Becoming a School Nurse: Five Tips for Nailing Your Interview

by Howard Gerber on November 10, 2016

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nursing interview tipsWorking as a school nurse can be a great career move. You’ll have the chance to work with young people and their families in a setting outside of a hospital. School nurses don’t only provide routine care for minor ailments; they also respond to medical emergencies, such as accidents, asthma attacks, and life-threatening allergies. School nurses also provide health education.

Before you can make a difference as a school nurse, you have to get the job. A big part of landing the job is nailing your interview. Regardless of how much nursing experience you have, interviews can be stressful. But going into an interview prepared and confident will help your strengths and qualifications shine through. Consider some of the following suggestions:

Practice

It’s normal to get a little nervous before an interview. But thinking about how you want to answer the questions can help you feel comfortable. Although no one can predict exactly what you’ll be asked, there are some typical interview questions, such as:

  • What makes you a good fit for this school?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Why did you choose nursing?
  • What are your career goals?

You don’t need to have a scripted word for word answer planned. But you should give a little thought to the message you want to convey.

Show some personality

You only have a limited amount of time for a potential employer to get to know whether you’re a good fit for their school. Use that time not only to showcase your skills, but to show a little personality. After all, you’ll be working with teachers, students, and parents. Showing that you’re someone who is easy to get along with and energetic and enthusiastic about the job can go a long way. If an employer asks you to tell them something about yourself, avoid a lengthy chronological history of your work experience. They can get that information from your resume. Instead, make the information a little more personal.

Don’t go overboard

While you want to show personality, you don’t want to go overboard. An interview for a school nurse job is not the place to be the class clown or tell your entire life story. Remember that it’s a balancing act to remain professional while still showing who you are.

Highlight specific skills

Working as a school nurse is different from hospital nursing. Although you need some of the same technical skills, there are also additional skills you should highlight. School nurses need to work well independently and be organized. Talk about your ability to do both. If you have work experience with children, highlight that as well.

Follow-up

After an interview comes the hard part, which is waiting to see if you got the job. While you wait, be sure to follow-up with your interviewer. Send a brief note thanking them for their time. A thank you note is not only polite, but it may help remind an employer for who you are and why you should be hired.

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