"Discover the Top Answer Strategies to Nail Your 2023 Nurse Interview Question: Why Do You Want to Be a Nurse?"

Why Must You Answer This Question?

It's not just important, it's a necessity to have a response to this query. It's crucial for your interview and essential for your self-awareness too.

Imagine being an interviewer, you have a candidate who appears perfect on paper, impressive academic qualifications, an impeccable nursing school personal statement, and a record of excellence demonstrated in their nursing school application resume. However, in the interview, when asked why they chose this career path, the candidate responds with, "I don't know." The immediate reaction of the interviewer would be to dismiss the candidate. Your entire interview and perhaps even your application, may be ruined if you do not respond appropriately to this question.

This is why the interviewer asks this question. Would you hire someone who doesn't understand why they are applying to become a nurse?

Certainly not! If you were kind enough, you would advise the candidate to take some time to think about their future.

This is another reason why you must have an answer. Ultimately, this is who you aspire to be. You owe it to yourself to give it some thought. The interviewer is asking you to explain not only why you are a suitable candidate but why being a nurse means something to you. Let your connection to this profession shine through.

This question is specifically designed to help the admissions committee assess if you are fit to become a nurse. Your answer to "why" will determine whether you will be a valuable addition to this profession.

Why Do You Have An Interest in Nursing?

Before attempting to answer this question, it is critical to examine your own motivations for pursuing this career. There are an array of reasons why people become nurses, each with their own set of valid reasons. Here are some possible suggestions to help you discover your "why."

Patient Care

A primary factor for choosing a career in nursing is often the desire to care for patients. Nurses spend more time with patients than other medical professionals. They spend twice as long with patients as personal visitors, and almost three times as many minutes with patients as medical staff (physicians, physician assistants, and medical students).

Direct care for patients is the most integral component of nursing. If you enjoy interacting with patients, this could be a critical aspect of your answer as to why you are interested in becoming a nurse.


Nurses collaborate as a team to provide patient care. Although each nurse handles certain patients, they assist each other whenever necessary. Being a part of a team can be fulfilling for many individuals, and perhaps, it's one aspect of nursing that interests you. Knowing that you have support and offer support to others is an added bonus in any career.

Nursing is also part of healthcare, which requires many specialists across various disciplines, and nurses work together with other healthcare professionals to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.

The Challenge

Physically, mentally, and emotionally, nursing is a challenging profession. It requires diligence and perseverance in all aspects of life. Many individuals find challenges stimulating and fulfilling, and letting the interviewer see your hardworking, never-back-down character might be beneficial.

Continuous Learning

Are you a curious individual who enjoys exploring new things? Nursing offers the perfect opportunity.

Nursing is a multifaceted profession, and there is always something new to learn and discover. Whether you choose to work as a travel nurse, in pediatrics, or with the elderly, there is an aspect of nursing that will suit your interests.

Exploration of pure medical knowledge is an intriguing and thrilling area to pursue, especially when it comes to nursing. As they delve into various fields of medical science, opportunities for educational and personal growth are limitless.

Indicating that a nursing career can be gratifying is not entirely selfish, and it can be advantageous to convey this to an interviewer.

Opportunities for Advancement

Being a nurse provides one with diverse medical exposure, leading to a vast knowledge base and possible career paths they may not have previously considered.

Numerous growth opportunities present themselves in the nursing profession. A nurse may aspire to become a nurse practitioner, possessing comparable abilities to an R.N. or R.P.N., with additional powers and duties. For instance, they can diagnose illnesses, order tests, and issue prescriptions, which can be viewed as an intermediate position between nurse and doctor. Don't hesitate to express your aspirations for advancement and professional growth if this is your intent!

Nurses may also choose to explore other medical careers. Though one may be hesitant to verbalize the desire to transition from a nurse to a doctor, these sorts of switches are not unusual. Nurses making this transition have a significant advantage in terms of experience and clinical expertise. Share your enthusiasm and commitment to nursing, as well as your drive to pursue other professional paths. Whether you wish to grow within nursing or beyond, showing ambition appeals to admissions committees.

Need assistance preparing for your nursing school interview and application?

Planning Your Response

While all the aforementioned reasons are valid, just stating them is insufficient. Reasons without passion amounts to mere excuses.

There is a profound rationale behind choosing this profession. Use this question as an opportunity to demonstrate that profoundness and ardour for nursing.

The “why” is the personal connection one has with the profession. You must identify the exact juncture in life when you decided on this profession. Perhaps a family member was a nurse, a friend's hospitalization, and the excellent care provided by the nursing staff dramatically improved their health. Maybe that person was you — a nurse's care helped you recuperate from an illness or injury.

Begin with that life-changing moment when you knew that nursing was the profession for you. Tell the story. Use that incident and show the interviewer that you are the best candidate for admission.

For example, suppose you decided to become a nurse during a hospital stay. Imagine playing field hockey, tripping, and breaking a bone as you fell. Your day was ruined until you reached the hospital. The nurse taking care of you was considerate, compassionate, and humorous, even though you had a miserable day. That memory remained with you throughout your recovery, and you realized how one person's small gestures transformed one of the worst days of your life into one that evoked healing.

Tell that story in detail, beginning with your love for sports and competition. Recall the nurse's name and the things they did that made you feel better.

A personal narrative distinguishes one from the rest of the candidates, provides structure to the response, and shows the admissions board why nursing is significant to you.

Therefore, elevate your rationale beyond "wanting to make a difference in patient care." Tell your story, make it personal, and transform from someone who memorized a good-sounding answer to a desirable candidate.

Structuring Your Response

Start with a stimulating opening statement. Make it short, precise, and set the tone for the rest of your response. A compelling opening could be a catastrophic life event, a significant quote, or a statement that piques one's interest. Think of the beginning lines of your favorite books or movies. They grab the audience's attention ("It was the best of times; it was the worst of times," for example). You want to captivate your listener, not merely say, "I always wanted to be a nurse."

Maintaining a clear structure and utilizing specific tags such as ,


, and can help in conveying your reasons for pursuing nursing. Sharing one or two personal examples that demonstrate your connection to nursing beyond it being just a job can add flair to your statement.

Consider sharing when you first realized you wanted to become a nurse or a specific experience that solidified your decision. Craft a conclusion that succinctly communicates your career goals and how the nursing program can further your aspirations.

To prepare for an interview, avoid memorizing answers and instead focus on fluent storytelling that includes details and interesting anecdotes. Playing out mock scenarios can help your responses sound professional, polished, and authentic.

One example of how to express your passion for nursing could be through showcasing how your desire to help and heal drives your personal and professional goals. Alternatively, you could describe how nursing appeals to the adventurous and challenging parts of your personality and how it allows you to make a difference in people's lives where you're most needed.

Knowing your "why" for pursuing nursing is your compass that can guide your career even during times of struggle. With the insights gained from introspection and the experiences shared during the interview, you can showcase how you and nursing are a perfect fit.

For more helpful tips and guidance, consider subscribing to BeMo's TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, LinkedIn, or Twitter channels.

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