for refusing to continue as the child's physician, the circumstances surrounding the child's current medical condition may influence my decision whether to agree with him.

For example, if the child is not acutely ill or does not need emergency care, I may respect the physician's wishes to only accept patients who comply with vaccination mandates. However, if the child is an established patient, I believe the physician should be obligated to refer the parent to another physician before discharging the patient from care."


Question #9: Can you give me an example of how you would demonstrate accountability if you made a mistake in the clinical setting?

Why is this Question Asked:
Ethical principles are often the subject of questions for nursing school interviews. Accountability is one of the primary ethical principles in nursing. Being willing to speak up and be accountable for actions, good or bad, speaks highly of your ethical standards. Remember, do not try to impress the interviewer with your answer. Be honest, as you never know when you may be faced with a situation like this in real life.

Sample Answer:
"I think one of my biggest nightmares is to make a mistake in clinicals and have to face the consequences. Still, I know things happen sometimes, and the most important thing is for me to be honest. If I made a mistake, I would immediately go to my nursing instructor or assigned preceptor to report the incident. I would not discuss it with classmates, as I know this could cause trouble and may compromise my patient's right to privacy.


Question #10: As a nurse, you will face some emotionally taxing situations, including the death of patients. Do you think you can show compassion and empathy while maintaining a professional attitude and not become overwhelmed?

Sample Answer:
I understand some days will be emotionally difficult, some more than others. I do believe I can maintain an air of professionalism while still demonstrating compassion and empathy to my patients and their loved ones."


More Questions

Question #11:
What are some benefits you think you will obtain by becoming a nurse?
Question #12:
What do you think will be the most rewarding part of being a nurse?
Question #13:
What measures do you think would help you overcome barriers to therapeutic communication with an angry patient?
Question #14:
What is your biggest fear about becoming a nurse?
Question #15:
Do you think you could work well with a nursing supervisor who is much younger than you?

Nursing School Interview Questions To Assess Critical Thinking

The following are the 15 most common nursing school interview questions to assess critical thinking.

Question #1: Why do you feel critical thinking is an essential nursing skill?

This is a very common nursing school interview question related to critical thinking.

Sample Answer:
"Nurses face serious, often life-threatening situations with patients. The ability to confidently make critical decisions could mean the difference between a positive or negative outcome for the patient."


Question #2: Can you give an example of the consequences of a lack of critical thinking in nursing?

Sample Answer:
I believe good critical thinking skills are vital to quality nursing care. If nurses don't use critical thinking skills appropriately, it could result in a patient's symptoms being overlooked or inappropriate nursing interventions, which could cause patient harm.


Question #3: Do you think self-confidence is an essential component of critical thinking and decision-making?

Sample Answer:
I do believe self-confidence is beneficial when using critical thinking skills and making decisions. Although it's natural to question what the best action is, at times, as nurses I feel we need to have confidence in the knowledge and skills we have acquired and use them to the best of our abilities to implement critical thinking and strong decision-making.


Question #4: Can you give me an example of a situation in nursing when you would need to implement critical thinking skills?

Sample Answer:
"I think all aspects of nursing must require strong decision-making. One example of critical thinking I can think of is when a nurse checks vital signs on a patient whose condition seems to suddenly change. By doing this, the nurse can determine what actions to take next and will have data to give to the doctor when she reports the changes.”


Question #5: Imagine you are in clinicals and have a patient with severe rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. She is requesting pain medication, but you were told she could not have anything for pain at this time. How would you respond?

Sample Answer:
"I believe no good nurse wants to see a patient in pain and not be able to help. If this were to happen, I would first verify whether the patient has an order for any pain medication. If she does not, I would talk to my instructor or preceptor to see if we can find out why. I would use non-medical measures such as helping her reposition for comfort and gentle massage, if appropriate, to help relieve her pain."


Question #6: Can you give me an example of skills nurses need to effectively implement critical thinking?

Sample Answer:
“I think it takes several skills to use critical thinking effectively. A few examples are patient assessment, gathering and analyzing data, and self-regulation.”


Question #7: What do you think it means when we say nurses are the first line of defense in critical thinking?

Sample Answer:
"Nurses spend more time with patients than most people on the healthcare team. Because we spend so much time with patients and their families, we may notice things about the patient's condition before anyone else. For example, if I were with a patient and noticed her skin is flushed and feels clammy, I think I would check her vital signs to see if anything is out of the ordinary. Using critical thinking to evaluate a patient before symptoms worsen is one-way nurses are the first line of defense for clients.


Question #8: I often tell my students that critical thinking requires using detective skills. What do you think I mean?

Sample Answer:
"It's funny you use those words because my mom always told me I'd be a good nurse because I'm nosey and always have to know everything. On a serious note, when you tell students we need detective skills to use critical thinking, I think you mean we need to ask questions, share information with our team, and weigh all the facts to make good patient care decisions."


Question #9: What does prioritizing have to do with critical thinking?

Sample Answer:
"Although I don't have healthcare or nursing experience, I think the same principles that make critical thinking work in nursing are the principles we can use in our daily lives. Prioritizing involves looking at 'the big picture' and determining what needs to be done first. In nursing, I think we use prioritizing to make critical decisions to determine which patients require immediate care or what treatment is most pressing."


