So you are about to go on your school nurse job interview, but aren’t exactly sure what they will be asking. You may have encountered some of the questions when you first interviewed for your acute care job, or even your home care position. School nurse interview questions can be very specific, and you need to be prepared to answer them with poise and precision. Below, you will find a list of school nurse job interview questions that will help you win over the room and secure a position as a Registered Nurse in the school district of your choice. There will be 3 types of questions; background questions, clinical competency, and problem solving / communication. These are components that most employers use to determine if the candidate is a fit for their company, not just schools.
This is your opportunity to let the person interviewing you know what you have done in the past, and how that has helped you get to where you are today. Your background is a key component when making a decision on whether or not to hire you. We require our school nurses to have at least 2 years of experience in any setting. This could be in acute care, home care, occupational health, etc.
Tell us about your nursing and/or school nursing background and experience.
I feel like this question is self-explanatory. Let them know what you’ve done.
Tell us about your experience in working in an educational setting.
Have you worked in a school before? Have you been a professor or a nursing school teacher? Share your work experience. If you don’t have any working experience in an educational setting, let the client know that the education setting is something that has always intrigued you and that you think it would be a great opportunity to expand your top notch skills.
What certifications or credentials do you currently have that would support your job role?
Most schools will require the RN to have certifications in CPR, BLS, and ALS.
Do you have experience working with special-needs children?
If you haven’t worked in a school before, maybe you’ve worked with children in the home. Maybe you’ve worked with young patients in hospitals. Let the client know that you have had pediatric experience. It’s also important to be truthful. If you haven’t had any experience, let them know that this is an area you want to expand into.
What are your key strengths as a school nurse?
Being a school nurse requires a lot of patience, accountability, organization, along with many other attributes. This is your time to brag about your strengths. Don’t be shy!
What has been your biggest challenge as a school nurse?
This question assumes that you’ve been a school nurse before. School nurses face challenges almost every day. Challenge levels vary based on locations and tenure. The longer you are at a school, the more likely you will be faced with different challenges.
What do you know about our organization?
Do your research. There is nothing worse to an interviewer when the candidate doesn’t know a thing about their school / organization. Research how many students they have, how many schools they have in their district, who the superintendent is, who the principal is at the school you are interviewing at, along with other research. Most of the information can be found on school websites.
What training would you require to be able to effectively do this job?
Horizon Healthcare Staffing has a mandatory interview / information session for Registered Nurses that want to become a school nurse, or have been out of school nursing for a while. This is especially important to figure out where your weaknesses are, and how to correct them. We offer this service so you can perform your job effectively.
What professional organizations are you affiliated with?
If you are part of the New York School Nursing Association, let them know. If you are a part of the New York State Nurses Association, let them know. It’s important to get involved with different organizations to expand your reach and to make sure you are up to date with all the information within your profession. It’s also a good way to network with your peers and other decision makers.
Problem Solving/Communication Questions:
In this section, you will be asked to give specific examples to various questions. This is the employer’s way of finding out your problem solving skills and your communication skills. Most of the questions require you to show how you came to a resolution to the problem.
Give an example of a significant challenge at work? How did you resolve it?
Give an example of a time when you were able to communicate successfully with another person, even when that individual may not have personally liked you or vice versa?
How would you respond to a parent or staff member who was not happy with the care you provided?
Describe an essential project you completed which improved efficiency, care or reduced costs.
What would your current supervisors say makes you most valuable to them?
How would you describe your work style?
Give examples of ideas you’ve had or implemented.
Describe a situation where you had to plan or organize something.
Describe a situation where you have participated as part of a team and your role on that team.
List five words that describe your character.
Clinical Competency Questions:
School nurses are often the first ones on the scene when students get sick or injured, so clinical competency is critical. Make sure to convey your answers clearly. You know your stuff; now you just have to let the person interviewing you know that you know your stuff.
Describe an assessment for a student with hypoglycemia, asthma, and anaphylaxis.
How would you handle a flu or chickenpox outbreak at the school?
Describe an assessment for a student with symptoms of drug use or alcohol intoxication.
How would you handle a situation where you suspected there may be child abuse?
How do you maintain your clinical competency?
What is the last new procedure or skill you integrated into your job?
What is your experience with electronic health records? What programs have you used?
Do you have any other school nurse interview questions that might help nurses get the job? Let us know in the comments section below!