It takes a special individual to work alongside ailing children. Pediatric nurses specialize in the medical care of young patients ranging from infants to teenagers. They typically work as part of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals to:
- monitor healthy child development
- administer vaccines and immunizations
- provide patient care throughout treatment
When recruiting and hiring a new pediatric nurse, it’s important to identify a candidate with the right skillsets, training, and passion to be successful. First, we will dive into the specific skills a pediatric nurse should have. Then we’ll share strategic interview questions to ask a pediatric nurse candidate.
What Skills Make a Successful Pediatric Nurse?
Similar to other nursing roles, pediatric nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who have earned an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing and who are licensed to practice. They may opt for additional training in child development, child psychology, neonatal care, oncology, or other child-focused specialties. Individuals who want to dedicate themselves to the pediatric field can also become certified with the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB), although this isn’t a requirement.
In addition to training and education, pediatric nurses should possess skills that help them navigate caring for young patients, including:
- Compassion: Visiting a physician’s office or hospital can be scary for small children. They may feel overwhelmed. Through compassionate care and patient advocacy, pediatric nurses can help children:
- navigate new stressors
- overcome medical fears
- understand clinical concepts
- Interpersonal strengths: Pediatric nurses often liaise between their supervising physicians, young patients, and the patient’s parents or guardians. To do this, they need to be strong communicators. Pediatric nurses should be able to:
- connect with their patients
- establish trust with patient families
- build bridges between them and the medical team
- Calm under pressure: Pediatric nurses support patients of all ages and need to be prepared to stabilize a child in critical care or provide life-saving interventions at a moment’s notice. On top of this, they need to relay information to concerned parents, which requires patience and steadiness when delivering difficult news.
- Time management: Pediatric nurses often work in children’s hospitals or pediatric wings where they care for patients of varying ages and ailments. These nurses must be able to prioritize their schedule while ensuring all patients are cared for and all parent questions are answered.
25 Crucial Pediatric Nurse Interview Questions
Hiring nurses during an ongoing nursing shortage can be challenging, but asking the right interview questions can help ensure a candidate and organization are aligned. In addition to general nursing interview questions, it’s important to ask situational and behavioral questions that help you assess their pediatric skills and competencies.
Pediatric Nurse Interview Questions to Assess Compassion:
- What made you want to become a pediatric nurse?
- What is your previous experience providing medical care to children?
- How would your pediatric patients describe you?
- How would the parents/guardians of your pediatric patients describe your care?
- What steps do you take to gain a child’s trust and help them feel comfortable in a healthcare setting?
- How do you offer compassionate care to a child who is facing a chronic or life-threatening diagnosis?
- What strategies do you use to deal with parents who are anxious or inconsolable about their child’s prognosis?
- Do you have experience caring for children with behavioral issues?
- How do you provide quality care when a child is acting out?
- What is your previous experience providing care to children with physical or mental disabilities? How did you adapt your approach to providing care?
Pediatric Nurse Interview Questions to Assess Communication:
- How do you communicate health information or care instructions to parents and their patients in an age-appropriate way?
- What steps do you take to ensure that parents understand complicated diagnoses or care instructions for their child?
- Have you had to advocate for a young patient who was unable to communicate their needs or pain level to their supervising physician? How did you advocate, and what was the result?
- Have you had an uncommunicative patient before? How did you assess their pain levels and ensure they were cared for properly?
- Do you take action to educate parents on child development and safety? Why is this a critical aspect of a pediatric nurse’s role?
- Share how you prepare and administer medications to a child.
Pediatric Nurse Interview Questions to Assess Temperament:
- What strengths do you bring to your pediatric care teams?
- Describe a situation when you had to handle disagreeable or upset parents/patient families. How did you handle the conflict?
- How would you respond if a parent was unsatisfied with the care you provided to their child?
- Share a time when you disagreed with the care or decision made by a team member or supervising physician. How did you raise your concern, and what was the outcome?
- Have you previously worked with other healthcare disciplines to provide holistic pediatric care? How did you work collaboratively to provide a cohesive patient outcome?
Pediatric Nurse Interview Questions to Assess Time Management:
- What time management strategies do you implement to ensure all of your patients are cared for despite a busy pediatric ward/practice?
- How do you perform under pressure?
- What coping techniques do you rely on to manage stressful situations or competing priorities?
Finally, it’s always good to ask about long-term goals.
- Where do you see your nursing career in 5 years?
Hire a Pediatric Nurse with Insight Global
Recruiting the right pediatric nurse can significantly enhance your healthcare facility, shaping how children and parents perceive healthcare and ensuring they stay well-informed about child development. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify a candidate who genuinely cares about their profession and possesses the right mix of technical and interpersonal skills. Asking these strategic pediatric nurse interview questions can help you find the best possible candidate.
Need Help Finding a Pediatric Nurse?
Put our Joint Commission-accredited healthcare staffing services to the test. Questions? Call us toll-free: 855-485-8853