Top 25 NICU Nurse Interview Questions And Answers in 2024

Editorial Team

NICU Nurse Interview Questions And Answers

A neonatal intensive care unit registered nurse is a trained nurse who works in the neonatal critical care unit (NICU). The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a critical care unit where premature or otherwise vulnerable infants are cared.

The NICU is a high-stress environment that requires nurses with compassion, patience, and good communication skills. They must be able to cope with the emotional rigours of the job while also delivering appropriate medical care to their patients.

Below are 25 NICU interview questions to help you ace your interview:

1. What Is Your Strongest Suit As A NICU Nurse?

I’ve been a nurse for several years and understand how to prioritize patients’ requirements to provide professional nursing care. To provide quality treatment, I have learned to be organized and work systematically from experience. I also adore babies and toddlers, and whenever feasible, I offer to babysit my sister’s twin boys.

I enjoy looking after them. I am also a team player with good communication skills, which helps me create relationships with my nursing colleagues and other members of the health team.

2. What Type Of Care Would You Provide For Newborns With Respiratory Distress?

Infants with respiratory distress will require a ventilator to help them breathe. If the baby’s status is steady, I will make sure the ventilator is operating well and or continuously, if it is not stable, monitor the infant’s condition. In addition, I would check other variables like the heart monitor and saturation levels and adjust as necessary.

3. What Would You Do If A Specific Treatment Is Ineffective?

If a baby’s condition is not improving despite receiving treatment, I will speak with the attending physician to get his opinion on why the treatment is ineffective.

To determine whether we might have missed something during the exam or whether the patient might have been given the incorrect diagnosis, I would review the patient’s chart.

If I discover anything that leads me to believe that something else is wrong with the patient, I will raise my concerns with the physician to examine the possibility of changing the prescribed treatment.

4. What Kind Of Equipment Would You Use To Care For A Premature Infant?

Premature newborns have difficulty controlling their body temperature and, depending on the gestation time at birth, are at risk of having respiratory distress. As a result, they will be nursed in incubators or, in some cases, open beds with an overhead heating lamp to keep them warm.

They will also require a CPAP machine to supply oxygen to their fragile lungs. If they are unable to breathe on their own, they will be hooked up to a high-frequency ventilator to keep their airway open.

To provide preemie babies with the best chance of survival, they will also require a cardiac monitor and a SATS monitor for continuous blood oxygen level monitoring.

5. Are You Licensed To Practice Neonatal Nursing?

Yes, I have a neonatal nurse certification. I have vast expertise in  care of babies and their families because I have worked in this profession for more than ten years. I refresh my knowledge by attending conferences and continuing education classes relating to neonatal nursing, and my certification is current.

I’m also certified in pediatric advanced life support (PALS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) (PALS). I can give critically ill babies the finest treatment possible because of these certificates. I also have experience working with high-risk pregnancies and family-centred care.

6. How Would You Handle Parents Who Were Having A Meltdown In The Unit?

When their infant receives therapy, many parents experience mental distress and need help. I find it beneficial to take the parents to the “parent room” in the unit, where I can hear about their worries and check the baby’s treatment plan. I reassure them by explaining that premature infants occasionally take some time to demonstrate improvement.

I also stay calm and explain the baby’s health and prognosis so they feel more in control of what is happening.

7. Which Skills Are Most Important For A Neonatal Nurse To Possess?

Compassion, attention to detail, and good communication skills are the most critical characteristics of a neonatal nurse. Compassion is required to offer the best care for premature or unwell newborns and their families. Attention to detail is important since it enables us to detect small changes in a baby’s condition and intervene promptly if necessary. Finally, good communication skills are required to guarantee that all members of the healthcare team are communicating effectively when giving care.

I feel I possess all of these characteristics. As an experienced Neonatal Nurse, I am deeply committed to assisting newborns and their families during this trying time. I pay meticulous attention to every element of my patients’ situations and keep detailed records to detect any changes as soon as possible. Furthermore, I make an effort to communicate with other nurses and physicians to ensure that everyone is aware of the patient’s needs.

