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Columbia Nursing Interview Questions

Advice & Insight From Nursing Interview Specialists

General Interview Information

The MDE (Masters Direct Entry) program offers a full-time and accelerated Nursing program aimed at college graduates from non-nursing degrees. It permits them to become registered nurses within the space of just 15 months, and is therefore attractive and competitive. This program ‘prepares students in the provision of evidence-based nursing care with an emphasis on care coordination and religio/cultural care to patients along the wellness/illness continuum and across all care settings.’

You will leave the program as a masters-credentialed registered nurse, holding a Master of science in Nursing (MS) and able to sit the nationwide licensing exam for nurses.

Interview Format for Nursing at Columbia

Key Dates

The application deadline is likely to be early October, based on previous years’ deadlines. In general, applications will open in June for a program that commences in the following year. All applications are reviewed by an admissions committee composed of faculty, program directors, and admission staff. For the MDE program applications commence in July rather than June.

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Columbia explains that it ‘considers all components of the application during the review process. This, in turn, is a balanced review of the applicant’s experiences, attributes, and academic metrics which determines the value of the applicant as a nursing student in one of our programs.’ You should therefore prepare for an all-round interview looking into you as a whole person, likely to be focused more on your personal attributes and experiences than on specifics of the Nursing profession – although be ready for the typical questions about why you’re interested in the degree itself as well.

Motivation and Insight into Nursing

  • Why do you want to be a nurse?
  • Why are you interested in becoming a nurse rather than a doctor?
  • Why do you want to study an accelerated program like our Master’s degree?
  • Are you interested in a particular area of nursing?
  • How can you link your undergraduate degree to the Nursing program at Columbia?

Ethical Dilemmas

  • If you were to catch a classmate stealing, what would you do?
  • Imagine that one of your fellow classmates comes to you and explains that they have been dating one of your senior lecturers. The lecturer in question is a respected academic with a great deal of sway over others in the university. You ask your classmate about this, and they say that ‘it’s brilliant, as they’ve guaranteed that I’ll get good marks in any program that they’re linked to.’ Your classmate does not appear to acknowledge that this is a problem. How do you respond and how do you deal with this situation?
  • Imagine that one of your friends at college has begun dealing drugs. They are studying Medicine. However, they argue that dealing drugs is an efficient way of funding their degree, as they have limited time available outside of their studying. How would you deal with this situation?

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Communication & Teamwork Stations​

  • What one situation in your life made you realise the value of good communication skills?
  • Have you ever found that your communication skills helped you, or others that you were working with, out of a difficult situation?
  • What does the word empathy mean to you?
  • Can you describe the difference between empathy and sympathy?
  • Imagine that one of your friends at school is going to drop out as they are struggling with the amount of work that they have to do. Think about what you might say to them. What tone would you take, and how should you approach a situation of this nature in general?
  • Tell me about a team situation in which you found your team difficult to work with.
  • Tell me about a team situation in which you felt that you had to take the lead.
  • Are you a good leader?
  • Tell us about a time that your team failed, and you took from this failure – how did it help you grow?

General / Personal Statements

  • Tell me about one experience that has altered your outlook on the world of healthcare.
  • If you could invite one person from history to dinner, who would it be and why?
  • Why are you interested in studying at this school in particular?
  • Did you enjoy your undergraduate course? What stood out about it to you?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are your biggest weaknesses?
  • How would your friends describe you in three words?
  • Would you describe yourself as an organised person?
  • What would you say are your greatest attributes?

Further Reading....

Columbia Nursing Interview Questions

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