If you’re considering a career in nursing, you may have been asked, why do you want to be a nurse?
This seemingly simple question is often crucial to interviews for nursing school and job positions. Let’s explore the best answers to this question for 2023 and tips on approaching it in interviews. We’ll also provide information about our Pre-Nursing Internship Program and the CRNA profession. Are you ready to dive in? Let’s get started.
Why Do You Want to Be a Nurse?
Nursing is a rewarding and diverse career, but it’s essential to clearly understand your motivations before embarking on this journey. “Why do you want to be a nurse?” aims to uncover your passion, drive, and dedication to the profession. Here are some of the best reasons to consider:
Making a Difference in People's Lives
One of the most gratifying aspects of being a nurse is the opportunity to positively impact patients’ lives. As a nurse, you will provide care, support, and education to patients and their families, helping them navigate their health challenges.
Diverse Career Opportunities
Nursing offers a wide range of career paths, from traditional bedside nursing to specialized roles like CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist). You can also choose from various work settings, such as hospitals, clinics, schools, and home health care.
Job Stability and Growth
The demand for nurses is growing, and the profession offers excellent job security. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7% growth in registered nursing jobs between 2021 and 2030.
Nursing is a profession that requires continuous learning and professional development. As medical knowledge and technology advance, nurses must stay up to date to provide the best possible care.
Teamwork and Collaboration
Nurses work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, pharmacists, and therapists. This collaboration fosters a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie, which can be fulfilling for many individuals.
Preparing for the "Why Do You Want to Be a Nurse?" Interview Question
When preparing for your nursing interview, it’s essential to reflect on your reasons for choosing this career. Here are some tips to help you craft a compelling response:
- Reflect on Your Experiences and Motivations: Consider the moments or experiences that led you to pursue nursing. This might include personal or family health experiences, volunteering, or previous healthcare roles.
- Be Genuine and Honest: Your answer should be heartfelt and genuine. Avoid giving cliché answers or simply repeating what you think the interviewer wants to hear.
- Highlight Your Strengths: Use this question as an opportunity to showcase your strengths, such as empathy, communication skills, or adaptability. Explain how these qualities will make you a successful nurse.
- Make It Personal: Share a story or anecdote that illustrates your passion for nursing. This can make your answer more memorable and engaging.
- Keep It Concise: Aim to provide a clear and concise answer, ideally no longer than one to two minutes.
Sample Answers to “Why Do You Want to Be a Nurse?”
Here are a few sample answers to inspire you:
Answer 1: “I want to be a nurse because I’ve always been passionate about helping others. Having a sibling with special needs, I saw firsthand how compassionate healthcare professionals could impact patients and their families. This experience inspired me to pursue a career in nursing, where I can make a difference in people’s lives every day.”
Answer 2: “I was drawn to nursing because of the diverse opportunities it offers. I’m excited about the potential to explore different areas of healthcare and work in various settings, from hospitals to community clinics. I also appreciate that nursing encourages lifelong learning, which aligns with my commitment to personal and professional growth.”
Answer 3: “During my time as a volunteer at a local hospital, I realized the profound impact nurses have on patients and their families. I was inspired by their dedication, empathy, and ability to provide comfort during challenging times. As a result, I want to be a nurse to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives and contribute to a supportive healthcare team.”
Answer 4: “I have always admired the resilience and adaptability of nurses. They must quickly adapt to changing situations and prioritize patient needs while juggling multiple responsibilities. My strong problem-solving skills, adaptability, and ability to remain calm under pressure make me well-suited for a nursing career, and I’m eager to use these strengths to improve patient care and outcomes.”
Answer 5: “I want to be a nurse because I believe in the power of holistic care and patient advocacy. I’m committed to understanding and addressing my patients’ physical, emotional, and social needs and advocating for their best interests. In addition, nursing provides a unique opportunity to forge strong connections with patients and their families, allowing me to provide personalized, patient-centered care.”
