“Why do you want to be a nurse?” is a common interview question.
During an interview for nursing school or an entry-level job, you might be asked, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” Getting ready for this question will help you figure out why you want to work in this field and give you more confidence when you answer the interviewer.
How to answer “Why do you want to become a nurse?”
You can plan your answer to this question before your interview by taking a few steps. Even though it’s helpful to write down what you want to say, don’t try to remember it. So, your answer will sound natural and you won’t feel like you have to remember a script.
Here are some interview answers to this question:
1. Be genuine
Don’t try to make your answer sound better than it is or make up a response you think the interviewer will like. Instead, take some time to think about your core values and why you wanted to become a nurse in the first place.
If you aren’t sure, think about how you would answer these questions: What makes you happy, excited, or whole about being a nurse? How does being a nurse fit with your skills, values, or goals? What made you want to work as a nurse? What do you want to do after you become a nurse?
2. Provide a personal anecdote
When you tell a potential employer a personal story about why you want to be a nurse, they can see your values in action. Sharing stories also makes you stand out from other candidates because no one else has the same background as you.
For instance, you might want to become a nurse because a close friend or family member has been sick. When they were in the hospital, maybe the nurses who cared for them made you want to become a nurse. No matter why you want to be a nurse, this question will help you figure out and explain what motivates you in your own life. People will always remember a story from their own lives.
3. Learn from your own life.
Depending on who you are and what you’re interested in, there are many ways to answer this question. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to help seniors or children. Tell us about your experience working with these people if you have. When you talk about your experience in your answer, the interviewer will see how valuable you are.
How to respond
Here are some reasons why someone might want to become a nurse. The following can give you ideas for your answer:
“A close relative of mine was very sick a few years ago, and his nurses helped him get better and better. When I went to see him in the hospital, I was impressed by how well they could help their patients by knowing what they needed, making them feel comfortable, and giving care right away when it was needed. I would be happy to do the same for other families who need a strong, smart caretaker.”
“I helped out at a hospital when I was in high school. I saw how nurses made a difference in the lives of their patients. As I got older, I realized that nursing was the perfect way for me to combine my love of biology and my desire to help people.
“I have always wanted to help other people reach their goals. Nursing is a great way to help people get healthier, which is one of the most important things in life. I chose to become a nurse because the job is rewarding and the job market is usually stable. I want to keep getting better at my job as long as I’m working.
More common nursing interview questions
You might also want to practice a few other answers before your interview, in addition to the answer to the question above.
Other open-ended questions that are often asked in nursing job interviews are:
- What is the most satisfying part of your job as a nurse?
- How have your classes and training prepared you to be a nurse?
- What did you like best about the nursing jobs or internships you’ve had in the past, and what did you like least?
- How well do you work with other people?
- How will you remember everything while you’re working?
- What do you hope to give your patients?
- How would you handle a patient who didn’t like the care they were getting?
- How do you deal with stress on the job?
- Have you ever had a fight at work with someone you worked with? How did you get along enough to work together?
- How do you act when you talk to a doctor?
How to get ready for a nursing job interview
If you do some things to prepare for your interview, you will feel more confident and ready for it. Here are some things you can do 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 answer common conversation starters like “Tell me about yourself.” Making connections is also a good way to get ready for future opportunities.
Check out the business.
Doing research on the hospital or organization you’re interviewing with will help you answer questions like “Why do you want to work here?” It can also help you relate your skills and qualifications to the organization’s values and goals. Go to their website and look for news stories and press releases about what they do that are recent.
Get ready to talk about pay.
Knowing the average salary for the job can help you be ready to talk about pay if the topic comes up. At indeed.com/salaries, you can look at salaries by company, location, and job title.
Planning answers to some of the most common questions asked in nursing interviews can help you feel more confident and less nervous about your interview. Even though it’s normal to be nervous, you can feel more ready by practicing your answers and reminding yourself why you want to work in this field.