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How to Ace Your RN Interview

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With years of grueling training behind you and your RN credentials firmly in hand, you are now ready to head out, save lives and change the world. Before you can tackle the challenges of nursing, however, you must prove yourself worthy. To land the job of your dreams, plan to shine during your RN interview. With the appropriate behaviors and just-right answers, you can ace this interview and make your attempt at entering the nursing profession a success.

Express Enthusiasm

To stand up to the rigors of nursing, RNs must be enthusiastic about their work and dedicated to helping others. The importance of enthusiasm cannot be overstated, suggests Carolyn Steffel, a nursing recruiter for Edward Hospital in Naperville, IL. Show your dedication by eagerly sharing a well-structured mission statement. This mission statement should explain your decision to become an RN and what you will provide that other candidates may not. Express your enthusiasm non-verbally as well with an upbeat smile and open and accessible posture.

Know the Organization

Even if the hospital you are interviewing with isn't where you've always dreamed of working, you'll want to ensure that the interview committee thinks that it is. If the hiring committee suspects that you feel lukewarm about their establishment, they will likely be similarly unimpressed by you. Before you interview, gather information about the organization, including their focus, specialties and mission statement. Commit this information to memory and reference it during your interview to duly impress.

Ask Your Own Questions

Don't underestimate the importance of being prepared should the interview committee ask if you have any questions for them following the interview. Asking questions demonstrates appropriate interest and underscores your desire to work for their institution. Express your wont to learn and knowledge of the industry by asking informed questions such as the nurse-to-patient ratio and whether professional development opportunities exist to nurses within the organization, suggests Salisbury University.

Leave a Lasting Impression

The final impression you leave on the hiring committee will likely be the one they remember longest. Make your impact exceptionally positive by giving the interviewers a “love me” book, suggests Sue Heacock, RN, author of “Inspiring the Inspirational: Words of Hope from Nurses to Nurses”. In this document -- which you can house in a simple report folder -- include a resume, letters of reference and copies of your credentials. Presenting this compilation of accomplishments to the interview committee as you exit demonstrates organization and preparedness, and ensures that your information is readily accessible.


Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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