Answer 6: “For me, nursing is the perfect combination of science and compassion. I’ve always been fascinated by the human body and how it functions, but I also want a career that lets me to connect with people personally. Nursing offers the opportunity to apply my scientific knowledge while building meaningful relationships with patients and their families. This blend of technical expertise and emotional intelligence drew me to the profession.”
Answer 7: “I want to be a nurse because the collaborative nature of the healthcare team inspires me. Nurses work alongside physicians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive patient care. My strong communication and teamwork skills will allow me to contribute effectively to this interdisciplinary approach, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes.”
Answer 8: “Nursing is a profession that offers the opportunity to create positive change within the community. As a nurse, I can provide individualized care to my patients and participate in health promotion, disease prevention, and community outreach efforts. This broader impact on public health is one of the main reasons I’m drawn to nursing as a career.”
Answer 9: “I want to be a nurse because I am passionate about lifelong learning and professional development. Nursing is an ever-evolving field with constant advancements in medical knowledge, technology, and best practices. I look forward to engaging in continuous education and learning from my colleagues and mentors to always provide patients the highest quality of care.”
Answer 10: “I was inspired to become a nurse after witnessing the exceptional care my grandmother received during her battle with cancer. The nurses who cared for her demonstrated clinical expertise, incredible empathy, and kindness. Their support significantly impacted our family’s experience during a difficult time. I want to be a nurse to provide that same level of compassionate care and support to others in their time of need.”
These sample answers demonstrate various motivations for pursuing a nursing career, such as personal experiences, the opportunity for growth and development, the desire to make a difference, and the appeal of working in a collaborative healthcare environment. Reflecting on your reasons for wanting to be a nurse will help you craft an authentic and compelling response to this important question.
Pre-Nursing Internship Program
Our Pre-Nursing Internship Program is an excellent opportunity for students considering a career in nursing. These programs provide hands-on experience and exposure to various aspects of nursing, helping students solidify their decision to pursue this profession. Participating in a Pre-Nursing Internship Program can help you:
- Gain Practical Experience: Internships offer valuable real-world experience, allowing you to apply classroom knowledge in a clinical setting.
- Network With Professionals: Internships allow connecting with experienced nurses and other healthcare professionals, which can benefit future job prospects.
- Strengthen Your Resume: A Pre-Nursing Internship can make your application stand out to nursing schools and potential employers, demonstrating your commitment to the profession.
- Develop New Skills: Working in a healthcare setting allows you to develop essential nursing skills, such as communication, critical thinking, and teamwork.
To learn more about the Pre-Nursing Internship Program and explore available opportunities, schedule an appointment with IMA.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) specializing in administering anesthesia. CRNAs work in various settings, including hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, and dental offices. To become a CRNA, you must:
- Obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or another appropriate bachelor’s degree.
- Pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
- Gain at least one year of experience as a registered nurse working in acute care.
- Complete an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program, typically a Master’s or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.
- Pass the National Certification Examination (NCE) from the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
CRNAs enjoy high autonomy and are well-compensated for their expertise. If you’re interested in pursuing this advanced nursing specialty, consider gaining experience in critical care nursing and researching accredited nurse anesthesia programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common nursing interview questions?
In addition to “Why do you want to be a nurse?”, some common nursing interview questions include:
How do you handle stress in the workplace?
Can you provide an example of a time you dealt with a difficult patient or family member?
What is your greatest strength as a nurse, and how does it benefit your patients?
How do you stay current on the latest developments in nursing and healthcare?
How can I stand out in my nursing school application?
To stand out in your nursing school application, consider the following tips:
- Highlight your relevant experiences, such as volunteer work, internships, or healthcare-related jobs.
- Emphasize your academic achievements and commitment to learning.
- Obtain strong letters of recommendation from professors or supervisors who can attest to your potential as a nurse.
- Write a compelling personal statement showcasing your nursing passion and unique qualities.
How can I prepare for a nursing job interview?
To prepare for a nursing job interview, consider these steps:
- Research the organization and its nursing philosophy to tailor your responses.
