Queen’s Belfast Nursing Interview Tips & Questions
Advice & Insight From Nursing Interview Specialists
You will need BCC at A Level, including a relevant Science (Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Life & Health Sciences, Mathematics or Physics), or BBC where a relevant Science subject is not offered. A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or better including English, Mathematics and a Science subject is necessary. Acceptable GCSE Science subjects are Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Double Award Science or Single Award Science. Applied Science will not be selected.
Applicants who satisfy the academic requirements are shortlisted for interview after analysis of their Personal Statement. This is scored against criteria set by the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery (NIPEC). Interviews normally take place in March and use the MMI (Multi-mini Interview) format.
Invitations for interviews are sent from early February through to March. The interview will take the form of Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs), being designed to test soft skills, or transferable skills and attributes, such as communication, teamworking, ability to listen, ability to empathise, etc. There will be eight stations, including one rest station. Some of the stations will feature simulated patients, with whom you will have to interact. You will be given a specific scenario to respond to or engage with in these instances. There will be a briefing before the MMIs begin, before you progress through the stations. Each station is of five minutes’ duration.
Belfast explains that their questions ‘are not technical – they are designed to find out if you would make a good nurse and to find out why you have chosen this career.’ Simulated patients will give feedback to examiners, but will not mark you – the examiners will mark you using a grid.
Queen’s Belfast differentiates itself from other courses through its student exchange programmes, where you will have the chance to experience the diversity of health care and practice from a more global perspective. Final year students can apply for an international elective placement. There are new facilities for clinical skills that allow educators to role play scenarios in response to students’ actions. Students work in true multidisciplinary teams in the simulation centre, and are able to use the latest technology.
Belfast aim to provide a range of learning experiences, letting their students engage with subject experts, make use of innovative technologies, and develop themselves and their attributes to become lifelong learners and excellent nurses.
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What do Queen’s Belfast Look for?
Each applicant must be able to clearly identify their own personal desire and motivation for a career in Nursing. You should also be able to show your expectations of the course, your awareness of the difficulties of the course, and your readiness to become a Nurse and follow the career path. You will therefore need to show evidence of the correct skills and attributes.
Specific attributes, skills and understanding that is expected:
- A personal desire for a career in Nursing
- Motivation for Nursing – may be field specific.
- Expectations of the course and Nursing as a profession
- Readiness for the course
- Interpersonal skills
- Decision making affecting self and others
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Some Key Questions for Queen’s Belfast Interviews
- Should parents be able to smoke in front of their children?
- Should we prioritise length of life or quality of life?
- What would you do if you discovered that your tutor at Nursing school was drunk at work?
- What would you do if you were encouraged to cheat by one of your friends at university?
- What would you do if a patient was verbally aggressive to you?
- What would you do if one of your patients insisted on being treated only by male staff?
- Imagine that a doctor is repeatedly condescending towards you and ignores your input. What do you do?
- What would you do if one of your colleagues was rude to a patient?
- Imagine that one of your friends has found a copy of a previous year’s essay, and wants to use it to help in writing your semester’s paper. What would you do?
- What are the most important values for a Nurse to have?
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