A nursing career in a long-term care facility can be fulfilling, particularly when building strong patient connections.
Prepare for your interview by reviewing the questions below, and crafting personalized responses to demonstrate your aptitude for the role.
Long-Term Care Nursing Interview Questions with Sample Answers
Below are questions and example answers for a long-term care nursing interview. Still seeking a nursing job? Explore our nursing job board.
1. Are You Certified In Long-Term Care Nursing?
Most of the time, having the RN qualification is sufficient to be employed in a long-term care facility.
However, specific certifications are available that give you additional qualifications and may set you above the rest of the applicants for the position.
“I have the registered nurse qualification and have worked in another long-term care facility for five years.
While employed, I obtained certification from American Nurses Credentialing Center(ANCC) in gerontology to help me improve my understanding of how to care for elderly patients.
I am also Advanced Cardiac Life Support certified, allowing me to take the lead in emergency situations.
Lastly, I have Basic Life Support (BLS) training to provide basic first aid and CPR when needed.”
2. What Would You Say Are The Most Important Skills A Long Term Care Nurse Should Have?
The interviewer is trying to assess the extent of your skills and capabilities.
Your answer should be based on your best skills but should include communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and time management skills.
“When caring for patients who require long-term care, nurses need excellent communication skills to communicate effectively with patients and other healthcare professionals.
They also need to be able to think critically to assess situations quickly and make decisions on rapidly changing patient needs.
Long-term care facilities can sometimes get chaotic, with multiple patients needing care simultaneously, so the nurse must be organized and detail-orientated.
Problem-solving is also necessary to respond to any unpredictable health concerns a patient may develop.”
3. Describe Your Experience Working With Elderly Patients.
Long-term care facilities often have many elderly residents with unique health challenges.
Therefore, the interviewer must assess your skills and experience caring for this population group. Your answer should convey your experience.
“I have worked with elderly patients for five years. I also studied geriatric conditions and treatments.
I am experienced in helping patients in activities of daily living like bathing, feeding, and dressing.
I also have the necessary knowledge to care for patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke recovery, and provide end-of-life care.
I always try to build good relationships with my patients by listening to their stories and having conversations. I aim to ensure every senior patient feels respected and valued.”
4. What Will You Do If Patient’s Condition Worsens While They Are Under Your Care?
Sometimes, despite your efforts, a patient’s condition will worsen under your care.
The interviewer aims to assess your awareness of the need to be transparent with the patient and family members when a patient’s medical condition worsens.
They also want to see if you can communicate openly and honestly.
“When a patient’s condition worsens, I aim to ensure that everyone involved understands what is happening and feels supported.
I would communicate with the patient and their family about the changes in health status and provide reassurance that I am there to help them through this difficult time.
I would explain all the new treatments and medications the patient may need.
I also take time to answer any questions the family or the patient may have to ensure they feel comfortable discussing their concerns.”
5. What Would You Do If You Noticed Another Nurse Making A Mistake While Caring For Your Patient?
When working in a long-term care facility, the nurse needs to be able to handle conflicts with co-workers that may arise.
The interviewer may ask this question to assess your skills in handling challenges and conflict resolution.
Your answer should show that you will maintain a high standard of care and know how to ensure the patient’s safety, even if it means confronting co-workers.
It would help if you also showed that you value teamwork and are willing to work with others.
“If I noticed another nurse making a mistake while caring for my patient, I would immediately take action to ensure the patient’s safety by correcting any mistakes.
I would speak to the nurse privately in a professional manner to explain why her actions were inappropriate. I believe in open communication and collaboration with other nurses.
We can all learn from each other to provide better patient care. I would document the incident in the patient’s records to prevent similar mistakes from happening again.”
6. Have You Worked With Patients Who Have Dementia Or Any Other Cognitive Impairment?
Long-term care facilities are often home to patients with dementia or other cognitive impairments.
These patients need specialized care, and the interviewer needs to determine whether you can provide care to this patient population.
Your answer should demonstrate your understanding of cognitive impairment conditions and knowledge of how to interact with such patients.
“I have experienced working with patients with cognitive impairment and dementia.
I understand the importance of creating a safe and comfortable environment for these patients while providing medical care and assistance with daily living activities.
I have successfully handled situations where patients are confused or agitated.
I provided the necessary emotional support and care for them.”
7. What Would You Do When A Patient Becomes Agitated And Upset?
Patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s can easily become agitated.
The interviewer must assess if you have the necessary skills to calm agitated patients and help them feel more comfortable and secure.
Your answer should show empathy for the patient’s situation and how you will help them feel better.
“When a patient becomes agitated, I first look for the trigger or any other underlying issues.
I try to understand their frustration and work with the patient to provide a solution to what makes them feel this way.
Often it involves providing emotional support, redirecting their attention through distraction, or using other calming methods like putting on soft music or guided imagery.
I communicate with the patient calmly and reassure them that I can help them.
Sometimes I may need help from other medical staff or a family member to ensure the patient remains safe and well.
I always aim to create environments where patients feel comfortable and supported.”
8. If A Patient Was Experiencing Pain, How Would You Administer Pain Relief?
Older patients often have painful conditions like arthritis.
Managing pain in the elderly population is a specialized skill, and it needs to be assessed by the interviewer.
When answering, describe a specific situation in which you helped a patient manage their pain, and the steps you took to ensure they were comfortable can be helpful.
“If a patient experiences pain, I would first assess the severity of the pain.
Depending on the type of pain and severity, I would administer either pain medication already prescribed by their physician or offer over-the-counter pain medication if suitable.
If the patient already received prescription pain medication and still has discomfort, I would offer non-pharmacological pain relief methods like a gentle massage, hot or cold compress, and relaxation techniques.
I would provide emotional support to calm patients who are anxious due to their pain.
9. When Is It Appropriate To Call A Patient’s Family Member Or Loved One?
When a patient is in long-term care, the family is often not involved in the patient’s routine care. However, they do need to be contacted in certain circumstances.
It is usually difficult for a nurse to decide whether or not to get the family involved in what is happening to the patient.
When you answer this question, show the interviewer that you can handle difficult situations and make good decisions.
Explain what factors you consider when deciding whether to call a family member.
“Calling a patient’s family member forms a part of providing quality care in a long-term facility.
It is important to respect the patient’s wishes, but at the same time, the family needs to be informed about any changes in their condition.
I believe it is important to call the family whenever there is a significant change in patient’s health status or mental abilities.
The family should also be updated on any new treatments and medications prescribed for the patient.
I would also contact the family to offer emotional support when the patient’s health is declining.”
10. Describe Your Understanding Of HIPAA Regulations, And How You Comply With Them.
HIPAA is a set of federal regulations that protect the privacy and security of patient health information.
In a long-term care facility, upholding and preserving the patient’s right to privacy is important.
The purpose of this question is to assess your knowledge of HIPAA, as well as how you apply it in practice.
Example: “I understand that HIPAA regulations are in place to protect the privacy and security of patient health information.
At the long-term care facility where I worked previously, I ensured that all patient records were kept confidential by following strict protocols for storing and accessing data.
I ensured that any conversations about patients or their medical histories were held in private areas. I regularly review our policies to stay current with the latest HIPAA regulations.”
The above are just model answers you need to personalize by adapting them to your circumstances.
Preparing for how you answer the interview questions beforehand will make you appear more confident during the real interview.
Confident answers build credibility in you as a candidate and increase your chances of getting the job offer. Let’s hope you will get it.