Question #10: Can you think of a scenario where a nurse may need to rely on critical thinking to help overcome issues with medical equipment failure?

Why is this Question Asked:
We often think of critical thinking as the thought process of making split-second decisions, which is often right. At other times, critical thinking means looking at a situation and determining our next steps based on the information and tools immediately available, which is what this question indicates.

Sample Answer:
"I think one example may be if a patient requires a blood pressure monitor for continuous monitoring. If the equipment stops working, that doesn't mean the patient's blood pressure no longer needs to be monitored. In this case, the nurse would need to quickly determine if the equipment can be quickly fixed, needs replaced, or if taking manual blood pressures until another monitor is available is the most appropriate action."


More Questions

Question #11:
What do you think the best approach for handling an aggressive patient would be?
Question #12:
Tell me about a time you used critical thinking to prioritize tasks and how it affected your workflow.
Question #13
What role do you think critical thinking has in improving the quality of patient care nurses provide?
Question #14:
How do you think a charge nurse would use critical thinking in care coordination on her unit?
Question #15:
Do you think critical thinking skills are necessary during basic nurse-patient communication?

Nursing School Interview Questions About Ethics

The following are the 15 most common nursing school interview questions about ethics.

Question #1: What is your idea of ethical behavior?

Why is this Question Asked:
Nurses and nursing students alike must demonstrate professional, ethical behavior. Although the admissions council may not expect you to define all the characteristics of nursing ethics, they expect you to understand the general meaning of ethical behavior and provide an example.

Sample Answer:
"I feel ethical behavior is any act or behavior that encompasses fairness and honesty. To me, ethical behavior is a staple for any professional, academic, or interpersonal relationship."


Question #2: Under what circumstances do you feel it is okay for a nurse to withhold information from a patient or their responsible party?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is another one of the common questions asked in nursing school interviews. The admissions committee already knows about the ethical principles of nursing. One of the seven main principles nurses must follow is the principle of veracity, which means being completely honest with patients, even if honesty may cause distress or feelings of despair.

Sample Answer:
"I understand that there may be times when telling a patient bad news is hard. I can imagine I may want to sugar-coat things or try and make it seem as though the situation is not as bad as it really is. However, I believe it is unfair to withhold information from patients, even if the reality of their condition or outlook is negative. I believe that patients have the right to know the truth about their health and that I do not have the right to withhold information."


Question #3: How do you think you would respond if you saw a senior nurse acting in a manner you feel is unethical?

Why is this Question Asked:
Regardless of years of experience, all nurses are obliged to protect patients and staff. Admissions committees know there are times when students feel apprehensive about addressing sensitive issues like unethical behavior. Remember, you don't have to come up with an elaborate answer. Keep it simple but get the point across that you know unethical behavior is unacceptable.

Sample Answer:
"I believe it is everyone's responsibility to stand up for what is right. As a nursing student, if I observed a nurse behaving in an unethical manner, I would talk to my instructor and follow their guidance. If I were working somewhere and saw a senior nurse acting unethically, I would follow the chain of command to report the incident."


Question #4: How would you respond if one of your patients refused a medication or treatment deemed to be the only life-saving alternative left for them?

Why is this Question Asked:
Nursing instructors and admissions counselors understand how difficult it can be to care for patients with little chance of survival. It is an instinct to want to convince patients to take medicines or endure treatments instead of dealing with the thought of them dying. Nevertheless, patient autonomy supports the right of competent adults to make decisions about their care without pressure or coercion from any member of the healthcare team. While you may not know the law as it relates to nursing ethics, the committee wants to know your opinion on how to address this situation.

Sample Answer:
"It would be great if we lived in an ideal world where it wasn't necessary to ask this type of question. As much as I know I would want to use every effort possible to save my patients, I understand patients have the right to decide whether to pursue any form of treatment. If all other efforts to save my patients were exhausted and my patient decided not to try the last opportunity for medication or treatments, I would accept his decision and offer my support."


Question #5: What do you think it means to practice accountability as a student and a nurse.

Why is this Question Asked:
Accountability is one of the seven major ethical principles in nursing. Don't be surprised if several of your nursing school interview questions cover accountability.

Sample Answer:
"To me, accountability means being responsible for my own actions. I believe as a student and as a future nurse, it is essential to take responsibility for everything I do and accept the consequences of my actions, good or bad."


Question #6: How would you persuade a patient to agree to a recommended treatment if they said they don’t want it?

Why is this Question Asked:
You might think this is a trick nursing school question, and I may be inclined to agree with you. Admissions faculty want to know how you think and may respond in certain situations. Patient autonomy is the right of any competent adult to make informed decisions about their care. It is the nurse's responsibility to honor patient autonomy. Think carefully before answering this question.

Sample Answer:
"I imagine it is frustrating for nurses when they know a treatment may benefit a patient, but the patient refuses. I believe everyone has a right to make decisions as they personally desire and see fit. Therefore, although I may personally disagree with the patient's refusal for care, if my patient is competent enough to understand why the treatment is recommended and the potential consequences of not having it, I would honor their decision and offer support."


