Nurses who specialize in caring for premature or critically ill newborns are called neonatal nurses. These healthcare workers work in hospitals, clinics, and other facilities.
An interview with a neonatal nurse is required before you can provide care for these vulnerable infants. This article will discuss common questions in a neonatal nurse interview and suggest answers. We have provided the top 25 interview questions and answers for the same role; if you prepare them, you will surely clear the interview.
1. Tell Us About Yourself
My name is Tanee, and I am from the USA. I have attended nursing school in the past few years and recently passed the NCLEX-RN exam. My part-time job was working as an LPN in a private facility during the swing shift while in school. While assisting patients in achieving independence, I learned a variety of skills. Now that I hold a nursing license and have had the opportunity to practice in various specialties, I have found that this is the field in which I am most interested in working. If hired, having the opportunity to serve in this role would be a dream come true for me.
2. What Qualities Do You Think NICU Nurse Needs?
A neonatal nurse must possess compassion above all else. Parents can find it difficult to watch their newborns struggle, so neonatal nurses must care deeply about their patients. Another crucial trait is patience. When working with families experiencing stress or anxiety, neonatal nurses should remain calm and patient. This profession is very serious; therefore, a good experience and nursing experience must exist, plus exceptional collaboration, management, and communication skills.
3. Are You Certified As A Neonatal Nurse?
I am presently pursuing my neonatal nursing certification. I began my training last year and will complete the same by the end of this year. Having a certification, in my opinion, is crucial because it demonstrates to potential employers that I am qualified to work with infants. Additionally, it enables you to stay current with best practices.
I plan to have more certifications shortly, which might open more opportunities for me in the same niche. I am hopeful and very excited about this role and eager to learn more for the same.
4. What Do You Think Makes You Stand Out From Other Candidates For This Position?
I have a strong desire to support new parents and their families. I have worked for five years in neonatal critical care units, so I understand the field properly and what it takes to be a successful nurse in this position. In my previous role, I contributed to creating a brand-new training program for newly graduated nurses. It allowed me to mentor others and advance their careers.
My experience makes me unique from others, and I am confident enough to excel in this role. I am very excited to join you as a NICU nurse and assure you of the best results.
5. How Would You Describe Your Typical Day As NICU Nurse?
I always start my day by checking on all my patients to ensure they are content, have enough supplies, and get the care they require. Along with checking their temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate throughout the day, I also monitor their vital indicators. I always let doctors know about any changes or concerns with administering treatment. I might give medications, alter bandages or dressings, and feed infants throughout the day.
6. What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Being A NICU Nurse?
Being a neonatal nurse is most satisfying, especially watching the families you deal with overcome obstacles and share in life’s victories. I specifically recall one family who faced many hardships before their birth. Despite being seriously unwell throughout her pregnancy, the mother and her husband were adamant about having a healthy child. Even though their baby spent several weeks in the NICU, they visited him daily.
It was such a happy moment when they finally brought him home. After everything they had to go through, seeing how content they were truly made me realize how fulfilling our work can be.
7. Provide Us With An Example Of A Time When You Had To Provide Care For An Infant Who Was Born Prematurely?
In my prior role as a neonatal nurse, I was responsible for caring for various infants who were delivered early. I remember a day when I took care of a baby boy who was born at 25 weeks gestation. Due to having some issues during her pregnancy, the baby’s mother had to deliver him early. He was born weighing barely 1 pound, 5 ounces, so the other nurses and I had to take special care of him. He received round-the-clock care from us, including feedings every two hours and medicine administration. He gained weight and was able to return home after three months.
8. If An Infant In Your Care Developed A Life-Threatening Condition, How Would You Remain Calm And Focused?
When I was a neonatal nurse three years ago, there were multiple cases of premature newborns getting serious illnesses. One of them included a newborn girl who experienced respiratory distress syndrome. We began giving her antibiotics and placing her on oxygen right away. I stayed with her the entire night, checking her vital signs and ensuring that the medical team gave all the required treatments. She thankfully recovered in just two days.
9. What Would You Do If You Noticed Another Nurse Was Having A Negative Impact On The Care Of Your Patients?
I think it is critical to keep the office atmosphere positive and friendly. I would discreetly discuss my concerns with the nurse if I saw she was negatively affecting the care of my patients. I would say that I want everyone to function as a cohesive unit so that we can deliver the greatest treatment possible. I will ensure that there is anything I can do to help them or simplify their job.
10. How Well Do You Perform Under Pressure? Can You Mention Any Example From Your Previous Job: You Had Limited Time To Complete A Task?
Even when I have a short time to complete a task, I am very good at remaining calm and focused. My previous job required me to care for multiple babies at once on numerous occasions. For example, one night, I cared for three babies who all needed to be fed simultaneously. While it was difficult, I remained calm and fed each baby separately so that they received adequate nutrition.
11. Do You Prefer Working In A Fast-Paced Environment Where You May Have To Multitask?
In my previous job, I had to multitask between several different tasks due to the large number of patients that came through the emergency department at one time, which made me very comfortable working in a fast-paced environment. To keep track of the waiting patients, I wrote down their information on paper and then put it into the computer when I had time, for example, when I was helping one patient.
12. How Do You Handle A Situation Where You Disagree With Another Member Of The Medical Team?
At first, I would listen carefully to what my colleagues say and try to understand why they disagree. If their reasons for disagreeing with me are valid, I will consider changing my mind. In contrast, if I felt strongly about my position, I would explain my reasoning to them and offer to find a compromise.
13. Do You Have Experience Administering Medication To Infants? If So, What Is The Youngest Age To You Have Been Given Medication To?
