Interview Question: Why Did You Choose Nursing as a Career?
When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it’s helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?" What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do.
You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you would like to answer them.
How to Answer Questions About Deciding to Become a Nurse
Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as what strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse, and the best candidate for the job.
Don’t try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Examples of the Best Answers
I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging, interesting, and makes a difference in people's lives on a daily basis. In the nursing profession, you deal with many aspects of patient care, and I enjoy the variety in the routine.
Dealing with patients and their families, and helping them through what is often a difficult time for them is extremely satisfying for me.
My mother is a nurse, and seeing the satisfaction she feels every day by helping people in her job inspired my own interest in the field. I knew from the time that I was very young that nursing was something I wanted to do with my life.
Through college and nursing school, my interest and commitment to the field became even more strong as I found that I also had an aptitude for the work. I believe my ability to communicate with people and to explain things clearly in both a technical and non-technical way is one of the things that makes me a good nurse.
I believe that nursing is one of the most interesting and growing careers available today, and I enjoy the difference I can make in my patient's hospital experience. As a nurse, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of medical settings, and have enjoyed the experience of learning the routines in each type of facility. It gives me great satisfaction to invest my time in an industry that is expanding and enriching patients lives every day.
I chose nursing as a career because I love learning new things. As a nurse, I am always challenging myself to keep current on medical trends and training so that I can provide the best care to my patients. Every day as a nurse, I learn something new from my colleagues and patients, which inspires me to explore deeper knowledge of the techniques and procedures I use.
Nursing is such a broad field that I knew I could find a niche that would allow me to utilize my interest in science and the natural world as well as my desire to help people in need.
As a nurse, I have had the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, which has strengthened my ability to multi-task and offer the best care to my patients.
When I decided to become a nurse, I really didn’t understand the many facets of a nursing career. I just knew that I loved science, and I wanted to help people. Once I did some research, and realized how many types of nursing opportunities exist, I was absolutely certain this was the field for me.
Getting a job as a nurse is more than just answering interview questions. You’ll need to dress appropriately, and do enough research for your interview to appear confident and prepared. It’s a good idea to look carefully at the job posting, and the hospital website to get a feel for what they are specifically looking for in the person who fills the open position, as well as the general culture of the hospital.
Reviewing tips for getting a medical job will help you know what to expect, and how to present yourself as the winning candidate.
Remember to follow up after your interview with a thank you note as soon as possible, to reinforce your interest in the position and clarify anything that may have been left in doubt.
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Future career in nursing
Future Career In Nursing
Masters in Nursing
"The goal of nursing is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him, primarily by altering the environment", by Florence Nightingale in 1859 expresses in what nursing means to me. Nursing started out as a career that was based on a collection of specific skills trained to do specific tasks, but with broad advances in facts and technology, Nursing has evolved into a profession where nurses work to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illnesses. A nurse fill’s the needs of a patient, which cannot be met by either a family member or any other member of their community. Nursing is a helping profession, which provides services that contribute to the health care and well being of the patient. The nursing career was once considered as just an aid but it is now known as vital and crucial part of the health care system. (Perry 25)
Personally, I have always been very attentive, as in the health care, for my family. If there were a weird disease that I did not understand, I would go and look up the information. From there, my interest led to the treatment of the disease and weather or not the disease was curable. This fascination of the human body led to my have a huge interest in biology. With my study in biology, I tried to use what I have just learned and practice it whenever I had the opportunity. In being the "attentive health care person" at home, I enjoyed the felling of making a person feel better. I could remember as a child hating hospitals and never wanting anything that had to involve one, but as I grew older I learned that my hatred towards the hospital was the terrible felling of seeing sick people. The feeling of not being able to attend to the person’s needs made me anxious because it seemed that there was no hope. That is when I really started to focus on my family’s health. Whether it was running with a band-aid, or a hot soup for my mom when she was sick, the process of their recovery was my enjoyment. This enjoyment was what leads me to my career goal as a nurse.
