17 Nursing Professor Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a nursing professor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Nursing professors play a vital role in the education of the next generation of nurses. They develop and teach courses, mentor students, and conduct research to advance the nursing profession. If you’re interested in becoming a nursing professor, you’ll need to have a strong academic record, nursing experience, and the ability to answer nursing professor interview questions in a way that demonstrates your qualifications.

Nursing professors are in high demand, so you’ll need to stand out from the crowd to get the job you want. In this guide, we’ll give you some tips on how to prepare for your interview, including how to answer common nursing professor interview questions.

Are you currently working on any research projects related to nursing?

Nursing professors often conduct research to help advance the field of nursing. Interviewers ask this question to learn more about your background in research and how it can benefit their program. If you are currently working on a project, explain what you’re researching and why it’s important. If you aren’t conducting any research at the moment, consider mentioning some ideas for future projects.

Example: “I am currently working on a study that looks at the effects of sleep deprivation on nurses’ performance. I’m hoping my findings will help other nurses understand the importance of getting enough sleep each night. My goal is to provide evidence-based information so that nurses know they can rely on me as a resource when they have questions or concerns.”

What are some of the most important skills for a nursing professor to possess?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you possess the skills necessary to succeed in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your strongest skills and how they relate to nursing education.

Example: “I believe that one of the most important skills for a nursing professor is an ability to communicate effectively with students. As a nurse, I have worked with many different types of people from all over the world, so I am used to communicating with others who may not speak my language or understand my culture. This skill has helped me teach students from diverse backgrounds as well.”

How do you create an inclusive learning environment for your students?

An inclusive learning environment is one that welcomes all students, regardless of their background or identity. Nursing schools want to ensure they’re creating an inclusive learning environment for their nursing students and hiring a professor who can help them do so. In your answer, explain how you create an inclusive learning environment in the classroom.

Example: “I believe it’s important to create an inclusive learning environment where everyone feels welcome and safe. I make sure my classroom is free from any offensive language or behavior. I also encourage my students to be open with me about their backgrounds and identities, as this helps me better understand what resources I need to provide for them. For example, if a student tells me they are transgender, I will refer to them by their preferred pronouns and offer extra support when needed.”

What is your teaching philosophy?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer your teaching style and how you can help students succeed. You can describe what motivates you as a teacher, how you plan lessons and how you encourage student success.

Example: “I believe that every student has the ability to learn and succeed in my class. I try to create a positive learning environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their ideas. In my last role, I noticed that many of my students were nervous about speaking up in class. So, I started holding weekly group discussions where everyone had to participate. This helped students get more comfortable with public speaking and gave them practice for when they would have to speak in front of a larger audience.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to manage a difficult student issue.

As a nursing professor, you may have to address student issues from time to time. The interviewer wants to know how you handle these situations and if you can resolve them effectively. Use your answer to highlight your problem-solving skills and ability to communicate with students.

Example: “I once had a student who was failing my class. I met with the student one-on-one to discuss their performance. They told me that they were having trouble in the lab because of their equipment. I asked them what kind of equipment they needed and they said they wanted more computers for the lab. I spoke with the department chair about getting new equipment for the lab. We purchased five new computers for the lab, which helped all the students.”

If a student asked you for advice about a career change to nursing, what would you tell them?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you might advise students who are considering a career change to nursing. Use your answer to highlight your communication and interpersonal skills, as well as your ability to inspire others.

Example: “If a student asked me for advice about changing careers to nursing, I would first ask them why they want to make this transition. If it’s because they enjoy helping people or working in healthcare, then I’d tell them that nursing is a rewarding career choice. However, if their reason for wanting to become a nurse is more practical, like needing a job or wanting to get out of debt, then I’d encourage them to pursue another field where they could use their existing skill set.”

What would you do if you noticed a student consistently falling asleep in your class?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you would handle a challenging situation. In your answer, try to show that you are willing to take action and hold students accountable for their behavior.

Example: “If I noticed a student falling asleep in class, I would first ask them if they were feeling ill or experiencing any other issues that could be causing them to fall asleep. If they said no, I would give them an assignment to complete outside of class. This way, they would have something to do while I was lecturing so they wouldn’t fall asleep again. If they fell asleep again after completing the assignment, I would send them to the dean’s office.”

How well do you handle constructive criticism?

As a nursing professor, you may need to provide constructive criticism to your students. Interviewers ask this question to see how well you can handle negative feedback and use it to improve yourself. In your answer, explain that you are willing to give and receive constructive criticism. Explain that you know it’s important to learn from both positive and negative feedback.

Example: “I understand that receiving constructive criticism is an important part of learning. I am always open to hearing what my students have to say about the course or their experience in the class. If they have any suggestions for improvement, I take them seriously and consider implementing changes if appropriate. Likewise, I am happy to provide constructive criticism when necessary. I believe that providing honest feedback helps students grow as professionals.”

