Nursing School Prep

Avoid These Common Nursing School Application Mistakes

Nursing School PrepApril 10, 2019

Arriving at the decision to apply to nursing school is a big step in its own right. Actually filling out your nursing school application is the next. But even that will not mark the end of the application process. If your application materials are in order, you may still face a nursing school interview. It makes sense, then, to consider the types of nursing school interview questions you might encounter.

Not all nursing programs require an in-person interview. But if yours does, it will definitely be helpful to prepare well in advance. Keep in mind that an in person interview serves several worthwhile purposes. It is a chance for admissions personnel to size up your commitment, preparation, and likelihood of success in what will undoubtedly be a challenging program.

It is also a good way for you to decide if the institution in question is actually a good fit for your goals, personality, and learning style. Furthermore, in-person interviews may be viewed as invaluable opportunities to prepare for the job interviews you will ultimately experience as you look for work, with your shiny new RN license in hand.

First Things First

You have one chance to nail a favorable first impression. That impression may follow you for years to come, so it is best to make sure you put your best foot forward. Several factors help contribute to a good impression. Among others: clothing, punctuality, social cues, and (lack of) distractions.


This should go without saying. It is important to dress appropriately whenever you have an interview, no matter the purpose. Taking the time to dress professionally, in a manner that reflects the position you are seeking, is a crucial component of making a good first impression.

While you may argue that nurses are not fashion models, professionals should always dress to impress. That does not mean dress with flash. On the contrary, your best strategy is to dress somewhat conservatively. The goal is to emphasize your seriousness and allow the interviewer(s) to focus on your résumé, your personality, and your answers to any questions — not on your attire.

You want to walk away with them remembering your words, not your flashy and/or questionable attire. Keep jewelry, scents and other distractions to a minimum. This advice applies to both male and female candidates. Interviewers are not interested in your cleavage — or your chest hair.

Be Early

No excuses. Never, ever arrive late for an interview, no matter its purpose. If you cannot show up on time for an interview that is intended to benefit you, how can you expect others to take your commitment seriously? When you arrive, be sure to look interviewers in the eye, smile, and deliver a firm, purposeful hand shake. All of these can help others form a favorable first impression of you — or not.

Check Your Cell

Turn off, or turn down, your cell phone. Believe it or not, there are still places where these modern devices are unwelcome. Places where you should always stow — or turn off — your cell phone include the theater, church or temple, and an interview for employment — or admission to a nursing program. Failure to observe this advice could portray you in an unflattering light for years to come. Interviewers expect your undivided attention. Give it to them.

Late Application Materials and/or Unprepared for Interview 

Your application process may require you to submit multiple documents, on deadline. If you cannot follow instructions, and take the initiative to get these initial requirements in on time, how likely do you suppose it will seem to admissions personnel that you will be able to follow instructions, do the work, and keep up with the demands of a nursing program once accepted?

Similarly, take some time and thought to prepare for your application interview. Do some basic research on the institution and/or its nursing program offerings. Review common interview questions you might encounter, and prepare your answers or at least consider them. Think of some questions that you can pose to the admissions personnel. They will demonstrate not only your interest, but your preparation. 

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