just interviewed for full time office nurse position


  • Specializes in Inpatient psych, Hospice, ED psych, Surgical Care. Has 9 years experience.


I graduated nursing school last May. I have been doing sub school nursing so far. I have prior office exp as an MA, not as a nurse. I interviewed today for a office nurse position today for a three doc practice, I would be the only RN, and they have MA's as well. I will be mainly doing triage.

The interview went well, and I was asked back for a second interview to meet the docs next week. is there any advice given as to what I should ask the docs, or just as a new office nurse starting out if I am the one to be chosen for the job? Do offices normally offer a triage book to start out? is one nurse for three doctors a lot of work, esp trying to handle all the calls?

This is a former practice that was at one major health system, they are leaving and now they are joining with another major health system.

I just hope I am not too overwhelmed, if I was the one offered the position...

any advice offered would be great. Thank you..

Ayvah, RN

722 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, Specialty. Has 10 years experience.

Its hit or miss whether they'll have a triage book for you. Workload really depends on the doc's schedule, doc's personalities, and if you have additional responsibilities such as nurse visits, ordering supplies, covering MA lunches, etc. Also, sometimes there is a separate department or nurse to do things like prior auths. Check if this is the case as prior auths can take an immense amount of time.Are all 3 docs full time? If they are, but you don't have any other responsibilities, your workload may be OK. Is this a specialty or IM/FM?

Specializes in Inpatient psych, Hospice, ED psych, Surgical Care. Has 9 years experience.

I believe all three docs are fulltime. I dont know much about the staff yet as i am meeting them next week. This practice is internal medicine only. I will have a better idea about things next week. If they dont provide me with a triage book, i may purchase one...i hope they wouldnt mind if i bought one myself. I am the only nurse in the office i do know that. Thnks for your reply!


370 Posts

If there is not a triage system in place, they should at least purchase a book for you. You should not have to purchase it yourself. Improper triage and documentation is a liability for them and you. The triage book by Julie Briggs is very good.

I would ask them what qualities and and skills they feel are important for success in the position. Is there a job description? Ask if you will be doing Coumadin mgmt bc it can be time consuming and can take close monitoring. It's a good skill to learn. Ask how often there are walkins for chest pain and SOB and other acute situations. Who handles insurance and billing issues? Are the providers available in between patients for urgent issues? Some providers don't want to bother with RN questions until the end of the day, meaning you get out late and you get frustrated bc you can't get back to the patient. Fortunately, my providers were available in between patients but you do need to know what can wait and what can 't. That will come. What is the process for refills? Will you be assisting w procedures?

Hope this his helps. Good luck.

Specializes in Inpatient psych, Hospice, ED psych, Surgical Care. Has 9 years experience.

Thank you pfchang for your response. I will ask questions related to the suggestions and questions you gave. You seem like you have great experience working in an office setting as a nurse. :)


370 Posts

I really liked that job in a large FP office, but felt the need to move on after several years. I learned new things every day, but needed a change. I saw a LOT of sinusitis-- ugh -- and got tired of the same patient education topics all the time.

Also ask about case mgmt. We were part of an ACO and had SW and RN case mgrs to call for resource assistance for some patients. That said , there were still several very complex patients who needed so much time in care coordination, it could take hours. Will you be going chronic disease mgmt, DM, COPD, etc? You will learn a lot.

Specializes in Inpatient psych, Hospice, ED psych, Surgical Care. Has 9 years experience.

Thanks for all the info and your help!

Specializes in Inpatient psych, Hospice, ED psych, Surgical Care. Has 9 years experience.

hello again, so i met with the docs and honestly it was not a very productive interview. the three docs seemed stuck on the fact that i am a newer nurse, graduated last May. they compared me to their current nurse who has 20 years exp. I learned that they do not even like her as a nurse so they are seeking out a new one.. i had asked about using a triage book and they said that their previous nurse did not use a triage book because she knew all the questions to ask... okay.. well i happen to think it is a good tool to have imo.

i was asked if i had any family, and how old my child is.. i dont mind being asked that but i do know it is not right to be asked that in an interview. they barely sat down to get to know me because they were waiting for a corporate exec to come by and show them the progress on their newly built office so most of the time they were discussing that right in front of me. I just felt that they judged me right off the bat as a new nurse not knowing much and they assumed i was younger than i am because i look about 25, not 33, they commented on that too.. My nine years exp working in healthcare seemed to not matter to them.

I honestly felt they were a snobby group of people and i do not know if i could see myself working for them. I was asked by one of them if i have a problem being told i am doing something wrong, which i replied, not at all, constructive criticism does not bother me and i am fine with it. one of the docs did not know what school nursing was, since that is what i do right now as a sub school nurse, and she undermined it as not real experience.

When it was over, they got up and started discussing the office renovations so they did not thank me for coming and just the practice manager said goodbye. So i got a bad feeling from them and can figure that i am no longer a candidate for the job. i usually do not complain about things but this was an unusual and unstructured interview for me.. Well i will just keep applying and trying my best to find a full time job. Have a good week! :)


370 Posts

I would run from that job. They should have seen your resume before you were called to interview. Maybe the practice mgr did not share it with the docs but that is a sign of a lack of communication between the decision makers on what kind of experience they were looking for. They sound terrible and maybe it is a good thing it did not work out well in the long run.

Of course, they should not ask about family and any doc who says you do not need triage guidance is nuts. It's liability, for heaven's sake. Keep looking and networking. Are you on LinkedIn? Tell everyone you know that you're looking.

I hope your resume says you have triage experience bc you are doing that in the schools. Make contacts at Peds offices. Good luck.

Specializes in Inpatient psych, Hospice, ED psych, Surgical Care. Has 9 years experience.

Thanks pfchang. They actually did look at my resume, the practice manager gave them all a copy. It does seem like it would not work out and they seem hard to work for. I guess good luck to whoever gets the job...

I am not on LinkedIn. I should look into it. Thanks again for replying... :)


248 Posts

Specializes in peds, allergy-asthma, ob/gyn office. Has 12 years experience.

They do not sound like people I would want to work with every day. I am learning, from my recent return to work in an OB/gyn office... is there should be more than ONE back office person. I am the only nurse doing everything in the back for my doc. And, in my 'spare' time in 15 minute stretches at the end of the morning, or end of day, I get to track abnormal labs and call pts, schedule f/u testing, call back the people with problems. I would run from anything that only has one person to handle this.


1,007 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

No, it's illegal to ask if you have kids because most employers, when choosing between someone with young kids and someone with no kids/older kids they'll pick the candidate who won't call out because the baby is running a fever--again. They can't ask about anything personal specific to family life. If they do ask about hobbies or what you do in your spare time and you mention coaching your kid's soccer team, then you've opened a door, but they can not ask you directly if you have kids.