Nursing Management Interview Questions

Nursing management questions are specific to nursing jobs and will help you prepare for interviews with potential employers. The best way to prepare is by knowing what questions to expect and how to answer them. Below you’ll find some of the most common interview questions for nursing managers:

Nursing Management Interview Questions

1. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. How did you handle it?

  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake.
  • How did you handle it?
  • What did you learn from the mistake?
  • What did you do to fix it?
  • How does this experience impact your ability to effectively lead an organization today?

2. Give an example of how you’ve handled a situation with a particularly difficult co-worker.

  • Listen to the co-worker. It is important to give them your undivided attention, and hear what they have to say.
  • Talk about the problem with them. This can help you understand where they are coming from, and it may even help you come up with a solution together.
  • If that doesn’t work, try again later on. You could also talk about the situation with someone else if you need more advice before trying again in future conversations with this specific person or group of people

3. Give me an example of how you’re able to motivate people.

Motivation is more than just money. It’s a combination of money, recognition and a vision of the future. It’s also personal growth, training and development, recognition and personal growth.

4. Tell me about the qualities of a good leader. Which ones do you feel apply to you?

  • Leadership skills are essential for nursing management.
  • A good leader should be able to demonstrate empathy and friendliness, as well as the ability to make sound decisions in any situation.
  • I have been practicing these qualities since childhood, when I was a member of my high school’s student council.
  • My leadership skills have helped me resolve many situations at work and at home, including disputes between coworkers that could have otherwise escalated into major conflicts.
  • In addition to those qualities, I am known for being decisive and assertive in the face of adversity—traits that are also crucial in nursing management positions!

5. How do you communicate with staff when there are changes to be implemented?

  • Listen to staff and their concerns.
  • Be clear about the changes that are being implemented, and why they are happening.
  • Respectfully listen to everyone’s opinions on how best to implement these changes.
  • Be clear about the consequences of not following through with the new structure or process. This can include disciplinary action as well as any other consequences you may be able to foresee (such as lost wages).
  • Make sure that staff understand that you are there to support them, regardless of what decision they make regarding their position in this new structure/process!

6. What is your philosophy regarding staff training?

  • How do you ensure that your staff is learning?

Staff training is an essential part of the nursing practice. The quality of care provided to patients cannot be achieved without proper training, which involves both classroom instruction and hands-on practice. This means that, in addition to helping your employees understand new policies or procedures, you must also make sure they’re getting enough opportunities for hands-on experience with patients (and/or simulated patients).

  • What training do you provide for new hires?

New hires should receive at least two weeks’ worth of classroom instruction regarding their job duties before beginning them on the job. You may want to consider offering additional classes if there are any specific areas where additional work needs to be done—such as how to interact with elderly patients—but this depends entirely on what particular position the individual has been hired for; it’s up to each manager in charge of hiring decisions whether or not any extra training would be beneficial based upon what knowledge gaps exist which would make someone unable to handle their new responsibilities effectively enough without first learning certain skills beforehand.”

7. What has been your biggest challenge as a manager and how have you handled it?

What has been your biggest challenge as a manager and how have you handled it?

Many interviewers will ask this question, which means you should have some great stories prepared to share. For example:

  • If a staff member was difficult to work with, I would have tried to resolve the issue. If that didn’t work, I’d document the problem and present my findings to HR or my supervisor.
  • When I was working in an office that was understaffed due to budget cuts, one of our most senior nurses left—which meant we had no backup for her role. To make up for this loss of experience and expertise in this department (and because she was so good at what she did), I took on some of her responsibilities so we could cover all shifts with just three nurses instead of four. Doing so required a lot more hours than usual on my part but kept us running smoothly despite our resources being limited.

8. Describe the perfect nursing team member. Would you hire anyone who didn’t meet those criteria?

You want a nurse who is a good communicator, has a good work ethic, and is a team player. This can be difficult to find but it’s important that they are able to problem-solve on their own and take initiative.

Other qualities include:

  • Patient care: If you’re not able to trust your nurse with the well-being of your patients then how can you expect them to do their job?
  • Interpersonal skills: This means being able to communicate well with others in order for them to understand what needs done and help out where possible. It also means being nice enough so as not upset any co-workers or fellow team members who may need assistance from time-to-time throughout the day; even if they’re annoying sometimes!
  • Cultural awareness/diversity sensitivity (this should be taught in nursing school): It’s important that every person understands their role within society as individuals; this includes understanding cultural norms within different communities across America–or wherever else might be appropriate for each situation at hand–and respecting those differences whenever possible so everyone has access equal opportunity without feeling afraid or threatened by another individual’s presence nearby them.”

9. What do we need to do differently as a department to make sure we get off the floor at our scheduled time?

  • Describe the situation: You are working in a busy, high-volume department and have been asked to make sure that you get off the floor at your scheduled time.
  • Explain the problem: If you do not leave at your scheduled time, patients may be left waiting for their medications or procedures, which can lead to delays in care or other problems with patient satisfaction.
  • Explain your solution: To help combat this issue, we need to implement a system where everyone on my team understands their role in helping keep things moving smoothly so we don’t end up behind schedule and cause patient problems as a result. We can also decide on some specific procedures that would allow us to move faster and get out of here earlier than usual—for example, if someone has finished giving medications but hasn’t gotten them back from the nurse who took them off dispensing yet, they could come back themselves instead of waiting around until someone else gets there (which might take longer). There’s no guarantee that people will do everything exactly how we want it done all of the time (and sometimes even when they do follow instructions perfectly), but these ideas should help maximize efficiency so that leaving on schedule is less likely.”

10. The unit is short staffed, there’s an emergency, and patient care is suffering. What would you do?

In this situation, you should first take a moment to assess the situation. What is causing the staffing shortage? Is it because someone is out sick? Could that person be replaced by someone else on staff who has been working more than usual lately? If there are no other nurses available and you have an adequate number of patients, then perhaps it’s time to call in some agency nurses or ask for volunteers among the staff members willing to work overtime. If those options don’t work (or aren’t possible), consider asking management for help or creating some kind of internal communication plan so that everyone knows what they’re doing if they come in late or leave early due to illness or vacation days.

If you find yourself in charge of such short-staffed units, make sure all employees know how important patient care is—and also how much responsibility falls on their shoulders when things get hectic like this! For example: “We will not leave any patient unattended at any time.” And if one does happen upon an abandoned patient… well then I suppose their fate will probably be similar than what happened here: “Luckily someone noticed before too long but still… Yikes.”

11. How often should reviews be held with your staff members, and what is the best way to approach them without making people uncomfortable?

Your staff members should be reviewed at least once per year, and more frequently if there are issues.

Reviews should be held during regular business hours so that the employee does not feel pressured to come back to work after receiving the review.

It is important to remember that your employees are people, too. You don’t want your reviews to become unproductive because you’ve upset them by being too harsh or negative.

12. You need to know how to go through interviews and be prepared for anything that might happen in those interviews.

You need to know how to go through interviews and be prepared for anything that might happen in those interviews. You should be prepared to give examples of how you handled situations, how you motivate people, and how you communicate with staff.

It’s important to have a good understanding of what the job entails before going into an interview because if they ask you something that pertains specifically to the job description then obviously it will be much easier than if it was some random question out of left field.

You also want to make sure your resume is up-to-date and clean with no typos or misspellings!


I hope this helps you prepare for your nursing management interview. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!

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