In choosing nursing as my career goal, I have come to learn that there are many advantages to this widely diverse career. Since healthcare for a patient can vary from mental treatment to the treatment of a critical patient close to death, there are many different kinds of fields and levels in nursing to consider. There are Licensed Practical Nurses, which take care of the patient under the Registered Nurse’s commands, and there are nurses who study a specific area and only focus on that, like a Nurse Practitioner. Nurses can advance, in management, to assistant head nurse or head nurse. From there, they can advance to assistant director, director, and vice president. Increasingly, management-level nursing positions require a graduate degree in nursing or health services administration. They also require leadership, negotiation skills, and good judgment. (Internet)
Depending on what field of nursing you consider will determine how much schooling you will need. For a licensed practical nurse, there are both training programs and an associate’s degree in college, which will lead you to your certificate of an LPN. For a registered nurse, you can either have a bachelor’s degree or you can have an associate’s degree in nursing, then take the state examination, which will give you your registration to become a RN. To go further than a RN, you must go to graduate school, which becomes a total of six to seven years. Then there is also the opportunity to get your doctorates degree in nursing. There are many opportunities in which you can get a quick start into nursing career if you decided to change career goal after you already completed your bachelor’s or master’s degree. (Perry 22-24, Mezey 48)
I am mostly interested in getting a masters degree in nursing but not very sure about which specific field. There are nurse educators, who primarily work in three areas, including schools of nursing, staff development departments of health care, and client education departments. Hospital nurses are one of the largest groups of nurses, they are staff nurses that provide bedside assistance and carry out medical regimens. A clinical nurse specialist works in critical care, acute care, long-term care, and community health care agencies. They also work with the patients, which have cancer and diabetes. Office nurses care for outpatients in clinics, physician’s offices, surgicenters, and emergency medical centers. A nurse practitioner provides health care to clients who are outpatients, from ambulatory care, or community-based setting. A nurse practitioner is broken up into five major practitioner categories, which are adult, family, pediatric, obstetrics-gynecology and geriatric nurse practitioner. Certified nurse-midwife involves independent care for women during normal pregnancy, labor, and delivery and also for the newborn. A nurse anesthetist provides surgical anesthesia under the guidance and supervision of an anesthesiologist. Nurse administrator manages client care and the delivery of specific nursing services within a health care agency. A nurse researcher investigates a problem to improve nursing care. (Hawkins 68, Perry 22-23)
In studying to become a nurse, one must also know that in becoming a nurse, you are becoming part of a team that must work together in order to ensure one hundred percent patient care and treatment. The health care team consists of the physician, who is a professional with earned doctorates in medicine; the physician’s assistant, who is trained to support a physician as needed; the allied health professionals, therapists, whom is licensed to assist in the examination, testing and treatment of physically disabled people who need special exercise to be treated; the pharmacist who is also licensed to formulate and give out medications; the social worker who is trained to counsel clients and their families; and the chaplain, who offer spiritual support and guidance to patients and their families. (Perry 24-25)
Because of my interest in the unity and the well-being of a family, I am considering either Pediatric Nurse or Midwife. A Pediatric Nurse provides care from infancy to young adulthood, focusing on the mental and physical aspect of health and illness. One must learn not only to deal with the child as a patient but one must learn how to deal with the parent as the parent. It is very hard for the parents to see their child suffering in a way that they cannot help, so it is just as important to know how to treat the parent as it is to treat the child who is actually going through the suffering. A Certified Nurse Midwife provides care to women, including prenatal, labor and delivery, postnatal and gynecological care. They focus on natural childbirth and may prescribe drugs or use technology when needed. Love of children, stress management, and people skills are all skills that are needed to perform these jobs. These skills used in the profession not only make your job easier but it will also make it worthwhile for both the child as well as any other person dealing with the issue. I feel that my personal life experiences as a mother allows me to offer more to the patient knowing what they went through and what they are currently going through. (Mezey 143, Internet)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing will be one to the top ten fastest growing professions in the United States in the next decade. By the year 2008, thousands of nurses will be needed. About 450 thousand registered nurses and one 136 thousand licensed practical nurses will be needed. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the number of first-time, U.S. educated nursing school graduates who sat for the NCLEX-RN, the exam taken to get license as registered nurse, decreased by thirty one percent from 1995 to 2002. That is a total of about thirty thousand students less than expected amount.