Question #7: An ethical principle all nurses must honor is justice, which is fairness in nursing practice. What is a way you think a nurse can demonstrate fairness in patient care?

Sample Answer:
"I think nurses can show justice by providing the same level of care for all patients, not showing favoritism, and giving their time to patients equally as much as possible.


Question #8: How important is it to keep promises as a nurse? Why?

Why is this Question Asked:
Another ethical principle in nursing is fidelity, which means keeping promises. Nurses must uphold this principle in every situation, being faithful to professional responsibilities and promises.

Sample Answer:
“I believe honesty and keeping promises is essential for all nurses. Patients trust us to care for them in their most vulnerable times. When patients know they can depend on us to keep our word and fulfill our duties to them, I think it helps build stronger relationships, which benefits everyone."


Question #9: How would you respond if doing what is good and right for a patient contradicts what the patient wants?

Sample Answer:
"I always want to do whatever is best for my patients and help them recover when possible. So, if my patient's wishes do not align with what is best for them medically, I can see where that may be challenging. However, I understand the importance of a patient's right to decide about their care. If something is medically beneficial for my patient, but my patient refuses the care and I know he has enough information to make an informed decision, I will honor his wishes."


Question #10: What are your thoughts about nurses going on strike?

Sample Answer:
"I know there are many instances when nurses and other healthcare professionals choose to go on strike, but I'm not sure I agree with it. I know I'm just beginning my journey to becoming a nurse, but I want to become a nurse so I can care for patients. I feel like when nurses go on strike, it puts patients and other healthcare providers at risk."


More Questions

Question #11:
What are your thoughts about doctor-assisted suicide?
Question #12:
How would you respond if you saw a physician acting unethically toward a patient?
Question #13:
Describe two ethical principles you feel are relevant to nursing and why you feel that way.
Question #14:
How would you handle a situation when a patient asked you to do something you feel is outside of a nurse’s ethical guidelines?
Question #15:
Do you believe addiction is a disease or a choice? Why?

Nursing School Interview Questions About Diversity & Cultural Competency

The following are the 15 most common nursing school interview questions about diversity & cultural competency.

Question #1: Can you give an example of a time you worked as part of a culturally diverse team?

Why is this Question Asked:
This is one of the most common nursing school interview questions. Nursing is one of the largest industries worldwide and consists of multidisciplinary teams with diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Sample Answer:
"I currently work at a nursing home, and our staff is very culturally diverse. We also have a resident population from various cultural backgrounds. I love learning about my coworkers and the residents we care for!"


Question #2: Do you feel it is better to use a culturally diverse group of people to build a team, or feel teams are stronger when members are from similar backgrounds and beliefs? Why?

Sample Answer:
"I believe building a culturally diverse team is essential if we want to develop strong, sensitive teams. I adopted a biracial daughter and saw firsthand how people respond when they don't understand or appreciate a person's background. My personal experience has been that the more we educate ourselves and others and learn to respect the differences that make us a unique society, the stronger we are as individuals, teams, and populations."


Question #3: What do you think will be most challenging about working as part of a culturally diverse team?

Why is this Question Asked:
The healthcare industry stresses the importance of cultural diversity and competence more today than ever before. Despite efforts to promote cultural competence, you will still face challenges. Share what you think may be the biggest challenge to cultural diversity within your team.

Sample Answer:
I think we face challenges due to cultural diversity in many of our life situations. In nursing, I think one of the most challenging things about working in a culturally diverse team is learning about one another’s beliefs and values and learning to integrate them to work smoothly as a team.


Question #4: What does being culturally competent mean to you?

Why is this Question Asked:
If there has ever been a time in history when cultural competency was vital, it has never been more so than today. Cultural competence describes a person's ability to understand and respect the attitudes, values, morals, and beliefs of diverse populations and societies. As nurses, it is not uncommon to care for several patients each day, all from varying cultures and backgrounds. The admissions team wants to know that you understand what being culturally competent means and that you are prepared to uphold the values associated with cultural competence.

Sample Answer:
"I understand that being culturally competent requires showing respect for others, regardless of their cultural backgrounds and personal beliefs. I believe I can demonstrate cultural competence by showing a genuine interest in and respect for my patients, their loved ones, and my peers and by trying to learn as much as I can about them. It also means doing what is best for my patients, without letting my personal opinions or beliefs cloud my judgment."


Question #5: How do you establish rapport with people from different cultural backgrounds?

Why is this Question Asked:
Because cultural diversity in communities is so common, you will likely encounter patients from different cultural backgrounds. There may be times when you have some experience communicating with clients from one culture but have no experience working with others.

Although you may feel anxious, keep in mind that nursing instructors don't expect you to be well-versed in the beliefs or values of every person you encounter. Instead, they want to know that, despite your differences, you will do your best to establish rapport and care for your patient.

Sample Answer:
"I think the first step in building rapport with any patient, especially patients from different backgrounds, is to be approachable. If I were assigned a patient from a different culture, I would approach them with a smile and a friendly attitude. I would speak in simple terms and avoid slang, as I know these are easily misunderstood. If the patient seems confused or anxious by my presence, I will try to find out if they have any family and include them in any conversations.

