Why Do You Want To Be a Nurse

During interview questions for nursing school or entry-level positions, you may be asked, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” Preparing to answer this question will help you identify your reasons for pursuing a career in this field and feel more confident to respond to the interviewer.

How to answer “Why do you want to be a nurse?”

When considering this question, there are several steps you can take to plan your answer before your interview. While it is helpful to write down what you want to say, avoid memorizing it so your answer sounds genuine and you don’t feel like you need to remember a script.

Here are several tips for answering this interview question:

Why Do You Want To Be a Nurse

1. Be genuine

Avoid embellishing your answering or crafting a response that you think might sound good to interviewers. Instead, simply take some time to reflect on your core values and the reasons why you felt motivated to pursue a career in nursing.

If you’re unsure, think of answers to the following questions: What is it about nursing that makes you feel excited, happy or fulfilled? How does nursing relate to your skills, values or motivations? What made you interested in nursing as a career? What do you hope to achieve as a nurse?

2. Provide a personal anecdote

Sharing a personal story about why you want to be a nurse offers employers a unique view into your personal values with context. Sharing anecdotes also differentiates you from other candidates as no one else shares your same background.

For example, you may be pursuing a career in nursing because a close friend or family member experienced a health problem. Perhaps the nurses that provided them with care during their hospital stay inspired you to pursue a career in nursing. No matter your reasons for pursuing the nursing field, this question allows you to identify and articulate motivating factors in your own life. A personal story will always be memorable.

3. Draw on your own experiences

There are many ways you can use your background and interests to answer this question. For example, perhaps you have had a lifelong interest in helping specific populations, such as seniors or children. If you have experience working with these people, share those details in your answer. Working your experience into the answer will communicate additional value to the interviewer.

Example answers

Here are a few example answers to the question, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” You can use these as inspiration while preparing your own response:

Example 1

“Several years ago a beloved family member of mine was seriously ill and his nurses were incremental in his treatment and recovery. While visiting him in the hospital, I was inspired by their ability to intercede for their patients by understanding their needs, making them feel comfortable and promptly administering care when needed. I would feel honored to do the same for other families who need a strong, intelligent caretaker.”

Example 2

“Throughout high school I volunteered at a local hospital and had the opportunity to witness the difference nurses made in the lives of their patients. As I grew older, it became obvious that nursing was the perfect fit between my passion for biology and a desire to work with people.”

Example 3

“I have always been motivated by helping others achieve their goals. Nursing offers a unique opportunity to help people work towards achieving a healthy state of being, one of the most important aspects of life. The rewarding nature of the job, combined with the potential to enjoy stable work opportunities have motivated me to pursue a career in nursing that I hope to continue growing in for the entirety of my professional life.”

More common nursing interview questions

Along with the above question, there are several other answers you might consider preparing before your interview.

Some of the other open-ended, commonly asked nursing job interview questions include:

  • What aspect of nursing do you find to be the most rewarding?
  • How have your education and training prepared you for a nursing role?
  • What did you like most/least about previous nursing roles or internships?
  • How well do you work in a team setting?
  • How do you plan to stay organized during your shifts?
  • What value do you feel you will offer your patients?
  • How would you handle a patient who is unhappy with their care?
  • How do you deal with stress on the job?
  • Have you experienced conflict with colleagues on the job? How did you resolve your differences to work together?
  • How do you handle interactions with physicians?

Tips to prepare for a nursing interview

By taking some steps to plan for your interview, you will feel more confident and prepared. Here are several tips you can use to get ready for your next nursing interview:

Prepare an elevator pitch

Writing down and practicing a short bio about your background, qualifications and personal strengths will help you reply to conversation starters like, “ Tell me about yourself. ” It is also a good networking tool to have prepared for future opportunities.

Do company research

Researching the hospital or organization you are interviewing with will help you answer interview questions like “Why do you want to work here?” It can also help you to connect your skills and qualifications with the organization’s values and mission. Visit their website and look for recent related news stories and press releases.

Prepare for salary conversations

It can be helpful to gain context about average salaries for the position so you are prepared to discuss pay if it comes up. Visit indeed.com/salaries to browse salaries by company, location and job title.

Preparing for your interview by planning answers to several General interview questions asked during nursing interviews can alleviate interview-related stress and build your confidence. Although nerves are certainly normal and expected, you can feel more prepared by practicing your answers and revisiting why you want to pursue a career in this field.Show Transcript

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