How to Write a Nursing Interview Essay

Written by Brandon L.
August 21, 202314 min read

Have you been assigned an interview essay but don't know where to begin?

Unlike other academic writing, these essays significantly challenge most nursing students. In interview essays, you use people as your source of information instead of books or use scholarly resources sparingly. These essays give the audience a general impression of the interviewee, the topic in discussion, and the insights of the interviewee on the topic in question. The best thing about these types of academic papers is that you get a first-hand point of view on a particular subject. However, how do you write them?

If you need help writing your interview essay as a nursing student, follow the guide below.

Steps Involved In Writing an Interview Essay

Nursing interview essays are assigned to nursing students to test whether they can apply nursing concepts to real-life situations. You can be asked to interview a nurse manager or any other nurse leader and write an interview essay, a report of what you discussed, including integrating concepts from nursing leadership, nursing theories, etc. You can also be asked to interview a patient and write a comprehensive interview essay or report.

Regardless of what you are asked to focus your interview essay on, you can follow the insights in the step-by-step guide below and write a compelling essay.

1. Know Why You Are Writing the Essay

You cannot begin to write an interview paper if you do not know why you want to write one. Understanding this will help you determine the subject, target audience, and topics the essay covers. Sometimes the topic you choose will explain the purpose of your essay, thus making things easier for you. However, if it does not, ask yourself, "What message would you want the essay to deliver?"

If the paper is public knowledge, you should have more than one interviewee to get different opinions and give readers different perspectives.

The reason why you are writing the essay will also influence the topic. For instance, if you are writing an educational interview essay, you want the readers to resonate with them. If your interview is opinion-based, pick someone with a strong opinion about the topic you want to cover.

2. Conduct Research on Your Subjects and the Topic

You must have the correct information about the interview subject and topic to produce a high-quality interview paper. Therefore, you should research the topic to learn about it and feel the gaps in your knowledge. Consider checking:

Additionally, if available, read works about the person you want to interview to gain an insight into how their mind works.

3. Write down the Interview Questions

Now that you have done the research and have everything in place, it is time to write down all the interview questions. Some of these questions will emerge as you brainstorm and research.

You can ask "yes" and "no" questions that will help you gather factual information. These questions are also helpful if you need specific answers to your questions.

Open-ended questions are great for in-depth explanations, especially for complex issues. This is because they allow the interview to give out more information for nonprofessionals to understand easily.

Always prepare more questions, even if you do not intend to ask all of them. This will allow you to choose those best suited for the subject during the interview. They will also help you make adjustments as the interview progresses. Sometimes what you think could be a side topic turns out to be necessary.

Also, ensure you arrange the questions in order of importance to help maximize time with the interviewee.

4. Reach Out to the Interviewee

Contact the interviewee (or their interviewee) through any preferred methods once you have prepared everything. Ensure the person you want to interview is a professional and is knowledgeable about the topics at hand. They should be a licensed nurse practitioner. Ideally, you want someone with a proven record of accomplishment and the proper credentials.

When you reach out, please introduce yourself, and say why you have chosen them for the interview. Ensure you have a second alternative if the first one does not pan out.

5. Choose the Right Place or Channel for the Interview

The location for the interview must be conducive and comfortable for your subject. Consider choosing a quiet location to make your interview easy.

Avoid places with busy streets, loud generators, and air conditioners. Sometimes it can be hard to get to a tranquil place. A bit of ambient music is not bad.

Once you have a place, ensure you arrive on time, preferably before the interviewee.

With the advancement in technology, there are platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, and others that you can utilize to conduct an online meeting with your interviewee. You can email the interview questions to your interviewee or decide to have a phone interview within a slotted time.

6. Prepare the Interview Guide

After securing a platform or place and getting a nod from your interviewee, you need to prepare your interview guide, which has a list of questions you want to ask.

Some professors will require this before allowing you to conduct an interview so that they know the scope of your paper or advice on areas to tweak.

Ensure that you research well on your topic and attach questions related to concepts so that you hear them from the horse’s mouth.

7. Conduct the Interview

Take notes during the interview, even if you use a recording device, as they will help you locate specific information to write in your essay. The recording device will allow you to listen to the interview later and not misrepresent the subject's words. Ensure you ask the interviewee for permission before using the recording device.

In addition, ensure you remain patient throughout and allow the interviewee to finish what they are saying before you ask a question. Remember that more profound responses, even few, are far better than superficial ones. Interviewing requires strong communication skills, so those questions are clear and precise.

Immediately after the interview, write down your thoughts and impressions so that you can articulate them better in your essay. Do not forget to thank the interviewee for their time and effort in providing insights into the matter.

8. Writing the Interview Essay

After collecting all the information from the interview, it is time to write the essay.

Decide which format your essay should take. The format of your essay will depend on the type of essay it is. Generally, interview essays can take any of the following formats:

If you have not been instructed on the type of style, use APA format. Most nursing papers are written in either APA or Harvard formats.

9. Set Up Your Document to Confirm APA Standards

Make sure your document has conformed to the standards of APA. Start by choosing double-spacing, readable font and size, preferably New Times Roman, 12. Then set up your margin to 1 inch on every side.