Also, if the client speaks a different language, I will ask my supervisor about translator services within the facility. Although I don't have experience dealing with people from other cultures in the sense of being a caregiver, I can imagine anything I could do to help reduce anxiety and calm the patient would be beneficial in building rapport and helping improve their outcomes."


Question #6: Do you believe cultural competency is essential to effective nursing? Why or why not?

Sample Answer:
"I do believe cultural competency is essential to effective nursing practice. Society is filled with individuals and families from diverse cultures and backgrounds. As nurses, we must accept patients for who they are. Cultural competency, to me, is key to understanding and respecting why our patients may choose to accept or reject a treatment plan and helps us learn what we can do to improve their outcomes without infringing upon their right to exercise their cultural beliefs."


Question #7: What are some possible benefits of working with a culturally diverse team?

Sample Answer:
"I believe there are many benefits of working with a culturally diverse team. Culturally diverse teams share different perspectives, which can help improve decision-making and boost productivity. Culturally diverse teams may have members who speak different languages, which helps improve communication with patients and staff."


Question #8: What are some things you think schools or employers can do to promote cultural diversity?

Sample Answer:
"That's a great question, and I wish more people would ask it. I believe it takes a team effort to adopt and maintain a culturally diverse work or school environment. A few ways to promote cultural diversity would be to acknowledge individual differences, provide mentors for underrepresented students or staff to promote growth and provide support, and value all diversity."


Question #9: How would you respond if you were in a culturally diverse setting where you were in the minority?

Sample Answer:
"I love the fact that society is filled with so much diversity. I have been in many situations where I would have been considered in the "minority." I acted the same way I act with everyone. I am a people person. I enjoy getting to know others and letting them get to know me. I would be myself and accept others for who they are."


Question #10: How would you respond to a situation where a classmate was being culturally insensitive? For example, your clinical partner may make racist, homophobic, or sexist remarks.

Why is this Question Asked:
It's not enough to know someone is being culturally insensitive. Schools and employers alike seek individuals willing to stand up for others. If an interviewer asks this question, they genuinely want to know if they can depend on you when culturally sensitive situations arise.

Sample Answer:
"I think it is unfortunate that we still have these issues in our society today. If I witnessed a classmate making culturally insensitive remarks or being rude to someone about their difference, I feel it is my responsibility to speak up. I may say, 'This is not appropriate behavior. Please stop this and let us show respect to one another.' If the situation is tense and appears to be escalating, I would inform a nursing instructor or preceptor immediately so they can intervene."


More Questions

Question #11:
How would you advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion with classmates or colleagues who do not understand its importance?
Question #12:
What do you think is the most effective way to support cultural diversity in the workplace?
Question #13:
What does it mean to you when I say our school has a commitment to diversity and inclusion?
Question #14:
What do you feel are the most challenging aspects of a culturally diverse academic environment?
Question #15:
What do you believe are the benefits of ethnic, racial, and gender diversity within your student body and the healthcare industry?

Nursing School Interview Questions About Current Issues In Health Care

The following are the 15 most common nursing school interview questions about current issues in health care.

Question #1: The United States is currently experiencing a shortage of nurses nationwide. Do you feel it is appropriate to lower the standards for graduation and licensure to meet those needs?

Why is this Question Asked:
It's no secret that nursing school is tough. Having been a nursing student and later teaching nursing, I understand the struggle students and educators face. The admissions committee knows this, too. Although this may feel like a trick question, it is not. If this is one of the nursing school interview questions you get, be honest, but choose your words carefully. Also, this is one of a few questions you may consider ending with a question of your own, as in the example below.

Sample Answer:
"I think it is most unfortunate that there is a shortage of nursing personnel, especially since there is an increased demand for nursing services. However, I'm not sure I would agree that lowering the criteria for graduation and licensure is the answer. Nurses have a crucial role in promoting health and wellness. I understand that current nursing education standards prepare graduates to perform with entry-level knowledge. I can't help but wonder if lowering graduation and licensure criteria may lower the standard of care we provide as new graduates. What are your thoughts about that?"


Question #2: What is a common healthcare issue in society today, and what are your thoughts on ways of helping reduce the risk of its effect on individuals and populations?

Why is this Question Asked:
There are several healthcare issues of concern today. In the United States alone, one person dies approximately every thirty-six seconds from some type of cardiac-related illness. The interviewer does not expect you to spout statistics, but it is good for prospective students to be aware of issues they may face when caring for patients. Don't overthink this question. Instead, think of a common illness or disease and give your idea of ways to decrease its risks. This is not a "pass or fail" question. The admissions team just wants to know how in-tune you are with what's going on in healthcare.

Sample Answer:
"One of the most common healthcare issues today is diabetes. I think of that issue first because I am diabetic as well as several of my family members. I feel it is vital that we offer early education to everyone, including school-aged children, about things we can do to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

For example, elementary and junior high children could have classes focusing on making healthy diet and exercise choices and teach them the benefits of those choices versus the risks of making poor choices. I also feel it is vital for parents to be educated about the choices they make for their children. While it may be easy to pick up something through a fast-food drive-through on the way home from a busy day, the long-term effects these habits have on health and wellness can be quite detrimental."


