Upstate Medical University Nursing Questions

Advice & Insight From Nursing Interview Specialists

General Information

Admission to SUNY for Nursing is competitive, although exact numbers are not publicly available. You should be prepared to field as strong an application as possible. Prerequisite courses do not need to be completed at the time of application, but must be completed before the start of classes. You should list all classes you are taking or plan to take prior to entry when applying. You will need two letters of recommendation – these will come from either nursing professionals if you are looking to study the BS from RN qualification, or professors and ANPs if you are looking to study the MS in Nursing.

Interview Format for Nursing at SUNY

You should expect a traditional style interview. The university ‘recommends’ interviews across all programs and disciplines, although you are less likely to be interviewed for certain Nursing programs than you would for other healthcare disciplines, like Medicine for example. Due to the fact that SUNY takes experienced nurses and allows them to continue their training, you should expect an interview that focuses on healthcare and current issues as much as it does on soft skills and your personality.

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Key Dates

The BS program requires that documents are submitted by July 1st, and may be submitted from September 1st onward, if you are looking to apply for Fall. If you are looking to apply for Spring entry, then documents must be submitted by November 1st, and may be submitted from September onward.

If you are applying for the MS program, then you may apply from September 1st to April 1st.

Sample & Recent Interview Questions

If you are invited to interview at SUNY, you should expect questions which are very focused on healthcare – it is a medical university and all Nursing programs are for those with experience in the field only.

​Motivation and Insight into Nursing

  • Can you tell us more about your history in Nursing?
  • Why do you want to continue your education within Nursing?
  • Why are you interested in continuing your career in Nursing rather than moving into another field?
  • Have you thought about training as a physician associate?
  • Are you interested in a particular area of nursing? Have you gained exposure to that area during your work so far?
  • Would your decision to continue working as a nurse change if the US made the decision to move to a universal healthcare system like that of Canada?
  • What are your thoughts on healthcare reform?
  • What aspect of this program are you most looking forward to?
  • What do you find to be the most challenging aspects of Nursing?
  • What personal attributes does a good nurse need?
  • What do you think is the single most important issue facing healthcare in the USA today?
  • Are you interested in research? Have you undertaken any research projects yourself?
  • How do you think the role of a nurse has changed in the last 50 years in the USA?
  • How do you think nursing will change in the next 20 or 30 years?
  • What can you tell us about COVID-19?
  • Can you describe one of the single most important challenges facing global healthcare? Please avoid mentioning COVID-19.
  • What do you know about the history of nursing in the USA?
  • How are nurses in the USA regulated? What do you know about the body that performs the regulation?
  • Where have you worked so far during your career?
  • What has stood out to you from your career as a nurse so far?
  • Where do you want your career in Nursing to go?
  • Have you found the work that you’ve done so far as a nurse to be rewarding?
  • What do you look for in a nursing college?
  • What differentiates our nursing program from others in the US?

Optimise Your Interview Performance

Learn the best interview strategies and practice with past interview questions & model answers.


  • Can you think of one time that you saw a fellow nurse behaving without adequate professionalism?
  • Can you think of a time that you saw a nurse acting in a less-than-professional manner in front of a patient?
  • What does the word ‘professionalism’ mean to you?
  • How do you try to embody professionalism during your everyday work as a nurse?
  • What acts would endanger one’s professional standing?
  • In what ways can you ensure that you remain professional whilst working as a nurse?

Ethical Dilemmas

  • Should we prioritise a patient’s length of life or their quality of life?
  • Should patients be offered treatment for free if they can’t afford it?
  • Should patients who have caused their own problems still be provided healthcare?
  • Should one’s religious beliefs affect the care that one provides as a nurse?
  • What would you do if a patient was highly verbally aggressive?
  • What would you do if one of the doctors that you were working with was misogynistic or sexist?

Further Reading....

Upstate Medical University Nursing Questions

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