An APA format typically has four major sections,

Title Page

This part informs the reader about the essay and who is writing it.

Your title page should contain your:

If you are writing a professional paper, add a line for your name and that of the facility or organization you are writing for. Then insert your author note at the bottom half of the page. Then include the following information:


This part comes immediately after the title page, and it summarizes your findings in the main body of your essay. This part instead requires much unless your instructor asks for it.

Main Body

This part contains all the main points, i.e., the content of your essay.


This section lists all the materials you've used in your paper. Since personal and research participants' interviews are not published, please don't include them. Only Include published sources.

10. Create an Outline for Your Essay

After deciding the format to use in your essay, create an outline. Keep in mind that the chosen format will influence your outline. However, a strong introduction, identifying your subject, and the purpose of your essay are essential.

Read through the notes you wrote during the interview and listen to the recording device so that you can know how to arrange your content.

Develop a Thesis Statement

Like every academic writing, your interview essay should have a thesis statement. This statement shows the conclusion you have reached concerning a given topic. Take note that a thesis statement should:

Your thesis statement will likely be brief if the objective for writing is only to present your interviewee to your readers. In such a case, you will write their name, background, accomplishments, etc.

However, if you intend to use your interviewee's information to support your position on a topic or examine a larger point, then your thesis statement should be the statement or position you've taken.

Remember that regardless of the format of the essay, your thesis statement should be clear and concise.

11. Write the Introduction

In the introduction parts, clearly explain your reasons for writing the essay and the purpose for conducting the interview. Then introduce your interviewee (s) and what you discussed with them. Also, provide their background information and why they are the subject of your interview. You can say that their qualifications, experience, and credentials. Also, include the information that will provide context to your readers. Things like how you interviewed by phone, facetime, or in person.

12. Write the Main Body

Start by writing the main body before the abstract if you were instructed to include the abstract section. This is because the abstract is a summary of your main points.

In every paragraph, focus on each question you asked and discussed during the interview. Ensure you introduce the question because it will give the reader the context for understanding the responses given. Consider introducing your question as a direct or indirect quotation, and provide any additional information you think is necessary, so you don't misrepresent the answer.

Remember that interviews can sometimes produce too much repetition, even if you have high-quality questions, which is why trimming some essay elements is essential. But even as you do this, ensure the remaining material makes sense.

If you need more information about interview essays and how to structure them, check the University of North Carolina's Writing handout. You will find information such as utilizing the same interview questions in dialogue format, paraphrasing, using quotations, and more.

13. Cite Your Paper

After every direct or indirect quotation, provide an in-text citation for the responses given by the interviewee. If it's unpublished responses, make sure you provide the following elements in parenthesis:

14. Write the Concluding Paragraph

The last paragraph should summarize what you have discussed in your essay's body. Show why the response given by the interviewee supports your topic. Discuss the most valid points. You can also show whether they challenge or support your main point.

15. Write the Abstract

Now that you have written the main body, it is time to write the abstract if you were told to include it in your essay. Insert a blank page in your paper; this should be between the title page and your main body. Then write the word “Abstract” and center it in the. On the line just below it, write down the summary of your essay in a single paragraph. Discuss your thesis statement, the subject of your essay, the reason for the interview, and what you gathered. This should not be more than 250 words.

16. Revise and Progress Your Work

Once you are done writing your essay, take time to revise and proofread it. You don't want to submit an essay full of grammar errors or awkwardly written sentences. Make sure your texts will provide clarity to those that will read them.

17. Document Your Sources

You may need to cite your interview depending on what kind of essay you've written. If you are not sure, check with your instructor. But for any supplementary materials used in the paper, you need to cite them.

Related Readings:

Sample Nursing Interview Essay

Nursing Interview

Gordon's eleven functional health patterns were established to guide nurses in establishing a nursing database with important assessment information. Eleven categories create a standardized and systematic approach to data collection and aid in determining human function and aspects of health. Typically, this information enables nurses to organize patient treatment and care plans (Karaca, 2016). The eleven functional health patterns (FHPs) are health perception and health management, elimination, nutrition and metabolism, cognition and perception, activity and exercise, roles and relationships, sleep and rest, coping and stress tolerance, sexuality and reproduction, values and beliefs, and self-perception and self-concept (Karaca, 2016). This paper aims to report the assessment of an elderly client through the eleven FHPs and provide possible interventions for some of the health patterns that relate to the client’s health.

The client, Rose L.M., is an 80-year-old woman who lives with her husband, her granddaughter, and a dog. Regarding health perception and management, she has a vast knowledge of lifestyle and its relationship to health and thus maintains healthy practices in her home. She takes neither alcohol nor smokes, and drugs are unacceptable in her house. She adheres to nursing prescriptions and tells her granddaughter of appointments to remind her of the time. She and her husband have a wellness club they attend once every two weeks. Rose has perceived their well-being and health as satisfactory, according to her answers during the interview.

The normal pattern of food, weight loss, or gain was assessed to assess her nutritional-metabolic aspect, fluid intake, and appetite. The client reported that she had a good appetite most of the time, although it was motivated by the presence of her husband and granddaughter. She noted that she did not eat much when they were not around, which was rare. She takes at least three types of cereals, lots of vegetables, legumes, and chicken. She has been gaining weight for months since her granddaughter came to live with them.