Question #3: What are your thoughts about the cost of healthcare and its effect on a person’s decision to seek healthcare services?

Why is this Question Asked:
Even with measures such as the Affordable Care Act, half of United States adults say they delay or skip some important part of their health or dental care because the cost remains too high. Roughly forty-five percent of insured adults report out-of-pocket expenses are too much for them to pay while twenty-five percent say they cannot afford their deductibles. The interview committee is not asking you to fix this problem. They simply want to know your thoughts about the situation. Be careful in your answer that you do not place blame on any person or organization.

Sample Answer:
"I wish I had an answer for how to fix the high cost of healthcare services. I have elderly family members who would go without medications they truly need if it were not for others in the family, making sure their medications are paid for. Unfortunately, everyone does not have family who can help them. Although I am just beginning my journey to becoming a nurse, my dream is to someday work in impoverished, underserved areas and care for patients who may otherwise not receive healthcare services."


Question #4: Do you feel it is appropriate to mandate all nursing students to take the COVID-19 vaccine?

Why is this Question Asked:
A mandate for any type of immunization has long been a topic of controversy, even among college students. While some schools may accept unvaccinated students in their programs, it is at the discretion of clinical sites whether to accept or decline an unvaccinated student.

This poses a problem for unvaccinated students who complete the classroom component of the nursing program only to find they may not enter the clinical portion of the program without being vaccinated. The interviewer wants to know your thoughts, so share them, but be careful that you do not turn your answer into an argument.

Sample Answer:
"I do believe it is appropriate to mandate nursing students to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Although I understand and appreciate the arguments of those who feel it should be a choice, from everything I have read, I think the risks of being unvaccinated far outweigh the risks associated with the vaccine. Also, as healthcare professionals, we owe it to ourselves, our families, and our patients to do our part in helping prevent the spread of this horrible virus."


Question #5: What do you think the main reason is for people choosing not to seek medical care in the United States?

Sample Answer:
"Although I'm sure there are several reasons people may forego medical treatment, I believe one of the main reasons is the lack of healthcare coverage. Although there are programs that offer reduced-cost medical coverage, individuals with low or fixed incomes and unemployed people often cannot afford even reduced premiums."


Question #6: What role do you think nurse practitioners can play in helping reduce health disparities?

Sample Answer:
"I believe nurse practitioners can significantly reduce health disparities in underserved populations. Nurse practitioners can provide almost every service a physician provides, but their services cost less, making the prospect of getting quality care seem more achievable."


Question #7: What do you think is a major contributing factor to the rise in healthcare costs?

Sample Answer:
"I must admit I don't know a lot about how healthcare costs are figured, but I have read about some issues related to rising healthcare costs. The studies I've read cite preventable medical errors as one of the most common healthcare and nursing mistakes, driving up the cost of healthcare for everyone."


Question #8: Nearly one million people die yearly from cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, and unintentional injuries. What are some ways you think we can reduce this number and prevent this major healthcare issue?

Sample Answer:
"I believe education and prevention are the keys to reducing the number of deaths. We must educate patients and their caregivers on healthy lifestyles, including eating a healthy diet, exercising, and avoiding behaviors such as smoking and using recreational drugs. In so doing, we empower them with the knowledge they need to prevent or at least reduce the risk of these diseases, thereby reducing the death rate."


Question #9: What role does preventive care, or its lack, play in contributing to major healthcare issues today?

Sample Answer:
"I feel preventive care is an excellent way to identify health issues early, allowing patients to work with their doctors to develop a treatment plan to improve their health outcomes. Lack of preventive care may lead to sicker patients, higher healthcare costs, and increased death rates."


Question #10: To what extent do you think the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted society?

Sample Answer:
"There is no doubt that COVID has significantly impacted people worldwide. From the loss of jobs, leading to financial struggle, fear of the unknown, and significant loss of life, I believe we will feel the effects of this tragic pandemic for many years."


More Questions

Question #11:
Nurse burnout is a major concern in healthcare today. What are some ways employers can help encourage and motivate nurses and prevent burnout and employee turnover?
Question #13:
How do you feel about free healthcare for people in underserved, low-income communities?
Question #13:
What role do you think nurses can play in helping reduce the cost of healthcare?
Question #14:
As a student nurse, what do you think you could do to help educate people in your community about important healthcare issues?
Question #15:
Do you believe nurse lobbyists are instrumental in addressing healthcare issues we face today?

Nursing School Interview Questions About The Nursing School

The following are the 15 most common nursing school interview questions about the nursing school.

Question #1: What about our nursing program attracted you most?

Why is this Question Asked:
Most nursing school applicants apply to at least three nursing schools before being accepted. This question is one of the common nursing school interview questions because the admissions faculty want to know you genuinely want to be part of their program. It is always good to research a nursing program before applying. Be prepared for this question before your interview by learning details about the school and the program. Doing this lets the interviewer know you've "done your homework."

Sample Answer:
"I talked with alumni from your nursing program, and everyone spoke highly about how well classroom and clinical experiences are structured. I also researched the nursing faculty and found you employ some well-known, experienced nursing professors. I want to learn from the best, and I feel like your school has everything a student seeking success needs."