- Review common nursing interview questions and practice your answers.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer about the position, workplace culture, and expectations.
- Dress professionally and arrive early to make a positive first impression.
Exploring Different Nursing Career Paths
Besides becoming a CRNA, you can explore various nursing career paths. These specialties cater to different interests and skill sets, offering diverse opportunities within the nursing profession. Some popular nursing career paths include:
Pediatric Nurse: Pediatric nurses care for infants, children, and adolescents. They work in various settings, such as hospitals, pediatrician’s offices, and schools, and often work with other healthcare professionals providing comprehensive care to young patients.
Emergency Room (ER) Nurse: ER nurses work in fast-paced, high-stress environments, providing immediate care to patients experiencing emergencies. These nurses must be adaptable, quick-thinking, and skilled in managing various medical conditions.
Oncology Nurse: Oncology nurses specialize in caring for patients with cancer. They work in various settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and hospice care facilities. Oncology nurses collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop and implement treatment plans, support patients through the cancer journey, and manage side effects related to treatment.
Psychiatric Nurse: Psychiatric nurses, also known as mental health nurses, specialize in caring for patients with mental illnesses or disorders. They work in various settings, such as psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, and residential treatment centers. These nurses play a crucial role in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients and providing support and education to patients and their families.
Geriatric Nurse: Geriatric nurses specialize in caring for older adults, addressing the unique healthcare needs and challenges associated with aging. They work in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home healthcare. Geriatric nurses must be knowledgeable about age-related conditions and skilled in providing compassionate care to older patients and their families.
Nursing Degrees and Certifications
To pursue a nursing career, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate education and certifications. Nursing degrees and certifications vary based on the level of nursing you’re interested in and the specialty you want to pursue. Some common nursing degrees and certifications include:
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): An ADN is the minimum educational requirement for becoming a registered nurse (RN). This two-year degree program covers foundational nursing skills and prepares graduates for the NCLEX-RN exam.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): A BSN is a four-year degree program that provides more comprehensive nursing education, covering advanced nursing concepts, leadership, and research. BSN graduates are often more competitive in the job market and may have more opportunities for career advancement.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): An MSN is an advanced nursing degree that typically takes from two to three years to complete. MSN programs allow nurses to specialize in a specific area, such as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse educator and often require a BSN for admission.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): ADNP is the highest level of nursing practice education, focusing on clinical leadership and advanced nursing skills. This degree program typically takes three to four years and prepares graduates for leadership roles in healthcare settings and advanced practice nursing roles.
Nursing Certifications: In addition to obtaining a nursing degree, you may choose to pursue certifications in various nursing specialties. Certifications demonstrate your expertise in a specific area of nursing, enhance your professional credibility, and could increase job opportunities and higher salaries.
Some examples of nursing certifications include:
- Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN)
- Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)
- Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN)
- Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse (PMHN)
- Gerontological Nursing Certification (RN-BC)
Preparing for a Successful Nursing Career
To set yourself up for a successful nursing career, consider the following tips:
Seek out mentoring and networking opportunities: Connect with experienced nurses and nursing organizations to gain insight into the profession, develop your skills, and expand your professional network.
Stay current on industry trends and advancements: Stay up to date with the latest nursing research, best practices, and innovations by attending conferences, participating in continuing education courses, and reading nursing journals.
Develop strong communication and interpersonal skills: As a nurse, you’ll work closely with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals. Effective communication and people skills are essential for building trust, providing quality care, and collaborating with your team.
Practice self-care and stress management: Nursing can be a demanding and emotionally challenging profession. Develop healthy coping strategies and prioritize self-care to prevent burnout and maintain your well-being.
Consider pursuing higher education and certifications: Advanced degrees and certifications can enhance your professional growth, increase your earning potential, and open new career opportunities in nursing.
Nursing Education: Tips for Success
Pursuing a nursing degree can be both challenging and rewarding. Here are tips to help you succeed in your nursing education:
Stay organized: Develop a system for organizing your class materials, notes, and assignments. Use a planner or digital calendar to keep track of important dates and deadlines.
