After taking the time to build an incredible resume and craft the perfect cover letter, you still need to ace the interview to get the position you have always wanted. An interview is the hiring manager’s first idea of who you really are and helps them know how you might fit in as part of their team. A potential employer’s only avenue to learn about you is to ask, so it is important that you are prepared for every type of question imaginable. While you are likely to get fielded some very general questions seen in many industries, you also need to be ready to answer questions specific to the job. Here are some charge nurse interview questions and answers to give you an idea of what you may face during your interviews.
5 Charge Nurse Interview Questions & Answers
1. A charge nurse is a team leader who needs to have the respect of her colleagues. What skills and attributes do you have that make you think you would be able to effectively lead a department?
As an RN, I have worked in many different kinds of environments. Some were cohesive, and the nurses worked together as one unit with many different parts that all reached for the same goals. In others, it felt more like the different components, or nurses, spent more time working against one another in a dysfunctional, broken device. I know what both feel and look like, and how to avoid the dysfunction and build a cohesive unit for the department. I have the organizational skills, the attention to detail and the communication skills to lead the department and to earn the respect and trust of all those who work under my supervision.
2. As a charge nurse, you will need to balance clinical care and administrative tasks. What is your plan to ensure that all your responsibilities are met?
Organization is key to any job well done, and this is no exception. I will closely monitor all the tasks I have before me at any given time and conquer my list in order of most important. I will delegate as appropriate to ensure that all tasks are accomplished when they should be, and this will allow me to put an appropriate amount of time toward patient care. The administrative part of this position is incredibly important to being able to ensure patients are properly treated in the best environment, but patient care should always remain the top priority, as I am a nurse first and foremost.
3. Patients can be difficult sometimes. How would you handle a difficult patient?
Patients are usually difficult for a reason. First, I would take the time to listen to the patient and make sure he knows he is being heard. After that, if necessary, I would discuss the situation with the on-duty doctor to see what solutions could be found to the patient’s problem.
4. How would you motivate your nurses on a daily basis?
Motivating my staff would be something I do largely by example. I would be the first one to go the extra mile, taking the extra time with patients and doing all I could to be the best nurse I can be. Using individual encouragement, team meetings to discuss department needs, and the examples of the best nurses on the floor, I would help lift the other nurses to a higher level. I also understand that motivation usually has to come from within, so I would learn what my nurses need in order to succeed and help them find that motivation for themselves.
5. A charge nurse is a mentor to all those under his or her watch. What does being a mentor mean to you?
It is an honor to be a mentor. To me, a mentor is someone who can be looked up to and who will always have the answers that are being sought. As a charge nurse, I should have the clinical answers and knowledge to help my nurses make the right diagnoses. A mentor also provides emotional support through difficult times. These two attributes are the basis of all mentorships, and as a charge nurse, I will be able and willing to use my extensive knowledge and experience with teaching and guiding to help my nurses give their best every day.