8. What Would You Do If You Disagreed With The NICU Physician On The Prescribed Orders?

That happened to me when I was working in the emergency unit. We were busy because some of our regular staff members were out ill, on top of a large number of walk-in patients. I took a patient’s paperwork and examined the prescription, which did not appear to be correct.

When I called the doctor who wrote the prescription, he insisted on the proper medication dosage. It still didn’t look right to me, so I verified with my supervisor, who called the doctor, and we discussed the prescription.

The doctor realized he had made a mistake and gave the correct prescription amount to the patient. Even though this occurred in the emergency department, I would follow a similar protocol in the NICU unit.

9. Describe How You Prepare A Newborn For Surgery.

My procedure for preparing a newborn for surgery begins with a physical examination of the patient. I go over their medical history as well as any recent lab results or imaging studies that have been conducted. Following that, I will discuss the operation with the parents and educate them on what to expect before and after the surgery.

10. NICU Nurses Must Be Knowledgeable About A Wide Range Of Neonatal Conditions. How Will You Be Able To Stay Abreast Of The Necessary Medical Knowledge?

When I’m not working, I read neonatology-focused medical journals to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the profession. I belong to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses to stay informed on changes and advancements in neonatal care.

I’ve also signed up for a nursing and kangaroo care course for premature infants next month.

11. What Would You Do If You Discovered An Unresponsive Infant In Your Unit?

I would observe the infant calmly, look for signs of breathing, and monitor their pulse and oxygen levels. Then, I would decide whether CPR is required and whether I will require any tools, such as an intubation set.

In addition, I would ask my coworkers to alert the neonatologist so we could jointly decide on the best course of action. As soon as the baby starts to respond to treatment, I would check their vital signs and breathing rate to ensure they are still responding.

12. Working In A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Can Be Stressful. When Not At Work, How Do You Relax?

I like to take my dog for a long walk to unwind after a busy day at work. That allows me to unwind, and the exercise lets me sort out any stress built up after a stressful day. I also enjoy playing football at my local club on Thursdays.

13. What Inspired You To Become A Nurse?

I’d always wanted to work in a field where I could help others while having long-term employment stability. Nursing seems to have provided me with both. I enjoy caring for others and knowing that something I say or do make their day better. I feel that if I work hard and do a good job, there will always be opportunities for me to advance and contribute to a successful nursing career.

14. Do You Prefer To Work During A Particular Shift?

I would relish the chance to work on busy shifts as a novice nurse. I also believe doing this would allow me to hone and expand my skills. I would be pleased to sample the variety on offer if your facility offers alternating shifts.

15. How Would You Sum Up A Neonatal Nurse’s Regular Day?

My day as a neonatal nurse is devoted to giving newborns and their families medical attention. I begin by evaluating the infant’s health and monitoring indicators like temperature, heart rate, and oxygen saturation. I keep an eye out for any adjustments in the infant’s state or behaviour. I then offer comforting techniques like swaddling, rocking, and skin-to-skin contact.

To ensure that parents and other members of the family are at ease and knowledgeable about their child’s health, I also work closely with them. They need to know about good diet, hygiene, and safety procedures. Finally, to coordinate care plans and guarantee the baby’s best outcome, I work with other medical specialists like doctors and lactation experts.

16. What Is The Most Satisfying Part Of Working As A Neonatal Nurse?

The ability to make a significant difference in the lives of newborns and their families is the most rewarding component of becoming a neonatal nurse. As a neonatal nurse, I can care for infants in their first days of life and assist them in adjusting to their new surroundings. It’s tremendously rewarding to be a part of such a significant event in someone’s life.

I also get a lot of satisfaction from offering emotional support to parents during this trying period. Seeing the pleasure on a family’s face when reunited with their baby after a stay in the NICU will never leave me. It gives me great satisfaction to know that my work has made a difference in the lives of these families.

