Interview questions I should ask?


Hi there---new to this site. Very glad to have found it.

I have a elementary school nurse position scheduled next week. I've been reading on this forum questions I might expect to be asked......but I am wondering about intelligent questions that *I* should ask during the interview. What do you wish you had asked or known before you were hired? I have never worked in a school before, and I feel like I don't know what I don't know, so consequently not sure what questions I should be asking to feel out if this is really the best fit for me.

I'm an experienced RN (emergency, health dept immunization branch, and case management) but have been a stay at home mom for the past couple of years. I've been a parent volunteer in my kids' elementary school clinic for several hours a week for the past year working with that RN who also provided a recommendation for me, so I have an idea of what the job entails, but a parent volunteer obviously isn't the same thing as a full time position---and I'm not interviewing for that school either.

I'm most nervous about being isolated from professional peers or ending up with an unpleasant principal or teachers.

My interview will be with the Health Services Director. My understanding is that if I do well there, I will meet with a school principal for a separate interview. There are openings at 3 elem schools in my district.

I really want to do this, but it is important to me that's it's a good fit.

So, in retrospect, what questions do you wish you had asked during your interview?


7,735 Posts

Specializes in retired LTC.

Not a school nurse here ...

I have one thought to ask. Would you be part of the teacher's union? (Hint: I'm pro union)?

Some thoughts on things you might like to know. Not sure if they all work for your situation and interview depending on the key players, set up of the district, etc but...:

What do you see as the role of the School Nurse in the school? (This varies so much from district to district and can make a real difference as to whether or not it's a good fit.)

Are there training opportunities available for the School Nurse during the year?

What do you see as the biggest challenge that previous School Nurses have had here?

What do you see as the most important trait a School Nurse needs to have here and what do you see as the most important thing the School Nurse does? (this helps with seeing if there is a personality fit. Good for interviewing with a building principal or parent in an interview)

Hope that helps.

Wave Watcher

751 Posts

Specializes in Community Health/School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

Are you required to stay for inservice days that are for teachers/staff? Some nurses are considered separate from the staff so they are not required to stay those "half days" or the inservice days where kids are out but teachers are at work.

Are you considered a 10 month or 12 month employee and are you paid year round?

How much after hours work is expected? Some nurses provide things like CPR classes for staff after school hours.

One question I would have liked to ask but never would is, "What happened to the last nurse?" :-)

coughdrop.2.go, BSN, RN

1 Article; 709 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing, Public Health Nurse. Has 3 years experience.

I would ask what type of training are you expected to give to staff?

How many students are in each school? Any duties outside of nursing care, training's, and screenings (my last job included that I teach a HIV class to the 8th graders)?

How many days at the beginning of the year will you have to prepare before the first day of school?

Ability to attend workshops/trainings with your local School Nurse Association Chapter?

Retirement? Are you in the Teacher's Retirement Section or are you on your own with a 401K?

Do you have a budget to order supplies?

How long was the last nurse in their position?


7,735 Posts

Specializes in retired LTC.

Another thought as I've seen this on this thread before

Some school nurses are responsible for staff, not just for the emergency stuff.

Oops, another thought.

Some nurses have become responsible for care AFTER SCHOOL HOURS just because they've stayed over.

I know this sounds like you don't want to do work, so I'd be realllly careful questioning these issues., but they're issues for your job's description, malpractice liability and compensation. I'd want to know.

Thank you all for the feedback! My first interview with the director went well, and I move on to principal interview. I was able to incorporate some of these questions into my interview, and it was very helpful! Thank you!