Do you have any experience working with students on clinical assignments or internships?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your experience working with students and how you can help them succeed in the classroom. Use examples from your previous teaching experiences to highlight your skills as a teacher, including your ability to communicate clearly and provide constructive feedback.

Example: “In my current role as a nursing professor, I have worked with many students on clinical assignments throughout their education. In one of my classes last semester, I noticed that several students were struggling with an assignment where they had to create a care plan for a patient. I met with each student individually to discuss their progress and offer advice on how to improve their work. By doing so, I was able to help all of my students complete the assignment successfully.”

When teaching a large lecture class, how do you make sure everyone is engaged?

Nursing professors often teach large lecture classes, so interviewers want to know how you plan your lessons and keep students engaged. Show them that you can use different teaching methods to ensure all students understand the material.

Example: “I always start my lectures by asking questions to get students thinking about the information I’m going to cover. This helps me gauge who understands the topic and who may need more help. Then, I’ll go over the basics of the subject before moving on to more complex topics. In this way, I make sure everyone is prepared for the next lesson. I also encourage students to ask questions during class so they feel comfortable speaking up when we’re working in groups or labs.”

We want to increase our online presence. How would you use social media to promote our nursing program?

Social media is a great way to reach potential students and promote your nursing program. Employers want to know that you have experience using social media for marketing purposes, so be sure to highlight any strategies you’ve used in the past.

Example: “I would use our school’s Facebook page to post regular updates about what’s happening on campus. I’d also create an Instagram account for our nursing program and share photos of current students and recent events. I think it’s important to show prospective students what life as a student at this institution looks like. I’d also start a Twitter account for our nursing department and regularly tweet links to articles relevant to nursing.”

Describe your process for grading exams and assignments.

Interviewers want to know how you grade exams and assignments, as well as the criteria you use for grading. This question helps them understand your teaching style and assess whether it aligns with their expectations. In your answer, describe your process for grading exams and assignments in detail.

Example: “I give students a rubric that outlines my grading criteria before they take an exam or complete an assignment. I also provide them with feedback on their work within two weeks of receiving it. For each exam, I grade based on the rubric, but if there is a discrepancy between what the student wrote and what they actually answered, I will re-grade the exam. If I notice a pattern of discrepancies, I may require additional training for the student.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a unique skill set or background. You can answer this question by describing your most relevant experience and how it will help you succeed in this role.

Example: “I am passionate about educating nursing students, which is why I chose to pursue a career as a professor. In my current position, I’ve developed several innovative teaching methods that make complex concepts easier for students to understand. My goal is always to ensure that every student understands the material so they feel confident when taking their certification exam.”

Which nursing specialty interests you the most and why?

Interviewers ask this question to determine if you have a passion for nursing and which areas of the field interest you. They want to make sure that you are excited about teaching in their program, so they also want to know what aspects of your specialty you enjoy sharing with students. When answering this question, try to be honest about your interests while also showing enthusiasm for other specialties.

Example: “I am most passionate about working as an emergency room nurse. I love helping patients who need urgent care, and I find it rewarding to work on a team that can save someone’s life. In my experience, many nurses feel similarly about their jobs, but each specialty has its own unique challenges and rewards. I think it is important to understand all sides of nursing before deciding on a career.”

What do you think is the most important skill for nurses to have?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and how your skills align with nursing. You should answer this question by explaining what skill you think is most important for nurses to have, but also why that skill is so important.

Example: “I believe the most important skill for nurses to have is empathy. Nurses are constantly working with patients who are in pain or experiencing emotional distress. Having empathy allows me to connect with my patients on an emotional level and understand their feelings. This helps me provide better care because I am able to anticipate their needs.”

How often do you update your clinical skills?

As a nursing professor, you must be able to keep up with the latest developments in your field. Employers ask this question to make sure that you are committed to continuing your education and professional development. In your answer, explain how you stay current on new research and advancements in your field. Share any certifications or training programs you have completed recently.

Example: “I am always looking for ways to improve my clinical skills. I just finished an online course on wound care management, which taught me some new techniques for treating different types of wounds. I also regularly attend conferences where experts share their knowledge about the latest treatments and technologies. I find these events very helpful because they allow me to learn from other professionals while networking with them.”

There is a new treatment for a common illness that requires frequent visits to the doctor’s office. How would you address this in your class?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to adapt and teach new information. A good answer will include a specific example of how you would explain the treatment process to students, as well as how you would help them understand the importance of following doctor’s orders.

Example: “In my last position, I had a student who was required to visit their primary care physician every week for a certain illness. The student was very diligent about attending class but often arrived late because they were at the doctor’s office. I spoke with the student privately and asked if there was any way we could accommodate their schedule. They told me that they needed to be in class by 10 am each day so they could take notes. We worked out a plan where they would arrive five minutes before class started and leave immediately after it ended. This allowed them to get all their work done while still meeting the requirements of their doctor.”


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