There’s managers, and then there’s nurse managers. Anyone in charge of a team should have a certain level of expertise which puts them ahead of the pack and in positions of leadership, and this is especially true in the medical industry. A nurse manager must not only be at the top of their nursing game, but they also have to be a solid administrator and team captain.

For most nursing jobs, an interviewer will want to know that a candidate can handle patients, plays well with others, can communicate effectively, and above all, knows what they’re doing. All this is also relevant when hiring a Nurse Manager, however there are additional factors of character, experience, and ethics which must be considered.

A good nursing team starts with a good Nurse Manager, so this is one interview which must be done right. In the post below you will find sample interview questions which will help you find the right Nurse Manager for your organization.

What do Nurse Managers Do?

Nurse managers start off as nurses. They are often unspecialized, and have a great general understanding of medicine and hospital practices.

Nurse managers must have either an Associate’s of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN). Many Nurse Manager positions prefer that the candidate holds a Bachelor’s degree. And of course, they must pass the NCLEX-RN — National Council Licensure Examination — and hold a Registered Nursing License.

In addition to the appropriate levels of education, Nurse Manager hopefuls should have experience in leadership and administration. Candidates should have supervisory experience in previous nursing positions. Hospitals or clinics will require working knowledge of basic administrative procedures, demonstrated skills in delegation and strategic prioritization, computer literacy, and excellent communication skills.

Interview Questions for Nurse Managers

Nurse Manager Interview Questions for Training & Experience

  • Tell me about your educational background. What is the highest degree you hold in nursing? What practical training do you have? How are you continuing your education as a nurse?
  • What managerial or supervisory experience do you have that you feel qualifies you to work as a Nurse manager? How long were you in the positions wherein you gained this experience?
  • Have you received specific training around scheduling, administration, and general management of a nursing team?
  • Please describe a typical day in the working life of a Nurse Manager.
  • Please describe how, as a Nurse Manager, you would go about training a new nurse.

Nurse Manager Interview Questions for Patient Care

  • Tell me about a time when your team had to care for an extremely difficult patient. What was your strategy for patient care in this situation? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time when a patient or a patient’s family was extremely happy with the care you provided. How did you utilize the support of your team to achieve this?
  • Imagine that, during your shift, multiple patients are having emergencies at once. How would you address this situation? Please explain your reasoning.
  • What course of action would you take if an angry patient asked for their attending nurse to be replaced with another under your supervision?

Nurse Manager Interview Questions for Communication & Interpersonal Skills

  • Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict between two nurses under your supervision. What was the outcome?
  • How might you go about delivering feedback to a new nurse who is having difficulties?
  • The doctor/nurse dynamic can be difficult. Tell me about a time when you were able to mediate between a doctor and your team with the optimal outcome. What actions on your part lead to a resolution?
  • Tell me about a time when a nurse under your supervision was being disrespectful to you as a leader. How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
  • How would you go about communicating bad news to a patient or a patient’s family?

Nurse Manager Interview Questions for Adaptability

  • How might you utilize your team of nurses to effectively operate a busy hospital floor?
  • Tell me about a time when you received negative feedback from a subordinate; from a manager. How did you respond to their feedback?
  • Tell me about a time when you failed in a managerial or supervisory position. What was the ultimate outcome? What steps did you take to correct your failure.
  • How do you go about delegating tasks to the nurses under your supervision?
  • How would you go about redistributing patient loads if one of the nurses under your supervision had an emergency and could not come in to work?

Nurse Manager Interview Questions for Core Values and Motivation

  • What core characteristics do you feel a Nurse Manager should possess? Nurses in general?
  • What are the most difficult aspects of managing a team of nurses? What are the most rewarding?
  • What do you feel you are uniquely bringing to the table as the new Nurse Manager?
  • In your own opinion, how is being part of a team vital to a career in nursing?
  • Why do you want to be a Nurse Manager?

Final Thoughts: Nurse Manager Interview Questions

Nurses make the medical world go round, and an excellent Nurse Manager is the spinal column of any effective nursing team. By leveraging our interview questions for Nurse Managers, any hospital or clinic will be able to find qualified candidates who will be an asset to their organization.

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