Question #2: Did you attend any other nursing program before applying here? If so, what were the terms of your departure?

Sample Answer:
"I was a student in a nursing program in another state before relocating here. I completed the last semester I was enrolled in and withdrew as a student from the university. As soon as my family got settled here, I began searching for a new school where I could complete my degree."


Question #3: Have you attended this college before as a student in a non-nursing program?

Sample Answer:
"I attended this college four years ago and earned an associate degree in business administration. However, I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. I had an excellent experience here and felt this school was the perfect choice for me to pursue my nursing degree."


Question #4: What do you think you may value most from the nursing instructors who teach our program?

Sample Answer:
"I believe every nurse educator has something of value to offer students. I think the opportunity to learn from my instructors' previous hands-on experiences is something that will be of great value to me. I feel this way because, although I can learn facts from a textbook, I can learn about real-world experiences from those who have gone before me."


Question #5: Our nursing program strives to always honor diversity and inclusion among our students and staff. How do you feel about this?

Sample Answer:
"One of the things that attracted me to your school is how cultural diversity is accepted and promoted. I feel everyone has a right to quality education and to pursue their dreams, no matter where they come from, their beliefs, or what barriers we must overcome to make it possible."


Question #6: Students in our nursing program rotate through various clinical sites to earn the required clinical hours for licensure eligibility. Is there any reason you may not be able to rotate through a specific specialty? If so, why?

Sample Answer:
"I can't think of any reason why I would not be able or willing to rotate through any clinical site or specialty. In fact, I am excited about having several different clinical experiences to help me learn and become a good nurse."


Question #7: Our program is formatted to offer large class sizes for lectures. Are you comfortable learning in a classroom setting with more than twenty people?

Sample Answer:
"Yes, I am comfortable learning with a large group. I think it can be beneficial as some students may ask questions others may not have considered, which helps us learn from our instructors and one another."


Question #8: How many people do you think should make up a student team when clinical rotations begin?

Sample Answer:
"I am not sure if I know an exact number of students that would be ideal for a clinical team. I do feel, however, that students can experience more one-on-one mentoring from instructors and clinical preceptors if clinical teams are smaller than classroom sizes.


Question #9: Our nursing program contracts with several clinical sites to give students diverse experiences. Are you comfortable with the idea of reporting to a facility-designated preceptor or mentor in the absence of a nursing instructor?

Sample Answer:
"I believe the nursing faculty and administration work to establish clinical relationships with the student's best interests in mind. Knowing that, I don't foresee having a problem working with a preceptor from the clinical sites. I feel confident if I need my instructor or faculty advisor at any time, I can call upon them."


Question #10: What excites you most when you think of becoming a student in our nursing program?

Sample Answer:
"I know this may sound simple, but I can honestly say, I am excited about everything! I look forward to learning from your experienced faculty, making friends with classmates, and growing with them personally and professionally. I am excited about finally seeing my dream of becoming a nurse come true."


More Questions

Question #11:
Our school offers master's and doctoral nursing programs. Do you think you will pursue a graduate degree in nursing at some point?
Question #12:
Do you have any family or friends who graduated from our nursing program?
Question #13:
Have you ever been dismissed from a college or university for any reason? If so, please explain.
Question #14:
Do you have any special needs for which you need accommodations to make attending our school easier?
Question #15:
Are you interested in a work-study program?

Nursing School Interview Questions About Your Future

The following are the 15 most common nursing school interview questions about your future.

Question #1: What career goals would you like to achieve within the next five years?

Sample Answer:
"In the next five years, I'd like to earn my BSN, become licensed as a registered nurse, and work in a large healthcare facility. I am attracted to the idea of working in a university medical center because I know I could really develop and hone the necessary skills to become an effective nurse."


Question #2: Are you seeking a job where you can establish yourself and work long-term, or do you plan to work for different types of healthcare facilities until you find your niche?

Sample Answer:
“I'd like to think I will find a job where I can become established. I do understand it may take a while to find the right place and to gain enough experience to find the perfect job. I just want to work hard and become the best nurse I can be."


Question #3: Do you believe a career in nursing will provide you long-term stability?

Sample Answer:
“Although healthcare changes rapidly, the need for nurses remains constant. Therefore, I believe a nursing career will allow me to find long-term personal and financial stability.”


Question #4: Have you discussed the prospect of a first job after graduating from nursing school? If so, what do you plan on doing?

Sample Answer:
"I have several friends and family members who are nurses or have other positions in the healthcare industry. I've talked with them about opportunities at their places of employment for new nurses and have had a lot of positive feedback. If a position is available when I graduate and get my license, I'd like to work on a medical-surgical floor and then transition to emergency or critical care.


Question #5: Do you plan to have children in the near future? If so, how do you think a new baby will impact your career?

Sample Answer:
"I have one child now and hope to have another in the future. I do not plan to have another child until I graduate nursing school and become well-established in a job. I think with proper planning and support from my family, I can balance a family and career."


Question #6: Do you plan to live on-campus, or do you have off-campus housing?

