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Director of Nursing interview questions and answers

These Director of Nursing interview questions will help you look for the most important skills and qualifications in your candidates. Use them as a guide and adjust to your needs.

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director of nursing interview questions

Director Of Nursing Interview Questions

Directors of nursing are registered nurses who have skills and training in healthcare management (often accompanied by a master’s in nursing). When evaluating candidates, you should be looking at two aspects: their hands-on experience in nursing and their managerial acumen.

Superior expertise in nursing is vital to direct patient care and oversee clinical operations. As directors they must have skills in training, evaluating and recruiting staff as well as administrative tasks (record-keeping, budgeting etc.). Commitment to excellent patient care and compliance is vital.

During the interview, discuss their nursing experience. Ask behavioral or situational questions inspired by real cases to assess leadership, teamwork and problem-solving. Look for candidates who keep calm under stress and demonstrate they can resolve conflicts. If the position has a specialty area like admissions or recruiting, tailor your questions accordingly. Often, their job may involve strategic planning so make a point to discover their relevant skills.

Operational and Situational questions

  • What would you do if a nurse wasn’t following your instructions?
  • How would you resolve a conflict between two members of your staff?
  • A angry family member of a patient comes into your office and starts complaining in a loud voice. How do you handle this?
  • What team building methods do you use?
  • How would you ensure compliance to legal and quality standards across all nursing units?
  • Imagine you’re having a conflict with a physician. What would be your approach to resolve it?

Role-specific questions

  • What do you look for when recruiting nurses?
  • What’s your experience in evaluating staff?
  • How do you ensure efficiency of nursing operations?
  • What do you do differently when managing newly trained nurses as opposed to experienced ones?
  • What kind of patients did you deal with as a nurse?
  • What’s your experience in policy-making?
  • Do you think nursing or management skills are more important for a director of nursing?
  • What’s your experience with fiscal management?
  • Do you miss your duties as a nurse? How do you keep that knowledge fresh?

Behavioral questions

  • Tell me about a difficult case you handled as a nurse. How would you train your subordinates to handle similar cases?
  • Give me an example of a time you improved efficiency in clinical operations
  • Tell me about a time one of your staff didn’t get a positive performance review. What did you do about it?
  • Give me an example of a time you filled in for a higher level manager
  • Tell me about a time you were short-staffed. How did you ensure patient care standards were met?
  • Recall a time you made an unpopular decision. How did you ensure it was followed through?
  • Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with another director. What did you do?

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