Top 5 Questions Asked During a Nursing Interview

Put simply, you need to be prepared for any nursing interview you plan on attending. Nursing is a very competitive field and you don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity because you weren’t ready for some of the top nursing interview questions we detail below.

Becoming familiar with these common nursing interview questions you may be asked is a key part in practical preparation to land your next, or first, nursing job. Having thoughtful, go-to answers will give you a leg up on the competition and put your work ethic on display.

To help, here are five interview questions for nurses often found at the top of the list:

Why do you want to Work in Nursing?

A very common nursing interview question, you will most likely be asked this specifically a number of times. It can be simple, but there are good and bad answers to this. You’ll want to make sure you highlight your love for nursing and taking care of others, and talk about anything that inspires your passion for the field.

Why are you Leaving Your Current Position?

If you’re leaving another type of career to become a nurse, this question may be very easy to answer. You’ll likely reiterate what it is about nursing that fuels your passion. However, if you’re going from one nursing position to another, you may need to be a bit more careful when asked this question.

The last thing you want to do is badmouth your previous/current employer or boss, so be sure to keep your responsive positive when giving your reason.

Where do You See Yourself in Five Years?

This isn’t just a common interview question for nurses, as you will have this asked before most job market interviews. The interviewer wants to find out if you’re ambitious, career-oriented and have a positive outlook on your nursing career. You don’t want to share your hopes and dreams here, but detail where the nursing field could lead you, and how your growth during that time would benefit the workplace.

For example, a good answer would be something like; In 5 years, I hope to earn my doctoral degree so that I can better serve people with advanced techniques.

What do you Think is the Hardest Part about Being a Nurse?

Interviewers know nursing isn’t considered an easy job – it can be hard on a person both physically and emotionally. The interviewer is trying to find out what your views are on some of the common hardships of nursing with this question.

Be honest with your answer. If you find it very difficult to treat a patient suffering from an incurable disease, answer the question as such. Honesty will go a very long way when answering any nursing interview questions; this one in particular.

How do you Handle a Patient that Always Complains?

Answering this question will show how well you handle difficult situations pertaining to nursing. You need to make sure you answer by showing you would listen, try to understand and provide compassion. It’s important to show that you understand they are most likely complaining due to the disease, pain or illness from which they are suffering.

Needless to say, there are several nursing interview questions you may be asked. However, these are five of the most common you will find at just about every job interview in the nursing field. Make sure you’re prepared to answer all five or you may find yourself caught off guard without a good answer.

Be sure to read our blog post from earlier this year on how to ACE a job interview!


Higher education in any form, provides innumerable advantages to the graduate – from earning power, to cultural enrichment. Undergraduate degrees may be considered both priceless and pricey, and they don’t necessarily guarantee financial superiority. What they do firmly provide is a foundation. The same may be said of a CNA, but this path is far less risky, and eases a considerable financial burden associated with traditional college coursework. The advantages of pursuing a CNA certification over an undergraduate degree include:

  • Financial savings
  • Commensurate initial earnings
  • Broad range of high-level career paths
  • Variety of invaluable patient services

According to, the average college graduate can expect to make between $37,000 – 48,000 annually. The average salary for a newly certified CNA is between $18,000 – 35,000. 

The national average for one year of undergraduate schooling at a liberal arts university will cost the student between $9,000 – 32,000. 

The national average to complete a CNA certification is between $1,000 – 1,500. 

Becoming a CNA creates a great foundation, should you choose to follow a specialized nursing track. After achieving the CNA, many nurses advance to: 

  • Medical Assistant
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Registered Nurse 
  • Ambulatory Nurse
  • Pediatric Nurse
  • ER Nurse
  • NICU Nurse
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • APRN
  • Nurse Anesthetist

While each nursing position above provides a proud, and well-paying career – the nursing professions toward the bottom of this list can also fetch up to six-figure salaries. To better illustrate the upward mobility of a CNA, please refer to the CNA “Nursing Ladder of Success”.

CNA’s provide a catalogue of invaluable patient services. Here is a glimpse from the wide variety of tasks experienced nurses perform:

  • Educating and caring for patients
  • Building rapport with patients, patients’ families and other clients
  • Supervising the quality of care delivered by other medical personnel such as licensed practical nurses, enrolled nurses, and unlicensed assistive personnel
  • Working with different patients, observing their behavior (diet, exercise and hygiene) and keeping clear records. Experienced Nurses can also specialize in one of the many possible fields such as cardiac care, , dermatology or neurologic care
  • Performing medical histories, physical exams, signs and symptoms evaluation, and diagnostic tests
  • Administering treatments, medications, wound care and many different forms of interventions
  • Establishing and reviewing effective treatment plans, interpreting patient information, operating medical equipment, and making critical decisions on necessary actions
  • Conducting research to find new and creative ways of delivering quality care, better nursing practice and patient outcomes

CNA’s comprise a proud portion of the medical community, and in choosing this career path, you are joining a collective of learned, civic-minded people. This community will shift and take on new shapes as the CNA’s career grows, but it will be omni-present – ever-available to assist, and to guide. Above all the aforementioned tidings the CNA certification carries, it is the forever approachable medical community you’ll belong to, that may be the greatest advantage of the CNA.