Sample Answer:
"I only live twenty miles from the school, so I will be commuting to school. Although I feel there are perks to living on campus, I enjoy the benefit of having a private place to focus and study."


Question #7: What are your personal characteristics that you think will help you achieve your goals?

Sample Answer:
“I am a hard worker and believe the only way to achieve goals is to put forth the effort. I also believe in being honest and doing what I can to improve the lives of others. I believe if I continue to demonstrate these characteristics treat others the way I want to be treated, I will achieve my goals.”


Question #8: Can you think of any reason why you would later decide to pursue a non-nursing career?

Sample Answer:
“I have wanted to be a nurse as long as I can remember. Although life circumstances may change and leave me with no option but to change careers, I cannot think of anything that would make me willingly walk away from a career I've desired for so long."


Question #9: How do you anticipate your relationship skills will help promote your success in your nursing career?

Sample Answer:
" I have great interpersonal communication and relationship-building skills. As I continue to learn how to be an effective team member and develop leadership qualities, I think those skills will strengthen and help promote my success in nursing."


Question #10: What sacrifices are you willing to make to achieve success as a nurse?

Sample Answer:
"I understand earning a nursing degree and becoming a nurse takes dedication and sacrifice. I also know that with great success comes great sacrifice. I am willing to sacrifice my time and energy to achieve my goal of becoming a nurse and building a successful career. I have an excellent support system of family and friends whom I believe will help me accomplish those goals."


More Questions

Question #11:
How do you define success?
Question #12:
Do you foresee taking on a role in nurse leadership or mentorship in the future?
Question #13:
Is your family supportive of you being in school for four years or longer to earn a nursing degree?
Question #14:
Do you anticipate living in this state long-term, or do you have plans to move somewhere else after you finish nursing school?
Question #15:
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?



5 Good Questions To Ask At The End Of Your Nursing School Interview


Every nursing school interview should end with you having an opportunity to ask questions. Choosing good questions for nursing school interview closing is essential. Here are a few examples of questions you should ask the admissions faculty.

1. How many applicants receive an offer of admission each year?
2. Should I expect a phone call, letter, or email to notify me of my acceptance into the program? (This is a great question because it exudes confidence that you are an acceptable candidate for admission.)
3. What is the closing date for admissions interviews?
4. How soon after the final interviews will you notify candidates of acceptance?
5. What advice can you give me to prepare for my first semester here? (Again, this question shows the interviewers you are confident and plan on receiving notice of acceptance.)



4 Things To Do Immediately After Your Nursing School Interview


Once your nursing school interview is complete, then what? The following are suggestions for five things I recommend all nursing school applicants do after the interview is complete.

1. Send a thank you note to the nursing admissions office.

Be sure to mention the interviewer by name. For example, "Mrs. Williams, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your time during my nursing school admission interview. It was a pleasure to meet you. I look forward to getting to know you and the other nursing faculty better when I begin school."

2. Enjoy some time with friends and family.

You've accomplished your interview. Now, let yourself enjoy some downtime with people you care about and who encourage you.

3. Don’t stress!

You can't undo anything that happened in your nursing school interview. So, don't stress over it. Give the interviewers time to consider your application, complete interviews, and wait for your notification.

4. Practice some self-care.

Preparing for and participating in a nursing school interview can be stressful. Take some time to rest, relax, and take care of yourself. This practice will be very helpful as you go through nursing school and beyond.


Bonus! 5 Last-Minute Tips For Your Nursing School Interview Day


It is natural to feel anxious on the day of your interview, and that makes it easy to overlook important details. Here are a few last-minute tips for the day of your nursing school interview.

1. Eat breakfast. You don't have to have a full-course meal, but you also do not want to sit in an interview with your stomach growling. If you're usually not a breakfast person, at least consider having a bagel or some fruit.

2. Turn your cell phone OFF. Better yet, unless it is necessary to have your cell phone with you, it is best to leave your phone in your car. Nothing speaks "unprofessionalism" as much as having a phone ring during an important interview.

3. Make sure you have copies of all your documents and place them in a briefcase or nice folder.

4. Make a list of three to five questions you want to ask at the end of your interview.

5. Read over your notes about the school and program to appear interested and informed.


My Final Thoughts


Every nursing school applicant hopes to get an invitation to an admissions interview. It's normal to question, "What are the top nursing school interview questions?" and wonder how to respond. The 150 top nursing school interview questions + sample answers featured in this article offer some insight into what admissions committees seek in an applicant and tell you how to ace your interview. Now, go out there with confidence, get that admission letter and earn your degree!


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. Do I Need To Worry About My Nursing School Interview?

It is normal to feel a little nervous about your nursing school interview, but don't worry so much that you make yourself sick. Remember, the admissions faculty have already reviewed your information and academic credentials. If they weren't interested in you, you would not be invited to interview with them.


2. Do All Nursing Applicants Get An Interview Invite?

No, all nursing school applicants do not receive an invitation to interview. Program applicants must meet established criteria first. Then, if admission faculty feel the information they have meets their standards, they then decide whether to invite applicants to an admissions interview.


