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Preparing for Your Travel Nursing Interview (17 Questions to consider)

 

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Travel nursing positions can be extremely competitive. Managers will usually receive several profiles for each position posted. If you’re being called for an interview chances are very good the hospital has already reviewed your file and feel you’re a good fit clinically. Now, the next part is to knock it out of the park in your interview and secure the offer!

BE PREPARED

This is the most difficult thing to do. Most of the time interviews are not scheduled. Due to the nature of the business many interviews occur without the agency being aware a manager would be calling. Often this is simply because the manager reviews files and makes calls in between putting out fires. As a result, it can be difficult to schedule a time. That said, it’s important you know the call may come at any time after your file has been sent over. Be sure you know the area code for the hospital so you don’t miss the call whenever possible. If you miss the call be sure to call back as soon as you’re able to. Ideally, you want to eliminate distractions so you’re able to focus. If you need to call the manager back to do this it’s worth it! Just make sure you call back!

The more you know about the job and the area prior to your interview the better your chances for success. Showing the manager you have researched their hospital shows a level of investment on your part that frankly isn’t displayed by most candidates. Set yourself apart from the crowd and familiarize yourself with the hospital and area prior to your interview.

ASK QUESTIONS

Remember you are interviewing the hospital just as much as they are interviewing you. It’s not only important to make a good impression, but also to make sure you have the information you need in order to accept or decline a potential offer. Some questions to ask may include:

  1. What is your nurse to patient staffing ratio?
  2. Why are you bringing in travelers?
  3. What type of ancillary staff are available for support?
  4. (Questions about the size of the unit) How many beds are on the unit? How many OR suites? How many cases per day? Number of deliveries per month? Types of cases? Number of patient visits to ED monthly?
  5. How is the unit set up? (Is Team Nursing or Primary Nursing concept utilized on the unit? CNAs? Unit Clerks? Phlebotomists?)
  6. Has your unit had good experiences in the past with travel nurses?
  7. What shift/hours would I be working if I were brought in for an assignment?
  8. Do most travelers that have worked in your unit extend their assignments?
  9. How are changes to the schedule communicated to staff and travelers if/when they occur?
  10. What is your floating policy?
  11. Are travelers required to work weekends or holidays? 
  12. Is call available and/or required?
  13. What charting system do you use?
  14. Is block scheduled allowed?
  15. Is OT available? (Does it start at 37 or 40 hours?)
  16. Is there any required testing?
  17. What is the orientation process?

This list of questions is in no way exhaustive but each of the questions in this writing will lead to valuable insight of the overall health of the unit.  Do some brainstorming to come up with your own questions before an interview.  Remember, the goal of the interview is to know whether or not this is a position you will accept or decline if the position is offered. Good luck!

 

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Over 1.5 hours of free training on everything travel nursing!

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