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An interview refers to a conversation between two people that involves asking of questions and giving answers to them. The person who asks questions is known as the interviewer while the person corresponding to the questions is the interviewee. According to Gorden (2009), the major purpose of carrying out an interview is to obtain information from the interviewee. During an interview, the interviewer usually writes down the answers to the questions asked for easy remembrance or reference.

Interviews may be formal as well as informal. A formal interview is the one that has well-structured questions predetermined by the interviewer. It follows a particular structure of questions. On the other hand, an informal interview does not have structured questions hence questions are determined and raised as the interview continues.

In addition, an interview may be open-ended or closed (Gubrium & Holstein, 2012). An open-ended interview is the one in which the interviewer asks question that do not require rigid answers whereas in a closed-response interviewee, the questions asked have specific answers from which the interviewee chooses the most appropriate answers. Interviews are usually used to conduct qualitative research studies that require primary information and personalized probations.

This essay is a sample of an interview with a nurse leader. A nurse leader is a clinical officer responsible for overall improvement of quality of health care services. Finkleman (2008) and Clark (2009) refer to nurse leaders as nurse practitioners with additional post-qualification education, skills and experience who work within the nursing team providing day-to-day leadership.

The essay contains actual questions that were asked during the interview and the answers that were obtained from the interviewee. The last paragraph is a summary of the notes and comments that I have learned during the interview.

Question: Tell me something briefly about your educational background

Answer: Before I became a nurse, I went to an elementary school and then proceeded to a high school in California. My good performance at high school level secured me a place at the University of California, San Francisco, where I took a course leading to an award of a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. One year after graduating from the University of California, San Francisco, I went back to the same university for a Master’s degree in nursing. I have also done other short courses on nursing to improve my skills.

Question: What does one require to be a nurse leader?

Answer: For a person to become a nurse leader, he or she must successfully complete a Master’s degree in nursing or health sciences. Some of the courses I took included advanced nursing, clinical assessment, pharmacology and pathophysiology. The individual must also be registered as a nurse by the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC) after successfully completing his or her studies. In addition, certain specific requirements by the Commission on Nurse Certification must also be met, for example, the person must have continuously practiced as a nurse for a period of ten years or more. A nurse leader must also obtain a valid practicing license and certificate from the Commission on Nurse Certification.

Question: What are some of the key achievements and accomplishments that you have attained in life and at the workplace?

Answer: One of my major achievements was becoming a nurse leader, something that I have been dreaming of since my childhood. Secondly, I also lead a team of nurses that have successfully implemented the Quality Improvement Strategy (QIS) in a major public hospital in California. Thirdly, I have been mentoring various aspiring nurses by helping them set goals for professional development. I usually motivate upcoming nurses to develop professionally. I have also been in the forefront in the setting of goals and objectives for improving health care services in the United States by the federal government. Last but not least, I successfully implemented a program that aimed at improving professional development of nurses in California.

Question: What accomplishments have you attained in your area of practice as a nurse leader?

Answer: I have been ensuring that the professional standards in the health care industry are always maintained at higher levels. In addition, I have also facilitated the continued growth and development of competent nursing practitioners who are capable of providing high quality services to the patients. Lastly, I have been a role model to many aspiring nurses.

Question: What challenges have you faced as a nurse leader?

Answer: One of the major challenges I face as a nurse leader is the effective coordination of nursing teams within the hospitals. Nursing teams usually consist of people from various backgrounds with different views and opinions; hence it becomes a challenge to effectively unite them towards achieving a common objective or goal. In addition, inadequate resources are a major challenge, too. For example, we sometimes lack enough finances to purchase advanced medical technology equipments.

Question: What are the roles of a nurse leader?

Answer: Nurse leaders usually engage in a range of activities in their daily routine. Some of these activities include coordination of day and night shifts for nurses, supporting staff, improving staff morale and planning the control of the health care center. A nurse leader also oversees adequate coordination of patient-care services, assessment of various health risks that patients may face due to medications, effective communication between various stakeholders in the nursing or medical industry and provision of evidence-based solutions to various departments or units of the hospital.

Question: What are some of the current issues, concerns or emerging issues in health care and the nursing profession that you think immediate address?

Answer: One of the most current issues in the health care industry that needs immediate address is the way to effectively meet the ever-increasing expectations of patients and other consumers of health care products. Today, most patients expect high quality services that have value for their money.

Moreover, most nurse leaders are becoming autonomous and focus more on the outcomes of their operations. This has led to the adequate research on cause-and-effect of most diseases. The issue of strong side effects of most drugs also requires immediate address.

Question: What insights do you have for the future?

Answer: My insight for the future is to ensure that patients are able to receive high quality health care services from highly competent and professional nurses.

Question: What advice would you give to young people aspiring to become nurse leaders?

Answer: My advice for aspiring nurses who would like to become nurse leaders is that they need to be highly focused and determined to achieve their goals. Career development requires a lot of commitment and dedication. Moreover, as a nurse leader, one should be able to motivate and support others in realizing their career dreams.

Notes and other comments regarding impression of what I have learned during interview

During my interview with the nurse leader, I have learned that leadership is a multifaceted disciple that requires high levels of dedication, focus as well as support and motivation of others. As a future nurse leader, an individual must be determined, visionary, well equipped with management strategies and have the desire to direct and lead others as a team. Thus, effective leadership is critical in delivering high-quality health care services, ensuring patients’ safety and facilitating positive staff development.

In addition, an effective nurse leader must also have high problem-solving skills, be able to maintain the effectiveness of his or her group or team, show dynamism, all-roundedness and proper understanding of various emerging issues and trends within the nursing profession. A nurse leader must also have the ability to influence others.

In relation to conducting an interview, I have learned that it is important for a person to make a complete list of all questions he or she is likely to ask during the interview. The predetermined questions must be relevant and related to the topic of discussion. All questions asked should be relevant and non-personal. An interviewer must also choose an interesting topic that would please both the interviewee and potential future readers. The interviewer may also restructure questions during the interview in correspondence to the answers he or she obtains from the interviewee. When writing a final draft after the interview, the interviewer may frame answers that are deemed ragged, offensive, irrelevant or vague.

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