Nursing School Interview Questions in 2024

Nursing School Interview Questions

Securing a spot in a nursing program can be a challenging and competitive process, and acing the interview is crucial for success. Nursing school interview questions are designed to evaluate not only your academic abilities but also your compassion, ethical judgment, and commitment to the nursing profession. Understanding and preparing for these questions is essential for any aspiring nurse. This article will delve into common nursing school interview questions and provide practical tips for preparing effectively.

What are Nursing School Interview Questions?

Nursing school interview questions are inquiries posed by admissions committees to assess a candidate’s suitability for their nursing program. These questions often explore a candidate’s motivations, clinical experiences, problem-solving skills, and understanding of the nursing field. Being well-prepared for these questions can significantly enhance your chances of gaining admission to a nursing school.

Most Common Nursing School Interview Questions

girl in blue jacket holding red and silver ring

Why do you want to become a nurse?

Admissions committees want to understand your motivations and commitment to the nursing profession. Your answer should reflect a genuine passion for nursing, personal experiences that inspired you, and a clear understanding of the role. Highlight any relevant experiences that have shaped your decision to pursue nursing.

Example: “I want to become a nurse because I have always been driven by a desire to help others and make a difference in their lives. My experience volunteering at a local hospital confirmed my passion for patient care, and I am inspired by the resilience and strength of the patients I have encountered. Nursing offers the perfect blend of science and compassion, allowing me to use my skills to improve the health and well-being of others.”

How do you handle stress and pressure?

Nursing can be a high-stress profession, and interviewers want to know how you cope with challenging situations. Describe specific strategies you use to manage stress, such as time management, exercise, or mindfulness techniques. Provide examples of past experiences where you successfully navigated stressful situations.

Example: “I handle stress and pressure by prioritizing tasks and maintaining a positive mindset. During my previous job as a CNA, I often faced high-pressure situations, and I found that staying organized and taking short breaks to breathe deeply helped me stay calm. Additionally, I practice yoga regularly, which has been instrumental in managing stress.”

Describe a time you faced a conflict in a team and how you resolved it?

Teamwork is crucial in nursing, and interviewers want to assess your conflict resolution skills. Explain a specific instance where you encountered a conflict, the steps you took to address it, and the outcome. Emphasize your ability to communicate effectively and collaborate with others to resolve issues.

Example: “In a group project at school, there was a disagreement about the direction of our research. I suggested a team meeting to discuss everyone’s viewpoints and find a compromise. By fostering open communication and actively listening to each member, we reached a consensus and successfully completed the project.”

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This question helps interviewers gauge your self-awareness and areas for growth. Identify strengths that align with the qualities of a good nurse, such as empathy, attention to detail, or teamwork. When discussing weaknesses, focus on areas you are actively working to improve and the steps you are taking to address them.

Example: “One of my strengths is my strong communication skills, which help me build rapport with patients and colleagues. A weakness I am working on is time management, as I sometimes take on too many tasks at once. To improve, I have started using a planner to prioritize my tasks and set realistic deadlines.”

How do you stay updated with the latest developments in nursing?

Staying informed about advancements in the nursing field is vital for providing high-quality care. Describe the resources you use to keep your knowledge current, such as medical journals, professional organizations, or continuing education courses. Highlight your commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.

Example: “I stay updated with the latest developments in nursing by subscribing to several medical journals and participating in webinars hosted by professional organizations. Additionally, I am a member of the American Nurses Association, which provides valuable resources and networking opportunities. I believe that continuous learning is essential to providing the best possible care to my patients.”

What would you do if you saw a colleague making a mistake?

Ethical decision-making and patient safety are critical in nursing. Explain how you would address a situation where a colleague makes a mistake, emphasizing your commitment to patient safety and professional integrity. Describe the steps you would take to address the issue while maintaining a supportive and respectful approach.

Example: “If I saw a colleague making a mistake, I would first ensure that the patient is safe and then address the issue with my colleague privately. I would offer support and suggest ways to correct the mistake, emphasizing the importance of learning from the experience. If the mistake had significant implications, I would follow the appropriate reporting protocols to ensure it is addressed properly.”

How do you handle criticism or feedback?

Receiving feedback is an essential part of professional growth. Describe your attitude towards criticism and how you use it as an opportunity to improve. Provide an example of a time you received constructive feedback and how you applied it to enhance your skills or performance.

