5 Relevant Behavioral Health Charge Nurse Interview Tips

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The road to becoming a nurse is often a long and complex one. First, there’s schooling to get through, then chances to apply what you’ve learned through nursing practicums. After that, it’s time to ace your state exams and become fully qualified. Now, with extensive experience under your belt, you’ve focused on the behavioral health sector, and are hoping to get a job as a behavioral health charge nurse.

While getting set for your interview, you’ll undoubtedly find plenty of generalized suggestions that are worth checking out. However, it’s also useful to peruse behavioral health charge nurse interview tips to get some specialized advice about how to excel during your interview, and thereby prove you have what it takes to thrive in your desired career. Even though nursing is characteristically a high-pressure field, some job applicants still have a hard time coping with pressure during interviews. Being as prepared as possible beforehand makes a big difference.

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Behavioral Health Charge Nurse Interview Tips

Discuss Your Decision-Making Abilities: In this demanding but rewarding career, you’ll likely be tasked with creating patient care plans, or providing feedback to improve existing documents. Be ready to give at least one example of when you’ve had to confidently make decisions in order to provide or recommend optimal patient care. If you can think of a scenario when you also educated fellow nurses about why certain decisions were ideal for the applicable situation, that’s even better.

Give Evidence of Leadership Skills: As a charge nurse, you’ll be responsible for supervising and coordinating activities between members of your department. Regardless of the specifics, you’ll be seen as a leader, and often expected to give guidance during stressful, uncertain situations.

Come to the interview ready to talk about several instances when you’ve served as a leader in the past, preferably by referring to experiences within your nursing career. When possible, explain how your leadership abilities helped the respective department avoid crises and stay on track.

Show Attention to Minute Details: Any list of behavioral health charge nurse interview tips you read should at least briefly discuss what to wear to the interview. That’s because, if hired, you’ll be a direct representative of the organization. Show you understand the importance of that reality by choosing a professional interview outfit.

However, go further by also making sure you do things like polish your shoes and clean under your fingernails. These are details other people might overlook, but it’s to your advantage to pay extremely close attention to them. As a behavioral health charge nurse, you’ll be tasked with responsibilities that are so important, neglecting to notice details could cause costly, and even fatal, mistakes. An interviewer won’t be able to tell with the span of the conversation whether you’re detail-oriented enough to give correct dosages of medications without fail, but he or she can get a good idea of whether you notice tiny details by examining your appearance.

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Demonstrate a Keen Ability to Follow Directions: During your nursing career, you’ll receive constant instructions from physicians about patient care. Perhaps one of the most useful behavioral health charge nurse interview tips to keep in mind is to clearly convey you’re good at following directions. For example, if you’re told to go to a certain wing of a hospital and notify the receptionist that you’re there to be interviewed, give yourself enough time to arrive on time. Also, if the interviewer requests you bring documentation to the meeting with him or her, do whatever’s necessary to make sure you don’t leave it at home.

Describe What Your Nursing Experience Would Contribute: Interviewers ask questions because they’re trying to assess whether you’d be an asset to the organization’s existing team. You can get ahead of many other candidates by specifically doing research to find out as much as possible about the place where you want to work and how you could be an asset there.

After that, come up with several ways to explain how and why you’d be a great addition to this particular establishment’s nursing staff. For example, maybe you’ve recently finished a continuing education requirement about preventing adolescent suicides due to bullying and know this hospital’s behavioral health department admits a higher-than normal percentage of at-risk teens who considered taking their own lives because of bullies.

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