I have vast experience in administering medications to infants. During my previous job, I was in charge of the same. I gave medication to children as young as two days old. I would weigh the baby before each dose and record the weight on a chart so we could track his progress. It was a great working experience throughout my career.
14. When Is It Appropriate To Seek Outside Help For An Infant?
Before referring a patient, I always try to assess the situation. If I notice any signs of distress or the baby’s condition deteriorates, I immediately contact my supervisor or another neonatal nurse for assistance. For example, one of my patients was born with a heart defect. He appeared healthy at birth but began having breathing difficulties after a few hours. I informed my supervisor to check on him, and she determined that he required immediate surgery.
15. We Want To Improve Our Breastfeeding Rates. How Would You Incentivize New Mothers To Breastfeed Their Infants?
I believe that providing support to new mothers during this time is critical in assisting them in developing healthy breastfeeding habits. I would put in place a system that allows nurses to provide feedback on which mothers are having difficulty breastfeeding so that we can provide additional assistance. For example, if a mother is having difficulty latching her baby, I may advise her to take a class or hire a lactation consultant.
16. Describe Your Process For Preparing An Infant For Surgery.
Before preparing the infant for surgery, I always ensure all necessary supplies are available. The list for the same includes ensuring sufficient sterile drapes, gowns, gloves, and masks for everyone in the operating room. I also inspect the surgical instruments to ensure they are clean and ready to use. Finally, I review the patient’s chart to confirm their identity and if the surgeon has given them any special instructions.
17. Which Software Programs Have You Used To Enter Patient Data And Track Progress?
I have used various software programs throughout my career, but I have found that EMRs are the most efficient for entering patients’ data and tracking their progress. In my previous company, we used an EMR program, allowing me to enter all relevant information about a neonate’s health history, including medications and vital signs. It made everything simple to monitor each baby’s progress and ensure that nurses followed the doctor’s orders.
18. What Do You Think Can Be The Most Important Aspect Of Maintaining A Patient’s Privacy?
Maintaining a patient’s privacy is one of the most important aspects of the NICU Nurse’s role. I understand that some families prefer to remain in the room while we care for their child, but I always ensure a curtain separates them from others, so they do not see anything. I also never discuss a patient outside the hospital’s premises unless the patient’s parents permit me.
19. How Often Do You Update A Patient’s Medical Records?
I ensure to update the patient’s medical record at least once per shift, if not more frequently. It helps me to stay organized and ensures that I don’t overlook anything important when updating the file. For instance, at my previous job, I was in charge of updating the files of two twin patients. As they were born prematurely and required constant monitoring, I had to update their files each hour.
20. If There Is A Disagreement Among The Members Of Your Care Team About How To Best Treat A Patient. How Do You Resolve The Issue?
I believe in collaboration among my colleagues. If there is any disagreement about treating a patient, I would first listen to each member’s opinion. Then, I would discuss what we already know about the patient and why they are here. Finally, I would ask for their input on which course of action they think is best.
21. What Equipment Can Prove Helpful For A Premature Infant?
In my role, I would use a CPAP machine to provide oxygen to premature infant’s lungs. I used a high-frequency ventilator to keep infants’ airways open who couldn’t breathe independently. I also used a heart monitor to check infants’ heart and breathing rates and a blood pressure monitor for infants who needed continuous monitoring. Through this equipment, I was sure enough about the fact that all premature infants had a good chance of survival.
22. You Have An Infant Who Isn’t Responding To Current Medical Interventions. What Course Of Action Might You Take?
The first thing I will do is stay calm and stabilize the baby. I would then examine the baby, checking their pulse, oxygen levels, breathing, and blood pressure. Depending on their unresponsiveness, I would decide whether additional equipment and CPR are required. To determine the best course of action, I might consult my seniors, colleagues, and the concerned neonatologists. I would monitor the infant’s breathing and vitals once they become responsive to treatment to ensure they keep responding to ongoing treatment.
23. What Strategies Do You Use To Handle Distraught Parents?
My previous job as a neonatal nurse in an infant care facility exposed me to a wide range of parents who frequently expressed concern about their infant’s health. Many of these parents frequently became emotionally distraught and required much emotional support. I discovered that providing emotional support could be beneficial by listening to their concerns and offering to answer them at my best. I would frequently describe the treatment process to them and, if permitted, even let them see their infants.
24. As A Neonatal Nurse, You Would Be Responsible For Monitoring A Variety Of Conditions That Might Affect An Infant’s Early Life. How Might You Ensure That Your Medical Knowledge Is Accurate?
Any niche must keep itself updated and aligned with the latest trends. I read peer-reviewed medical journals on neonatology to learn more about current trends. I have enrolled as a member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, which keeps me prepared and updated about the latest innovations and developments in the field. Last year, I also participated in a training program to use an artificial womb. In my previous role, I used that knowledge to assist neonatal nurse practitioners in treating premature infants.
25. Do You Have Any Questions?
If you can assist, I have some questions.
- On average, how many patients come, and how many doctors and staff do you have to treat them?
- Are you concerned about my candidacy?
- How do you manage workload, for example, if an incident causes a large rush?
- What are the prospects for this position?
- If hired, when can I start?
NICU nurse is an advanced practice registered nurse with at least two years of bedside experience in a Level III NICU and is prepared to practice across the continuum. They provide primary, acute, chronic, and critical care to neonates, infants, and toddlers up to the age of two. It is a very delicate profession; therefore, the selection process might be difficult compared to other medical selections. We have presented the top 25 interview questions and answers for NICU nurses, which can help you in the interview process. They might not all work for you, but as we said, they are top and common, and you will surely benefit greatly. It depends on luck, the job nature, and the interviewer.