Example: “I view criticism and feedback as valuable opportunities for growth and improvement. In my previous role, I received feedback about improving my documentation skills. I took this advice seriously, attended a workshop on effective documentation, and implemented the techniques I learned to enhance the accuracy and completeness of my records.”

How would you deal with a difficult patient?

Handling difficult patients requires patience, empathy, and strong communication skills. Describe your approach to understanding and addressing the concerns of a difficult patient. Highlight your ability to remain calm, listen actively, and find solutions to improve the patient’s experience.

Example: “When dealing with a difficult patient, I focus on understanding their concerns and emotions by actively listening and showing empathy. I remain calm and patient, addressing their needs and finding ways to make them more comfortable. By building a trusting relationship, I aim to alleviate their frustration and improve their overall experience.”

Why did you choose our nursing program?

Interviewers want to know why you are interested in their specific program and if you have researched it thoroughly. Highlight unique aspects of the program that appeal to you, such as curriculum, faculty, clinical opportunities, or values. Explain how these features align with your career goals and aspirations.

Example: “I chose your nursing program because of its strong emphasis on clinical experience and the opportunity to learn from highly respected faculty. The program’s focus on community health and patient-centered care aligns with my passion for providing holistic care to diverse populations. Additionally, the state-of-the-art simulation labs will allow me to develop practical skills in a controlled environment.”

How do you balance academic and personal life?

Balancing academic and personal life is crucial for maintaining well-being and academic success. Describe your time management strategies and how you prioritize tasks. Provide examples of how you maintain a healthy work-life balance to ensure you stay focused and motivated.

Example: “I balance academic and personal life by using effective time management strategies, such as creating a weekly schedule and setting realistic goals. I prioritize my tasks based on deadlines and importance, ensuring that I allocate time for both study and relaxation. Regular exercise and social activities help me stay refreshed and maintain a positive outlook.”

How to Get Prepared for Nursing School Interview Questions

Silver Laptop and White Cup on Table

Research the Program

Thoroughly researching the nursing program you are applying to is essential. Understand its values, curriculum, faculty, and clinical opportunities. This knowledge will help you tailor your responses to align with what the program is looking for in candidates. Showing that you have done your homework demonstrates your genuine interest and commitment to the program.

Practice Common Questions

Practicing common nursing school interview questions with a friend or mentor can boost your confidence. Prepare answers that reflect your experiences, strengths, and understanding of the nursing profession. Rehearsing helps you articulate your thoughts clearly and concisely during the actual interview. This practice also allows you to receive feedback and improve your responses.

Highlight Relevant Experience

During the interview, emphasize any relevant experience you have in the healthcare field. This can include volunteer work, internships, or previous jobs that have prepared you for a nursing career. Discuss specific skills and lessons learned from these experiences that make you a strong candidate. Highlighting relevant experience shows that you have practical knowledge and a genuine commitment to nursing.

Dress Professionally

First impressions matter, so dressing professionally for your nursing school interview is crucial. Choose attire that is appropriate for a formal interview, such as a suit or a professional dress. Ensure that your clothing is clean, pressed, and fits well. Dressing professionally not only shows respect for the interview process but also boosts your confidence.

Be Honest and Authentic

Honesty and authenticity are key to making a positive impression during your nursing school interview. Avoid exaggerating your experiences or giving answers you think the interviewers want to hear. Instead, be truthful about your achievements, challenges, and motivations. Authenticity helps build trust and allows the interviewers to see your genuine passion for nursing.

Special Focus Section: Behavioral Questions in Nursing Interviews

Behavioral questions are designed to assess how you handle real-life situations based on your past experiences. These questions often start with “Tell me about a time when…” and require you to provide specific examples.

  • Understand the STAR Method: The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is a structured approach to answering behavioral questions. It ensures that you cover all aspects of the experience in a clear and concise manner.
  • Prepare Multiple Examples: Think of various scenarios from your past experiences that demonstrate your skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, leadership, and adaptability. Having multiple examples ready will help you answer a wide range of behavioral questions.
  • Be Specific: Provide detailed and specific examples rather than general statements. Specificity helps the interviewers understand your thought process and actions in a given situation.
  • Reflect on Lessons Learned: Discuss what you learned from each experience and how it has prepared you for a career in nursing. This reflection shows your ability to grow and improve from your experiences.


Understanding and preparing for nursing school interview questions is crucial for aspiring nurses. By researching the program, practicing common questions, highlighting relevant experience, and being honest and authentic, you can increase your chances of success. Remember, the interview is an opportunity to showcase your passion for nursing and your readiness to contribute to the field. Good luck!