Number of Candidates Taking the NCLEX-RN® ExamFirst-Time, U.S. Educated Candidates Only
Program 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Diploma 7,335 6,346 5,240 3,978 3,161 2,679 2,310 2,223
Baccalaureate 31,195 32,278 31,828 30,142 28,107 26,048 24,832 24,421
Associates 57,908 55,554 52,396 49,045 45,255 42,665 41,567 39,642
Total 96,438 94,178 89,464 83,165 76,523 71,392 68,759 66,286
A study made by the Journal of the American Medical Association on June 2000, states that the United States will experience a twenty percent shortage in the number of nurses are needed in our nation’s health care system by the year 2020. With fewer nurses the average age of RN has risen and is about forty-two. As those RNs eventually retire, the supply of working RNs is expected to be 20 percent below requirements by 2020. Ninety four percent of all United States Registered Nurses are women, and about four percent of them are men. Ninety one percent of RNs are white, four percent are black, three percent are Asian, and one percent is Hispanic. (Internet)
The result of the shortage of nurses are now causing the existing nurses to leave the profession due to the amount of overload of extra work that is put on them. Studies show that the nurses that attend to the needs of the excessive amounts of patience are going through dissatisfaction and emotional exhaustion. Because of lack of full care to each patient, we are losing more and more patients. With the nursing shortage, more than 126 thousand positions currently remain unfilled. It is also the primary reason for overcrowding in emergency departments. Each registered nurse is now responsible for nine patients at a time, despite the fact that one in four patients are almost totally dependent on nurses. The nurse shortage has not only become an issue here in the United States but in fact, it is an issue in many other countries as well. There nurses being recruited from other parts of the world to come work over here.
In order to improve these conditions, we must understand the need to inform students early in their education about the wonderfully diverse opportunities that nursing can provide. Members of the State Board for Nursing are committed in supporting this attempt through the development of a nurse’s speaker’s bureau. This bureau will provide a pool of qualified nurses prepared to speak to student groups about the nursing profession as a career. Adults who are currently working as nurses' assistants or LPNs interested in moving up the career ladder to an RN would also benefit from financial assistance, enabling them to attend school while continuing to support their families. There are now ways that you can accomplish your master’s degree even on line for those individuals who do not have time to go back to school. This will help the number of nurses increase and look forward into a much more rewarding career in nursing. Without incentives to pursue a nursing education and improvement in the work environment to attract and keep qualified nurses in the hospitals, health care will become in jeopardy.
This great necessity for nurses will later on increase the earnings of the nurse. In New York, in the Bronx, the average annual earnings of a RN is about thirty five to forty thousand a year while a Nurse Practitioner will make about seventy to eight thousand a year. Including benefits and bonuses there is about a fifteen to twenty percent increase. This means that not only will I guarantee a job in the future but I will also earn a great deal amount of money. (Internet)
In doing this term paper, not only did I get a much clearer picture to what my future as a nurse will be but now I have a better chance in planning how to go about it. In the field of nursing, there are many different parts of nursing to consider. Let’s say that after I finish studying to become a Pediatric Nurse and end up not liking the career, there are many ways in which I can go into another career in nursing. I feel that the widely diversified field of nursing is what interests me more. There are all kinds of nurses and many ways to become one. The important part of becoming a nurse is knowing how to plan your schooling so that you, in the long run, are flexible to change just in case. Successful career planning starts with self-assessment: this can make the difference between floundering in a series of unsatisfying jobs and enjoying a rich and rewarding nursing career. In studying the many professions makes this possible.
I feel that nursing is the career for me. To me nurses are intelligent, ethical, creative, imaginative, and courageous people who are willing to take risks on behalf of their patients and are prepared to approach their needs from a scientific perspective. Excellent nurses also are thoughtful, they listen and communicate well, and they willingly assume roles as both team members and leaders. They’re generous, willing to spend time with patients, clients, and colleagues to share their knowledge and expertise. The necessity of helping people and that wonderful feeling of actually having to do with their recovery seems be very rewarding and I really can not wait until I finally have a part of that.
Hawkins W. Joellen and Janice A. Thibodeau. The Advanced Practice Nurse 4th edition.
The Tiresias Press, New York. 1996
Mezey D. Mathy and Diane O. McGivern. Nurses, Nurse Practitioners: Evolution to
Advanced Practice. Springer, New York 1993.
Perry G. Anne and Patricia A. Potter. Fundamentals of Nursing 2nd edition. The C.V.
Mosby Company, St. Louis 1989.
AACN-Media Relations. "Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet". April 21, 2003. www.aacn.nche.edu/Media/Backgrounders/shortagefacts.htm
All Nursing Schools. "Choosing a Nursing Program" and "Types of Nursing Programs".
All Star Directories 2001-2003. www.allnursingschools.com
Million Nurse March: Quick Stats. "Did You Know...".2000.
NurseWeek. "Salary Wizard". 2003.
NurseWeek: Career Advice. "Certified Nurse Midwife" and "Pediatric Nurse".
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