Director of Nursing Interview Questions

Ready to find your next A-player Director of Nursing? These sample interview questions will help you find the best person for the job. Don’t forget to add questions specific to your company’s position requirements.

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Director Of Nursing qualifications to look for

A Director of Nursing is a registered nurse with healthcare management skills who oversees the nursing personnel and patient services of a healthcare facility. They also take charge of administrative tasks such as record keeping and budgeting.

Your top hire will have significant hands-on experience as well as excellent managerial knowledge. 

This position usually requires a Master’s in Nursing or an equivalent advanced degree in hospital administration.

As directors they must have skills in training, evaluating and recruiting staff as well as administrative tasks. Patient care is their top priority and they are on the front lines when it comes to compliance. 

 📌Don’t forget: Check local legislation as licensure requirements vary per location and job description. 

Keep an eye out for candidates who are:

  • Calm under pressure
  • Strong communicators
  • Powerful leaders
  • Solid conflict resolvers
  • Detail-oriented
  • Compassionate

Top tip: Diversity is key to a thriving workplace. Keep an eye out for management and exec-level candidates from varying backgrounds and aim to eliminate bias from your hiring process.

Role-specific interview questions

  • What was your typical day like as a nurse? What was your patient volume? 
  • What’s your experience in policy-making? Is this a role you’re comfortable in? 
  • Do you think nursing or management skills are more important for a director of nursing? Explain why. 
  • What are the key qualifications you seek when recruiting nurses?
  • How do you onboard newly trained nurses? 
  • What’s your experience in evaluating staff? Walk me through your process. 
  • What checks and balances do you use to ensure the efficiency of nursing operations?
  • What’s your experience with fiscal management? Is this something you feel comfortable handling? 
  • How do you keep that knowledge fresh when it comes to changes in nursing and healthcare policies?

Behavioral interview questions

  • Give me an example of a time you filled in for a higher-level manager. What was your role and for how long? 
  • Tell me about a difficult case you handled as a nurse. How did this help you better train other nurses?
  • Give me an example of a time you improved efficiency in clinical operations. How did your supervisors respond? 
  • How do you handle your unit when you are short-staffed? 
  • Has one of your staff received a negative performance review? What did you do about it?
  • Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with another director. How did you handle it and what was the outcome?
  • Recall a time you made an unpopular decision. How did you get everyone on board with it? 

Problem-solving interview questions

  • What are the steps to resolve a conflict between two members of your staff?
  • How do you handle a nurse who isn’t following your instructions?
  • How do you handle a conflict with a physician? 
  • A distressed family member of a patient comes into your office and starts complaining in a loud voice. What is your procedure to handle this situation? 
  • How would you ensure compliance with legal standards?
  • What team-building methods do you use? How have they been effective? 

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