Develop effective study habits: Find a study routine that works best for you, whether it’s studying alone or with a group, using flashcards, or creating mnemonics. Consistently dedicating time to reviewing course material will help you to retain the information and perform better on exams.
Engage in active learning: Actively participate in class discussions, ask questions, and collaborate with your peers. Active learning can enhance your understanding of the course material and help you develop critical thinking skills.
Seek out clinical experience: Gain hands-on experience in a clinical setting through internships, volunteer work, or part-time nursing assistant positions. These experiences can help you develop practical nursing skills, build your professional network, and provide valuable insight into nursing.
Take advantage of academic resources: Utilize resources offered by your nursing school, such as tutoring services, academic advising, and writing centers. These resources can provide additional support and help you excel in your coursework.
Join professional nursing organizations: Membership in professional nursing organizations can provide valuable networking opportunities, access to educational resources, and support for your nursing career. Some organizations to consider joining include the American Nurses Association (ANA), the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA), and specialty-specific organizations.
Transitioning from Nursing School to the Workforce
Transitioning from nursing school to the workforce can be exciting and challenging. Here are tips in navigating this transition successfully:
Obtain your nursing license: After completing your nursing degree, you’ll need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to obtain your nursing license. Ensure you adequately prepare for the exam and familiarize yourself with your state’s licensing requirements.
Build a professional resume and cover letter: Create a well-organized, professional resume and cover letter highlighting your nursing education, clinical experience, and any additional skills or certifications.
Prepare for job interviews: Research common nursing interview questions and practice your responses. Be prepared to discuss your education, clinical experience, and any challenges you’ve faced in your nursing career.
Network with nursing professionals: Attend nursing conferences, job fairs, and networking events to connect with nursing professionals and potential employers. Networking can help you discover job opportunities and receive valuable advice from experienced nurses.
Consider a nurse residency program: Nurse residency programs provide new graduate nurses with additional training, mentorship, and support as they transition into the workforce. These programs can help you build confidence, develop your clinical skills, and adapt to your new role as a nurse.
Continue learning and professional development: Pursue continuing education opportunities, attend conferences, and participate in professional development programs to enhance your nursing skills and stay current on industry trends.
Seek feedback and mentorship: Regularly seek feedback from experienced nurses and mentors to identify areas for improvement and develop your nursing skills. Mentorship can provide valuable guidance, support, and insight into nursing.
The Importance of Interprofessional Collaboration in Nursing
Interprofessional collaboration is crucial for delivering high-quality patient care and improving patient outcomes. Effective collaboration between nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals fosters a team-based approach to patient care and ensures that each patient’s unique needs are met.
Here are some strategies for promoting interprofessional collaboration in nursing:
Develop effective communication skills: Clear and concise communication is essential for successful collaboration among healthcare professionals. Practice active listening, provide timely feedback, and adapt your communication style to different situations and team members.
Participate in interdisciplinary team meetings: Regularly attend and actively participate in interdisciplinary team meetings to discuss patient care plans, share information, and collaborate on patient care decisions.
Engage in collaborative learning: Participate in interprofessional education and training opportunities to learn the roles and responsibilities of other types of healthcare professionals and develop a shared understanding of patient care.
Embrace a team-based approach to patient care: Recognize the value of each team member’s expertise and work collaboratively to develop and implement comprehensive patient care plans.
Promote a culture of collaboration and respect: Foster a supportive and inclusive work environment where all team members feel valued and respected. Encourage open communication, constructive feedback, and shared decision-making.
Understanding the Nurse's Role in Patient Advocacy
Patient advocacy is a fundamental aspect of nursing practice. As a patient advocate, a nurse ensures that patient’s rights are upheld, their needs are met, and they receive the best possible care.
Here are some key components of patient advocacy in nursing:
Empower patients: Provide patients with the information they need. This helps them to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Encourage patients to ask questions, express their concerns, and support their right to choose their care.
