3 Example Answers To “Why Did You Choose Nursing As a Career?”

a picture of business person and why did you choose nursing as a career

Why did you choose nursing as a career? Interview questions like this one feel like a trick question. It’s open-ended and puts you on your feet. The reality is that you chose a nursing career because it is a secure job to go into, and it pays well. But that’s not what you should tell your interviewer.

When interviewers ask questions like this one, they’re searching to learn more about your passion for the job. They want to know what makes you uniquely positioned for the role. Plus learning how your verbal communication skills are based on how long your response is.

Let’s go through what a good answer looks like, what a bad answer looks like, and how you should customize your response to be tailored to you.

Related: 7+ Best CNA Interview Questions & Answers

What Should Go In Your Answer To “Why Did You Choose Nursing As A Career?”

When you’re thinking about a response to this question, it should contain:

  • A unique attribute that explains who you are and why you are there. This can be a small personal story or some simple way to personalize the response. For example, your parent is a nurse.
  • Conveying that you have a passion for the position. Your answer should be enthusiastic and specific to the employment opportunity. Pick an attribute that’s apart of the job you particularly care for. For example, patient care.
  • A simplified response. Ideally, your response to this question is less than 60 seconds. If it’s over 90 seconds, you should revisit your answer. An answer over 90 seconds will convey that you lack verbal communication skills.
  • If you can, bring up a skill or strength. This is going to be difficult in a 60 second time limit. But if you can, bring up one of your “soft skills”. This would be your ability to be adaptable in the workplace or your attention to detail and how that matters to patients.

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3 Examples Of Bad Answers To This Interview Question

To give you an idea of what a bad answer to this interview question looks like, here are a few examples:

Example one

“I wanted to get into nursing because I knew that I would be able to get a job anywhere I moved. There are hospitals all across the country, and I felt like that was a great idea to get into nursing.”

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Example two

“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, so I decided to go into nursing. But I’m happy that I’m here now!”

Example three

“Nursing seemed like an easy profession. I’m usually up late hours anyway, and I was comfortable with working overnights. So I decided to look into nursing as a career and decided to go with it.”

As you can see from these answers, they lack enthusiasm for the position. Additionally, they may be perceived as a sort of “backhanded” comment to the interviewer. Remember, you don’t know the interviewer's background. And you could say something that they take some offense to. For example, mentioning that you didn’t know what to do with your life and nursing seemed easy.

Related: School Nurse Job Description: Salary, Duties, Skills

3 Examples Of Good Answers To This Interview Question

Here are a few examples of good answers to this interview question. Before you read further, it’s important to note that you should never use these as-is. It would help if you customized your answer based on your own background and reason to get into this career. Take time to practice your answer with a family member or friend before your interview.

Example one

“When I was a young child, I was admitted into the hospital for an injury. I remember being so scared. But there was one person who made me feel incredible. It was a nurse; her name was Jackie. I remember feeling at ease when she was around. It had a big impact on my life. Since then, I knew I wanted to be just like her.”

Example two

“I believe in empathy. For me, empathy is one of the largest characteristics of humans. We have the choice to either be empathetic or not. And that’s unlike any other animal. I want to bring empathy with me every time I come into the hospital. My passion for empathy brought me toward wanting to get a career in nursing at a young age.”

Example three

“My family has always been in the medical field. I grew up with a parent who was a doctor and a brother who ended up being a surgeon. Growing up in this type of environment, I recognized the important role that nurses play. And at the age of 14, I was able to see first hand what a medical environment looked like. Since then, I knew I wanted to be a nurse.”

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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