3. Are Nursing School Interviews In-Person?

Some nursing school interviews are in-person, and some are not. It typically depends on the school's preference. If a prospective student lives out of town, a telephone interview or video interview may be an option.


4. Are Nursing School Interviews Conducted In Panels Or One-On-One?

Nursing school interviews may be conducted by panels or by a designated admissions coordinator. That option is at the discretion of each school.


5. Usually, Who Conducts Interviews For Nursing School?

The admissions committee for nursing programs usually consists of the program director and one or more faculty members.


6. Can I Answer My Nursing School Interview Questions Online?

Some nursing schools request prospective students to answer an online questionnaire before the actual interview. However, at some point, if they consider you a viable candidate, they will want interaction with you personally.


7. When Should I Start Preparing For Nursing School Interview Questions?

As a nurse educator, I suggest anyone interested in attending nursing school should begin preparing for a nursing school interview as soon as possible. The more you read about nursing school interviews and practice how you may answer interview questions for nursing school, the better you will perform during the actual interview.


8. What Should I Do The Night Before My Nursing School Interview?

The best thing you can do the night before your nursing school interview is to get a good night's sleep. You need to be alert and refreshed when you meet with the admissions council.


9. How Do I Handle The Stress Before My Nursing School Interview?

The anticipation of a nursing school interview can be stressful. While a little stress is normal, don't overthink it. You know you want to be a nurse. You know you meet the admission criteria because you have been invited to interview. So, take a deep breath, and be yourself.


10. What To Wear To A Nursing School Interview?

You should treat a nursing school interview with as much professionalism as a job interview. Wear a professional outfit. Iron your clothes or have them professionally pressed. Remember, you only have one chance to make a good first impression.


11. What Not To Wear To A Nursing School Interview?

Avoid wearing seasonally inappropriate clothing. Do not wear sneakers or crocs. Avoid jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, and halter tops, as these do not represent a professional look. If you wear make-up or jewelry, use them in moderation. Avoid any piercing rings other than earrings.


12. Can I Bring Notes To My Nursing School Interview?

It is appropriate to bring notes to an interview. Just be sure you have them in a folder or on a notepad that is clean, instead of a jumbled bunch of papers.


13. How Do I Greet The Nursing School Interviewer?

Always offer a handshake and introduce yourself. For example, "Good morning. I am Mary Temple. It's a pleasure to meet you."


14. What Is The Best Way To Answer The Question “Tell Me About Yourself” In A Nursing School Interview?

This question allows the admissions committee a chance to get to know you from your own perspective. Share important details such as where you are from, whether you have a spouse or children, and what nursing means to you.


15. What Is A Good Weakness To Mention In A Nursing School Interview?

No one wants to admit weaknesses, but we all have them. One of the best weaknesses to acknowledge is your weakness for telling people "no," as this shows you are compassionate and want to help others.


16. What Is A Good Strength To Mention In A Nursing School Interview?

Your ability to work well as a team and encourage others are excellent strengths to mention. Also, mention that you have good work ethic and like to follow through on any tasks you begin.


17. What Should I Not Say In A Nursing School Interview?

You should never make statements that suggest you may not be admitted to the program. For example, avoid statements like this: "If I don't get into your program, I may try a different career path." This screams a lack of dedication to the pursuit of becoming a nurse.


18. What Should I Say If I’m Asked About My Bad Grades?

Be honest. If you made bad grades, acknowledge them and explain what you feel led to your poor performance. Then, follow-up by saying how you plan to do better moving forward.


19. What Are The 5 Most Common Questions Asked In Nursing School Interviews?

The five most common interview questions for nursing school are:

• Tell me about yourself
• Why do you want to become a nurse
• How do you handle stressful situations
• Where do you see yourself in five years
• Why do you think you are a good fit for our program.



20. What Are Some Of The Most Difficult Questions Asked In Nursing School Interviews?

Some of the most difficult questions in nursing school interviews are questions you have to answer about yourself. For example:

• What is your biggest character flaw?
• What do you like most about yourself?
• Tell me about a time you failed.



21. What Are Some Of The Weirdest Questions Asked In Nursing School Interviews?

Believe it or not, you may be asked some weird interview questions for nursing school. Try to not act shocked if this happens. A few examples of weird nursing school interview questions may include the following.

• If you had one day left to live, how would you spend it?
• If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
• If you could give your 16-year-old self some advice, what would you say?



22. How Many Questions Can I Expect In A Nursing School Interview?

The number of questions you get in a nursing school interview varies. It may depend on whether you have a one-on-one interview or an interview with an admissions committee. On average, you can expect ten to twenty questions.


23. Is It Necessary For Me To Answer All The Nursing School Interview Questions?


Yes, it is necessary to answer all the questions in a nursing school interview. Failure to answer questions may lead the admissions team to feel you are not prepared or not a good a fit for their program.


23. How Do I Thank The Nursing School Interviewer?

Before leaving the interview, thank the interviewer and/or committee personally. Also, I recommend following the interview up by sending a thank you card.


24. I Answered All The Nursing School Interview Questions, Is It A Good Sign?

It is always good to answer all the interview questions for nursing school admissions. Be careful to be honest, avoid exaggerating responses, and be respectful of the interviewer's time.


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).