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Preparing for an Interview for a School Nurse Position

by Kristine Tucker, studioD

School nurses treat minor injuries like skinned knees but are also trained to address more serious medical concerns, such as broken bones, diabetes and communicable diseases. School nurses are often first responders when students get sick or injured, so their role is vital to the well-being of those entrusted to their care. Before interviewing for a school nurse job, it's helpful to research information about the school. You might also think of positive examples from your previous employment to support common interview questions.

Visit the School Website

School websites often list valuable information that might be useful in a school nurse job interview. You might research the population of the school and any specific information about health and safety programs. For example, the website might list the school's policies on communicable diseases, treating lice and playground safety. The website might also include previously published newsletters, so you can get a feel for the student body and ask knowledgeable questions during the interview.

Prepare Workplace Examples

Think of specific work experiences to complement your answers to common school nurse interview questions. The interviewer might ask, "What are your strengths as a school nurse?" or "How would you handle a flu or chickenpox outbreak at the school?" You might discuss specific examples of how you treated, assessed, quarantined and provided patient care, or how you managed outbreaks in the past. By providing well-constructed examples of your previous assessments and medical treatments of students, you come across as an expert in the field who is prepared to handle unforeseen medical issues.

List Interpersonal Skills

Because some student needs are related to emotional and physical demands, such as puberty, unwanted pregnancy, family conflicts, mental illnesses, behavioral issues and disabilities, school nurses often provide counseling in addition to medical treatment. Prepare to answer interview questions about your interpersonal skills and communication strengths. Make a list of your best traits, such as kindness, patience, friendliness, confidence, helpfulness, approachability and ability to solve difficult situations. Review the list before your interview so you can focus on traits that are well suited to the position.

Organize Credentials

The principal, school board or hiring manager might ask to see your credentials, before, during or after the interview. Make copies of your nursing credentials, including your registered nurse certification and any academic degrees, training documentation, continuing education credits, first aid certifications or CPR certifications that might support your qualifications. You might also prepare a list of three to five personal and work-related references that you could provide upon request. Keep an extra copy of your resume and cover letter handy just in case the interviewer requests them.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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