Respect patients’ autonomy: Acknowledge and respect patients’ rights to make their own healthcare decisions, even if they differ from your own beliefs or professional opinions. Recognize and address any potential biases or assumptions that may influence your interactions with patients.
Collaborate with patients and families: Work closely with patients to develop and implement individualized care plans that reflect their preferences, values, and goals. Liaison between patients and other healthcare professionals to facilitate communication and collaboration.
Identify and address barriers to care: Be aware of potential barriers to care, such as financial, cultural, or language barriers, and work to address these obstacles to ensure that patients receive the care they need.
Advocate for patient safety: Actively promote a culture of safety within your healthcare setting by reporting errors, near misses, and unsafe practices. Participate in quality improvement initiatives and advocate for evidence-based practices to improve patient safety.
Uphold ethical principles: Maintain a strong ethical foundation in your nursing practice by adhering to the principles of beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, and justice. Be prepared to navigate complex ethical dilemmas and advocate for patients’ best interests.
Exploring Advanced Nursing Roles and Specialties
Nursing is a diverse profession with numerous advanced roles and specialties to consider. Pursuing an advanced nursing degree or certification can open up new career opportunities and enable you to specialize in your area of interest.
Here are some popular advanced nursing roles and specialties:
Nurse Practitioner (NP): Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who deliver primary and specialty care to patients. They can diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, and order diagnostic tests. NPs can specialize in family medicine, pediatrics, or geriatrics.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): These advanced practice nurses administer anesthesia and provide pain management services to patients undergoing surgery or other medical procedures. They work in various settings, including hospitals, surgery centers, and dental offices.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS): A CNS is an expert in a specific area of nursing practice, such as adult health, pediatrics, or mental health. They focus on improving patient care and outcomes by providing direct patient care, implementing evidence-based practices, and serving as clinical leaders and mentors within their healthcare setting.
Nurse Educator: Nurse educators are responsible for teaching and mentoring the next generation of nurses. They can work in academic settings such as nursing schools or clinical settings, providing staff education and professional development.
Nurse Researcher: Nurse researchers conduct scientific research to improve patient care, healthcare delivery, and nursing practice. They may work in academic institutions, healthcare organizations, or research institutes, collaborating with other healthcare professionals to develop and implement research projects.
Nurse Informaticist: Nurse informaticists specialize in the integration of nursing, information technology, and data management. They play a crucial role in designing, implementing, and evaluating health information systems, ensuring that they support safe, effective, and efficient patient care.
Nurse Case Manager: Nurse case managers coordinate care for patients with complex health needs, working closely with patients, families, and providers to develop and implement individualized care plans. They also focus on resource management, cost containment, and patient advocacy.
Nurse Midwife: Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) are advanced practice nurses who specialize in women’s health, providing care during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. They also offer gynecological care, family planning services, and well-woman care.
By exploring these advanced nursing roles and specialties, you can find a fulfilling career path that aligns with your interests, skills, and professional goals.
As you reflect on the question, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” consider the diverse nursing career paths, degrees, and certifications available. Understanding your motivations and pursuing the appropriate education and experiences can prepare you for a fulfilling and successful nursing career.
Remember to explore opportunities like our Pre-Nursing Internship Program and advanced nursing roles to gain valuable experience and insight into nursing. If you’re interested in learning more about healthcare education and internship opportunities, visit our internships page or schedule an appointment with IMA to discuss your options.
To further explore nursing careers, consider these additional resources:
- Nurse Practitioner vs. Physician Assistant: What’s the Difference?
- Nurse Practitioner vs. Medical Doctor: Comparing the Two Careers
- Top Nursing Specialties: A Comprehensive Guide to Popular Nursing Careers
- Accelerated Nursing Programs: A Fast Track to Your Nursing Career
Remember, the journey to becoming a nurse can be challenging, but you can achieve your goal with dedication and perseverance. Reflect on your motivations, consider the various nursing opportunities available, and use resources like the Pre-Nursing Internship Program to help you succeed in your nursing career.