Interview Tips for Accident & Emergency Nursing Jobs

Tell interviewers you're ready to run for the job.
i Chad Baker/Jason Reed/Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
Tell interviewers you're ready to run for the job.

Nurses who work for a mobile trauma unit or in an emergency room rarely complain about being bored. In fact, stress for ER and on-site accident nurses is high and many love the work style. To thrive as a nurse who responds to emergencies and accidents, you’ve got to enjoy the rush of saving lives and be confident in your abilities. Let this confidence shine through in interviews to land one of the fast-paced positions.

Trained for Trauma

When asked about how your training prepared you for this type of nursing career, talk about those skills in nursing school that you excelled in, such as CPR or blood-loss control. Prepare a story from class that provided the impetus for your choice in this career direction. Include information about the extra training you received and be sure to carry a copy of your nursing license as well as any other certifications you’ve earned, such as the Mobile Intensive Care Nurse designation. Mention your membership and involvement in the Emergency Nurses Association.

Stress Test Ace

You’ll be under tremendous stress on the job, so expect the interviewer to ask you how you deal with stress both on the job and in your personal life. Talk about your willingness to express your feelings after a particularly stressful situation with your peers or with a superior. Share that by talking; you don’t keep sadness or anger bottled up. Tell the recruiter about your personal daily care routine that might include activities such as taking a long hot bath after a busy shift, running to relieve pent-up stress or the weekly yoga class you attend.

Shifting Gears

Questions about your ability to shift gears and change directions on the job are designed to see how you react to being put on the spot and to assess your perspective on flexibility, a vital quality needed by emergency nurses. Prepare scenarios that illustrate how you reacted to an emergency situation that changed rapidly while you were in the field on a previous job or talk about how during your clinicals, you were always the one to step in when your peers had a sudden emergency on their hands. Share stories about how you’ve always been flexible and have good coping skills that allow you to go with the flow and do what’s needed at any given time.

On Board with the Team

It’s crucial that emergency room nurses and those in the field responding to accidents can work well with team members. Explain to the recruiter that you are comfortable in a leadership role and can take directions just as easily. Reiterate why you want to be in the field -- to save lives -- and that you will play whatever role is needed at the time. Your confidence in your abilities should speak louder than your need for ego-boosting, something you can tell the recruiter you want no part of. Talk about your ability to laugh at yourself when asked how you get along with others, too, because a good sense of humor is a big plus in the job.

2016 Salary Information for Registered Nurses

Registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $68,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, registered nurses earned a 25th percentile salary of $56,190, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,955,200 people were employed in the U.S. as registered nurses.

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