17. How Can You Prevent Personal Issues From Interfering With Your Work?

I understand that there are times when it is more difficult to keep personal issues at bay. When something bothers me or a problem arises, I have learnt to face the issue at home and try to overcome it. Before I go to work, I give myself time to think about what I need to do at work and make a mental game plan for how I will accomplish it. When I deliberately focus on work and establish priorities, I am less likely to become sidetracked by other matters.

18. What Aspects Of Your Personality Would You Like To Improve?

I’m sure there are countless things I could work on about myself. If I had to pick only one, I’d say I’d like to enhance my capacity to set personal boundaries and goals. I am a dedicated and diligent worker. Sometimes I let my desire to do well at work or for others get in the way of completing tasks that are essential for my growth and development.

Sometimes it’s difficult to say no, even if it means cramming my schedule or interfering with my plans or requirements. I believe that if we all learn the value of setting boundaries and working toward personal goals, we will become better people, which will help everyone.

19. How Did You Learn About This Position?

I learned about your company’s potential need for a few extra nurses from a friend at the gym. He praised the company and the level of attention he and his family had gotten over the years. So I went to the company’s website and looked at the available jobs to see if I fit any of the qualifications.

20. What Should You Do If You Don’t Know How To Respond To A Patient’s Question?

If a patient asks me a question to which I do not have an answer, I am forthright with them. I will inform the patient that I am unsure, but I will find the correct answer by consulting with my care coordinator or the doctor, whichever is appropriate. When I get the answer I’m looking for, I’ll let the patient know as soon as possible so he understands that his questions and concerns are important to me.

21. Give An Example Of A Moment When You Had To Offer Care For A Prematurely Delivered Infant.

I recently got the opportunity to care for a preterm delivered infant. This infant was delivered at 27 weeks gestation and weighed barely 1 pound, 8 ounces. As a Neonatal Nurse, I knew that this scenario would necessitate extra attention and care.

My initial aim was to ensure the baby’s safety and comfort. To do this, I continuously monitored her vital signs and made frequent skin-to-skin contact with her mother. I also ensure she was getting enough nutrients by feeding her every two hours.

22. What Would You Do If You Realized Another Nurse Was Negatively Impacting Your Patients’ Care?

If I sensed another nurse was having a detrimental impact on the care of my patients, I would take a step back to examine the issue. I believe it is critical to maintain professionalism and tackle the situation with empathy. After assessing the situation, I would speak privately with the nurse about their behaviour and how it is affecting patient care. I would ensure to provide constructive feedback and suggestions for development during this conversation. Finally, if necessary, I would involve the relevant supervisor or manager to ensure that any difficulties are resolved as soon as possible.

23. We Want To Increase The Number Of Women Who Breastfeed. How Would You Encourage New Mothers To Nurse Their Babies?

As an experienced Neonatal Nurse, I believe that motivating new mothers to breastfeed their newborns is an excellent method to increase breastfeeding rates. As a nurse, I would focus on educating and supporting the mother during her nursing experience.

24. What Distinguishes You From The Other Applicants For This Position?

I think my expertise and qualifications distinguish me from other candidates for this position. For the past five years, I have worked as a Neonatal Nurse in both Level III and Level IV NICUs. During that period, I learned a great deal about neonatal care protocols, as well as how to provide compassionate care to infants and their families.

25. What Software Tools Have You Ever Employed To Enter Patient Information And Monitor Progress?

I have substantial experience using several software applications to enter patient data and track progress. I am acquainted with the most widely used electronic medical record systems, including Epic and Cerner. In my current position, I use these tools regularly to record patient information such as vital signs, prescriptions, treatments, and assessments.


Arriving late for your nursing interview is one of the worst things you can do. Arriving a few minutes earlier is preferable, even if you must wait to be called into the interview room. Being late for an interview creates the impression that you are uninterested in the position.