Regarding elimination, she reports having constipation at least twice a week. She is under no medication and experiences regular and consistent bowel movements. However, she sometimes needs help to reach the washroom because she recounts that she has been having backache for some time now.

Rose's pattern of exercise majorly involves walking around her compound. She can perform activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, cooking, and leisure. Her granddaughter performs the other activities requiring more energy, such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Her respiratory function is good, although she has occasional wheezes. She cannot climb stairs more than once daily because it exacerbates her backache. Rose can understand and use the information given to her. However, her hearing ability is diminishing. Therefore, one has to talk in a louder voice for her to comprehend the information. Her cognitive function has slowed as she ages, but she can read using her glasses. She has trouble seeing at night, especially in the dark, and watching the television for more than one hour has made her eyes teary and painful. Although she complains that her granddaughter rushes her to think and make decisions faster, she has good decision-making ability. She has a good sense of taste, smell, and touch.

Rose says she feels sleep-deprived because she finds it hard to sleep early. This often leads to fatigue and bouts of backache the next day. She reports having varied sleep patterns but getting enough rest during the day. She has increased anxiety because she worries about her husband, who has been ailing for eight months. She fears he could die, leaving her alone since her granddaughter will eventually leave to start her own family.

Moreover, she feels she has no control over most things since her limited abilities. In the role-relationship FHP, Rose is satisfied with her role as a wife, mother, grandmother, and advisor in the community. Although she is sad that she cannot help the grandchildren as much as she would have wanted to, she is happy that her family is united and everyone helps each other. She feels proud of her parenting as her children became responsible children and passed on the same qualities to their children. Additionally, Rose continues to engage in sexual activity with her husband occasionally. She expresses dissatisfaction during the period her husband has been sick and hopes that that will change.

Rose has a robust support system in her family and copes with stressful situations better when her family is around. In the past year, she experienced the loss of her unborn grandchild and had to travel to see her daughter before her husband became sick. The wellness group mentioned earlier has also been a coping strategy for the past year. Rose is a staunch Christian and attends a nearby Baptist church. She prays and reads her Bible daily, from which she gets courage and encouragement. She loves hosting Bible Study in her home because it also helps her forget her problems. Her integrity, goals, and decisions are determined by Biblical principles and have a solid moral compass.

Rose is at risk of cognitive decline, coping with stress, and sleep deprivation. Some interventions to minimize cognitive decline include social engagement, physical and cognitive activity, and therapeutic nutrition (Williams & Kemper, 2011). The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHQR) (2016) proposes community-level interventions, music-based interventions, sleep disorder treatments, vitamin supplements, and physical activities. Rose’s sleep problem can be minimized through sleep restriction therapy, relaxation training, cognitive restructuring, and sleep hygiene (Sharma & Andrade, 2012). Stress management interventions include relaxation, meditation, acceptance and commitment therapy, and health promotion activities (Holman et al., 2018). These interventions will help Rose live a healthier life.

Functional health practices are essential for nursing because they provide a framework for identifying problems and implementing appropriate interventions. It also enables nurses to develop patient-centered processes and focuses on the importance of health promotion (Khatiban et al., 2019). Moreover, it leads to an accurate evaluation of nursing intervention outcomes. FHPs are consistent with primary care providers' primary concerns in accident prevention, nutrition, physical activities, tobacco and alcohol use, and other lifestyle factors. The major contribution of the FHPs is preventing illnesses and chronic conditions before they become unmanageable.


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2016, March 23). Interventions for preventing cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. Effective Health Care Program.

Holman, D., Johnson, S., & O'Connor, E. (2018). Stress management interventions: Improving subjective psychological well-being in the workplace. Handbook of well-being. Salt Lake City, UT: DEF Publishers. DOI: nobascholar. com.

Karaca, T. (2016). Functional Health Patterns Model–A Case Study. Case Studies Journal ISSN  (2305-509X) Volume5.

Khatiban, M., Tohidi, S., & Shahdoust, M. (2019). The effects of applying an assessment form based on the health functional patterns on nursing student's attitude and skills in developing the nursing process. International journal of nursing sciences6(3), 329–333.

Sharma, M. P., & Andrade, C. (2012). Behavioral interventions for insomnia: Theory and practice. Indian journal of psychiatry54(4), 359–366.

Williams, K. N., & Kemper, S. (2010). Interventions to reduce cognitive decline in aging. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services48(5), 42–51.

Before you Leave this Page, …

Writing an interview essay as a nursing student doesn't have to be complicated. Research the topic your interviewee mentioned so you can better understand it and incorporate it into your essay. Remember, when writing an interview essay, you must do it as a reflective essay. You are allowed to use a first-person perspective in the essay, and where you draw ideas from other sources, make sure to cite appropriately.

NurseMyGrade is a leading nursing essay writing website with expert nursing writers that can help you out with writing an interview essay. In case you need help, place an order and get a high-quality paper done for you within your deadline. All our papers are plagiarism-free.

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