Taking the state exam and earning your LPN license is the first step to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN. Your Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) interview may be the most important part of your job search. LPNs are in demand, but competition is fierce, and many applicants are equally qualified – so it’s crucial that you stand out from the crowd and prove that you’re worth hiring. Once you have your credentials in hand, you will need to prove to future employers that you have the skills and experience needed to handle on-the-job challenges while demonstrating that you can work well with patients and other staff members. One way to do this is by learning to ace the 25 most common interview questions of Licensed Practical Nurses – and then practicing your answers until they are perfect!
Read on to learn about the top 25 questions LPNs are asked in interviews and how you can use your own experience as an LPN to your advantage when answering them.
1. As a Licensed Practical Nurse, Why Did You Choose This Career Path?
I decided to become a licensed practical nurse because I wanted the opportunity to care for people and make a difference in their lives. I am passionate about helping people lead healthier and more fulfilling lives, and this profession has allowed me to do just that. I am constantly surrounded by people who want to share their stories with me and ask for my advice, which is one of my favorite things about being a licensed practical nurse.
In addition to providing medical care, I also get the chance to connect with patients on an emotional level – something that I find incredibly rewarding. Knowing how much my work means to them makes all the hard work worthwhile.
2. What Do You Like Most About Your Job?
I like that as a Licensed Practical Nurse; I have so much variety daily. For example, on one day, I might be caring for an infant, and on the next, I could meet with a cancer patient and help them work through the physical side effects of their treatment. It’s also challenging; we’re constantly learning new things and updating our skill sets to accommodate patients’ needs. Also, my favorite part of the job is getting to spend time with such diverse groups of people every day. People come from all walks of life, but they’re all united by their need for help or assistance. It’s incredible how quickly I can build rapport with someone after only talking to them for 10 minutes.
3. What Characteristics Should An LPN Possess?
- Communication skills. The LPN is the liaison between the medical team and the patient, so they need to communicate effectively with both parties.
- Technical skills. The LPN should be highly skilled at taking vitals, suctioning, and assisting with procedures.
- Empathy. An LPN needs empathy for their patients; understanding what it’s like for someone sick or going through treatment can help them provide better care and make them more effective caregivers.
- A willingness to learn new things. Technological advances constantly happen, so an LPN needs to keep up with new trends and treatments by seeking continuing education opportunities.
- A desire for job satisfaction. It’s not easy work! If you’re looking for a career that will give you fulfillment and your paycheck, then being an LPN may be right!
4. When Did You Know You Wanted To Be A Nurse?
Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to work with people. I loved the idea of being able to help someone feel better and heal them. Once I started my first job as a lifeguard at the local YMCA, my passion for helping others was rekindled. It made me feel so good knowing I could make someone’s day better by smiling and talking with them. And that’s when I knew that nursing was my career path! So, after volunteering at local hospitals over summer breaks from college, I realized that it was what I had been searching for: the perfect career path where both mental stimulation and physical activity were required every day!
5. What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing Licensed Practical Nurses Today?
- Work-Life Balance: The LPN is always on duty, so they often have less time to spend with their family, friends, and hobbies.
- Regulation: There is no national standard for the LPN profession, meaning that regulations vary by state and employer.
- Long Hours: The LPN’s work schedule can be demanding when there is no break in between shifts or on-call hours outside of regular working hours.
- Low Pay: The median pay for LPNs is $44,230 per year, while RNs earn an average of $71,490 per year; this pay discrepancy has caused many qualified applicants to pursue jobs in other fields where compensation is more competitively aligned with education and experience levels
- Inadequate Training/Hands-on Experience: Although most LPN programs require hands-on training and clinical skills, some employers still offer desk jobs with little to no opportunity for LPNs to hone their practical skills.
6. What Are Your Goals For The Upcoming Five Years?
I hope to be a licensed practical nurse by the age of 25. I am currently taking steps toward achieving this goal:
- I have been working on getting my nursing license for the past two years; I will take the NCLEX-RN exam after graduation, and if I pass, I will be able to work as an LPN.
- I am also enrolled in a BSN program and will start next semester. I hope to finish my LPN degree, get my nursing license, and obtain my BSN in five years.
- Once this is all achieved, I would like to work as an RN at a hospital or clinic.
7. Describe A Moment When You Were Proud Of Your Medical Staff. What Role Did You Play In This Situation?
I was particularly proud of my healthcare team when they made a difficult situation easier for the patient. They helped the patient from feeling overwhelmed and scared. We ensured she had all her questions answered and understood what was happening during surgery.
My role in this situation was to be there for the patient as a friend, or family member would be there for them. Ensuring they have someone close by who can answer any questions and care for their needs. It’s important that we are available to give emotional support, too, so we don’t just act like robots going through the motions with little regard for how our actions will affect the patient emotionally.
I also ensured she had any necessities before surgery, such as water, extra blankets, magazines, etc., so that if something came up during surgery, she would be ready to meet those needs independently.
8. Tell Me About An Instance When A Patient’s Family Was Unhappy With Your Treatment. How Did You Respond To Such A Condition?
I have worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse for four years and have had different experiences with families. Recently, the family of one of my patients called me up and said they weren’t happy with my care. Since she was discharged from the hospital weeks ago, I had not seen the patient, and her family accused me of neglecting her needs. My initial instinct was to fight back and defend myself, but then I realized this was an opportunity to improve. I apologized, took some time off, researched what could have gone wrong, and returned ready to provide better patient care. This situation helped me think about how important it is for nurses to communicate with families daily – we need them so much more than they need us!
