Advice for Family Practice RN Interview- questions to ask and prepare for ?

Specialties Ambulatory


  • by ivyleaf
    Specializes in Ambulatory Case Management, Clinic, Psychiatry.

Hi all!

I have an interview @ a (suburban) family practice clinic in a couple days and was hoping I could get some advice on things to ask/look out for during the interview, as well as questions to prepare for!

I have been a nurse (RN) for 2 years; however, I have spent them working only PT or per diem, as I have been completing my bachelor's degree (in psychology, long story..) full-time for the past 2 years. Also, I have only worked in psych--so my medical background is limited.

I love psych, but in my job search fervor, I applied to a handful of community health & primary care clinics, as I have always had an interest in that area, and because the job market is such that I couldn't count on a full-time psych job that would meet my needs. I am excited about the opportunity, as it would be a great way to get some medical experience without doing med/surg, and explore primary care (I am interested in both FNP and Psych NP programs for the future).

*So*, I would love any advice on questions I should ask and things I should prepare for in the interview. I have heard/read a lot about clinic nurses having to (regularly) stay late after their shifts to finish documentation, or be frantically faxing prescriptions and manning the phones for the entire shift. What has been your experience, and how would you suggest (delicately) exploring this issue in the interview?

Also, the pay is low (HR said they "ran the pay rate for my experience" and it was 22.70...$5 dollars less than what I make now @ my hospital job (base pay, not PD), and $2-3 less than my other psych job, *but* the hours are 3 days 8-5 and one day 8-8 -- I'm assuming no w/e and holidays..the ad specifies either an RN or LPN could take the position. --- How flexible do you think they might be (if I was to ask for 24 or 25?)

I know I will gain a lot more info during the interview when I see the facility & speak with the other nurses, but I would love your input!!


ekm, BSN, RN

35 Posts

Specializes in Pulmonary/Endocrine.

Let me tell you that this is not a "piece of cake" position, especially at a Family Practice which I am assuming is from birth thru the dying process. Having a back ground in Phych is a great tool,,, you will definitely speak to a variety of pts, family and other medical professionals, and understanding the complex backgrounds will make you a definite asset. (imho) What you bring to the table is most important, confidence in your abiltiy to assess the complaint whether on the phone or in clinic, and to streamline that info to the physician is the most important. I can't speak for everyone, but your skills as a "customer realtions rep" is key in your sucess in a private practice. I found that I used my "therapuetic listening" training a whole lot more in private practice. As for the $$, I can not say, I am an LPN and make comparable to LPN's in LTC, with guaranteed hours, holiday pay and no week-ends. The practice I work for has been here for 30 plus years. Try to find out a little history about the practice and make sure you ask them questions pertaining to that, find out how many pt's the docs see each day, learn who is responsible for the phones, if you must do everyones job, then you need to be compensated for it.............It my opinion you wouldn't be out of line for asking for what you make now,,,,, especially since you are an RN.....What ever you do, Good Luck!



366 Posts

Specializes in Ambulatory Case Management, Clinic, Psychiatry.


Thank you so much for your input!! I have been checking this thread incessantly for a response all evening! I feel pretty confident with my assessments, although I will definitely need to review some medical nursing beforehand. I feel that I am very good at streamlining info for the physician, as I have held a charge nurse position where I do a lot of admitting and need to consult with the on-call NP before each admission. Where did you work before you obtained this position?

How long have you worked in family practice, and what do you find are your favorite and least favorite aspects of the position?

Thanks so much,


ekm, BSN, RN

35 Posts

Specializes in Pulmonary/Endocrine.

Hi Ivy, funny thing I have only worked in private practice..........first job was at an OB/GYN practice with about 9 docs to take care of. I got alot of my confidence in that job, learned a little more about myself as a nurse and moved on towards a Pulmonary Practice, and this was probably the best experience as far as juggling everything since I dealt almost 100% with the patient from intake onward, the only thing I did not do was make follow-up appts for them..........I scheduled all their tests, triaged the phone calls, did your basic vitals..performed spirometry, walk studies, allergy injections, and acted as the key liason between the doc and pt, as well as Durable Med Equipment Companies,,,,,,,,I was a the sales person as well as the service person!! Right now I'm working in Internal it. While we only deal with adults the contact with the various family members is constant... You sound like you can multi-task, and as long as you like people, private practice is very rewarding........Your patients become a part of you and when they are doing great you laugh and give them high 5's and when they aren't you cry and offer yourself as a listener...Clinical experience is great but you may not see as much in private practice, but that just depends on what their scope is....Good Luck, its fun!!


This is great advice, I have an interview this week and I'm really looking forward to it now. I feel Ive got loads to talk about and I can expand on all of the above. Thank you.

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