Nurse Externship Interview Questions and Answers

Securing a nurse externship can be a significant milestone for nursing students. It provides an invaluable opportunity to gain hands-on experience and develop essential skills in a real healthcare setting. However, before embarking on this exciting journey, candidates must go through a rigorous selection process, including a nurse externship interview.

Also Read: Understanding Nurse Intern Salary

Preparing for the Nurse Externship Interview

Preparing for the nurse externship interview is crucial to increase your chances of success. Besides researching the healthcare facility and understanding its values and mission, you must also anticipate the interview questions that you may encounter.

Here are some common nurse externship interview questions and expert-recommended answers:

1. Tell us about yourself and your passion for nursing.

When answering this question, focus on your educational background, relevant clinical experiences, and personal qualities that make you a suitable candidate for the nurse externship. Emphasize your passion for helping others, your desire to make a difference in patients’ lives, and your commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth.

2. Why did you choose our healthcare facility for your nurse externship?

Highlight your research about the healthcare facility and its reputation. Discuss how the facility aligns with your personal and professional goals. Mention any specific programs, specialties, or patient populations that interest you. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for being part of their team and contributing to their mission.

3. How do you handle stressful situations and prioritize patient care?

Stress management and effective prioritization are crucial skills for nurses. Provide specific examples from your clinical experiences or coursework where you successfully managed stress and prioritized patient care. Discuss techniques such as deep breathing, time management, and effective communication that help you stay calm and focused in challenging situations.

4. How do you ensure effective communication with patients, families, and the healthcare team?

Effective communication is vital in nursing. Discuss the importance of active listening, empathy, and clear, concise communication. Share a situation where you effectively communicated with a patient, their family, or a healthcare professional, ensuring that everyone involved understood the information and felt supported.

5. How do you handle conflicts or difficult situations with patients or colleagues?

Nursing often involves navigating challenging interpersonal dynamics. Demonstrate your ability to handle conflicts with professionalism, empathy, and respect. Share a situation where you successfully resolved a conflict or managed a difficult situation, highlighting your communication and problem-solving skills.

6. How do you stay updated with current healthcare trends and evidence-based practices?

Continuous learning is crucial in nursing. Discuss your commitment to staying updated with the latest healthcare trends, research, and evidence-based practices. Mention professional organizations, conferences, or online resources you utilize to enhance your knowledge and skills.

7. How do you handle feedback and constructive criticism?

Seeking and incorporating feedback are fundamental aspects of professional success. Demonstrate your openness to feedback, willingness to learn, and ability to implement constructive criticism. Share an experience where you received feedback, how you processed it, and how it positively impacted your practice.


Preparing for a nurse externship interview can be nerve-wracking, but with adequate preparation and practice, you can confidently tackle any question that comes your way. Remember to showcase your passion for nursing, and your ability to handle stress, communicate effectively, and navigate challenging situations.

By demonstrating your commitment to continuous learning and professional growth, you will increase your chances of securing a nurse externship and kick-starting your nursing career.