Interviewing for a Nursing Position: What to expect and how to Prepare

When you’re interviewing for a nursing position, you’ll most likely be asked about your skills and experience, your training, and your interests. This will differ depending on the situation, whether it is your first job after becoming licensed as a Registered Nurse or a career ladder opportunity that builds on your experience and advanced education as a Registered Nurse. With either situation it is important for interviewees to put their best foot forward and outline their qualifications in as much detail as possible. Below you will find some of the most pertinent preparation tips for Registered Nurses, whether they are seasoned nurses or just starting out in their career.

Familiarize yourself with the employer before the interview. Research the healthcare organization to learn about their goals, values and structure. You want to discover all you can about the specific anticipated nursing job as well. The more knowledge you have before you arrive for the actual interview, the more confidence you will have during the interview, resulting in the ability to demonstrate to the employer that you are the best candidate for the job.


Prepare your credentials and professional resume that outline relevant coursework, clinical experiences and any other important accomplishments. It’s a good idea to ask your nursing advisor or clinical practice mentor to review your resume for grammar and important information. The more information you can provide your potential employer, the more they will understand what you will bring to the position.

You may also want to make a list of your immunization and identification documents. Make sure to include your nursing license, notice of passing board scores (if applicable), BCLS/ACLS card and additional certificates from any advanced training programs completed. Bring two or three copies of each to give to the human resources department, but also have the original documents on hand in case they prefer to make photocopies.

Bring a list outlining your clinical experiences. This outline of skills can assist employers when finding the right position for you. This is important whether or not your hands-on nursing experience is limited to your associate degree clinicals or you are highly experienced and qualified by many years of nursing practice. It will show the potential employer that you are aware of your qualifications and are able to talk about each experience you have had in nursing, as well as help determine whether or not you are a good fit for the position being discussed. The employer may have additional opportunities that emerge through this discussion.

Prior to your interview, verify and update the names, titles, facilities addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of your available references. Try to include both personal and professional references such as nurse managers, clinical practice mentors and nursing faculty. Reference letters are also helpful if you have them to supplement references provided.

Expect to be asked for permission to conduct a criminal background investigation. The permission form may require you to list all of your prior addresses for the past five to seven years, so keep this information with you.

As always dress appropriately in professional attire. A first impression can only be made once.

Keeping the above mentioned items in mind should lead to a successful interview and hopefully, to the next step in a rewarding career in the nursing field.

If you are looking into earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing online, the Online RN to BSN program of study is Linfield College’s BSN degree completion program for registered nurses who have completed the associate degree. It is provided by the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing in partnership with the Linfield Adult Degree Program. The curriculum is based on the high quality on-campus Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree established in 1982. We offer a visionary, innovative and holistic program that focuses on diverse populations, provided wherever health care occurs in the community.