9. Tell Me About A Time You Failed. How Did You Deal With This Situation?
I had an interview for a licensed practical nurse position and failed miserably. I was so nervous that my mind went blank when the interviewer asked about my strengths. I knew this was a huge opportunity, but I felt I had been let down after the interview. Afterward, I read up on common interview questions for licensed practical nurses and came up with better responses ahead of time. The next opportunity arose, and I could confidently speak about what makes me great as an LPN.
10. What Do You Find Most Challenging About Being A Nurse? How Do You Overcome This Difficulty?
One of the most challenging aspects of being a nurse is that you never know what to walk into. You could be assisting a patient for an office visit; the next thing you know, they’ve been shot and need CPR. It can be tough to stay composed when all the adrenaline is pumping, and your first instinct is to run away. But if I just take a deep breath, remind myself of my training, and do what needs to be done, I can overcome this difficulty.
11. How Well Do You Perform Under Pressure And During Stressful Situations?
When I have a difficult task ahead of me and pressure is on, I can always rely on my nursing skills and teamwork to get the job done. In the past, I’ve been a part of teams with less skilled members than others. The difference was clear: the more skilled nurses had more focus and better judgment, which resulted in tremendous success for our team. Being able to handle stressful situations with poise is also important – especially regarding managing patients. For example, if a patient has an emergency or is disruptive, I must remain calm while assessing the situation to provide care accordingly.
12. Do You Consider Yourself A Team Player Or An Individual?
I see myself as an individual team player, meaning I’m happy working on my own or as part of a group. I believe people need to be flexible because we don’t know what the future holds, and people change. You might be an individual just starting, but you need more teamwork skills later in your career. For example, suppose you end up designing care plans for a small nursing home with only five patients per shift. In that case, it’s unlikely that any single person would take care of all those patients without some help from other nurses.
13. What Would You Do If You Observed a Coworker Committing a Violation Of Hospital Policy?
I would make sure I had all the facts before confronting them. I would ask them what they were doing when they did it and why they did it. I would try to understand the situation from their perspective and then see if there was anything that could be done differently or better to help prevent this from happening again. If there wasn’t anything I could do, I would bring up my concern with my supervisor so that something could be changed.
14. Tell Me About A Time When You Had To Calm An Angry Patient.
The first time I had to calm an irritated patient was when they were just wheeled into my care. They were yelling at me and telling me they didn’t want help from me because they did not want a kid taking care of them. Luckily, I had been through it before with my previous job, so I knew what needed to be done. I calmly introduced myself and asked them if there was anything I could do for them. They told me they wanted their bed changed, so I quickly grabbed some gloves, went to their bedside table, and started changing the sheets while talking about the weather outside.
15. Tell Us About Your Strengths.
- I am detail-oriented, and it’s not uncommon for me to spend hours on end working on a project requiring careful attention to detail.
- I am also good at managing my time well, which is one of the reasons why I have never been late for work in my life.
- When it comes down to it, I’m just a hard worker who values dedication and effort above all else.
- For this reason, you’ll find that I’m always willing to take on any task, no matter how big or small – finishing it is the only thing that matters!
- Whether answering phones or running errands, getting things done is nothing too complicated or tedious for me.
16. What Was Your Biggest Accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment was becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse. I have always been interested in healthcare and loved the idea of one day being able to work with patients who need my help. This is why I completed an Associate’s Degree in Nursing after graduating from high school. Now that I am working as a nurse and seeing how rewarding it can be, I want others to experience the same thing that has made me so happy.
17. Tell Me About Yourself.
I am a licensed practical nurse who has worked for 5 years and have experience working with clients with disabilities and chronic illnesses. I’ve been able to help clients make progress toward their goals by providing education, encouragement, and support. I am an excellent listener and enjoy collaborating with my colleagues on the best way to meet my client’s needs.
18. What Are Your Weaknesses As An LPN?
One of my weaknesses as an LPN is being too trusting. But in nursing, we’re always taught to be mindful of our surroundings and the people we interact with. So while it may not always seem like a weakness, I’m working on it.
Another weakness would be my ability to multitask. It takes me longer than most people because I get confused and have trouble focusing on multiple things. So when I have a lot going on at work, sometimes the tasks just don’t get done as quickly or efficiently as they should.
19. Why Should We Hire You?
I am a caring and compassionate individual who has been a licensed practical nurse for 10 years. I want to be an asset to your team by providing quality care and working as part of the interdisciplinary team. I believe my experience would be an asset in your business, especially in the role of LPN. If given the opportunity, I will work hard and do my best to provide you with top-notch care!
20. If Hired, How Long Would You Work With This Facility?
I would be happy to work at this facility for as long as needed. I am so excited by the opportunity and grateful that you have seen something in me that makes me a good fit for your team. I am committed to my career and will do whatever it takes to make myself the best LPN possible. I am also willing to learn everything about the hospital, procedures, equipment, etc., so there is no time wasted in orientation because I know that time is valuable.
Licensed practical nurses are professionals who work under the supervision of registered nurses and physician assistants. LPNs help perform various tasks, including taking patients’ vital signs, assisting in treatments, and providing emotional support.
Because of the wide range of duties they perform, it’s important for prospective LPNs to be prepared for interview questions that may not just be related to their education or experience. Above are some common questions that licensed practical nurses may be asked during an interview.