Creating a portfolio of your accomplishments is something every Masters in Nursing student should know how to do. A portfolio is a collection of accomplishments to help demonstrate various skills for potential employers. Think about what accomplishments have occurred in your work place. For instance, you should document any awards you received. Collecting all of your work done at a past employer or from your education is a good way to show future employer’s your work ethic, quality of work produced, and critical thinking skills. Portfolios can be “hard copy” or electronic.
An excellent free option for ePortfolios is Google sites. You need to create a “Google” account with a user name and password. Be sure to write these down where you will remember them. Go to the URL below:
The electronic nurse portfolio template will appear. Go to the upper right corner of the page and click on the blue rectangle: “Use Template”. Remember you need to create a Google account first before using the portfolio website. Once you have created your portfolio page, you will be given a unique web address or URL. You can edit your content at any time by logging into the site with your Google account log- in credentials.
Things to include in the ePortfolio are a personal statement of professional goals, current resume, nursing license, along with any school assignments and presentations where you did well and received high marks. Some specific school work examples are care plans, brochures, outlines of training sessions, manuals, spreadsheets, memos, etc., that you created yourself or as part of a team. You can even include a copy of your school transcripts if you have already graduated.
Any awards received, either in the community, through school, or from work should also be included. Think about work projects you have been involved with, such as committee work, or quality improvement work, and include those. Electronic portfolio formats include web pages, PDF documents, and even PowerPoint files. Remember to include all professional and educational related accomplishments in your ePortfolio. The portfolio is a way to showcase your experience and talents a “brag book” of sorts.
The portfolio is different than a resume. A resume is best at one page long regardless of your time in the nursing profession. The resume describes your education, work history, and other relevant experience in bullet points. Many large employers now have computers that scan resumes for keywords, and these computers do the screening of the numerous applicants before an actual person even sees the resumes. A portfolio is a more in-depth and supplements, not replaces, the resume. Portfolios give employers a detailed look at your skills and can provide more information on your particular area of expertise.
Most nursing students and nurses create a nursing portfolio to help them keep track of their professional goals, accomplishments, competencies, and skills. For example, an artist creates a portfolio to show their work and accomplishments to future clients.
Nurses in a sense keep a portfolio to show future employers who they are and what they have done. A nursing portfolio is a tool used by nurses to help them secure a nursing job .
When trying to wrap your mind around a nursing portfolio, think of it as a scrapbook that contains everything you have done up to that current moment in your nursing career.
A nursing portfolio does not need to be confused with a resume. A resume is a piece of paper that shows the employer a summary of the nurse’s education, other job experiences, references, and certifications. The portfolio is the supporting documentation of that information.
How to Create a Nursing Portfolio?
Most nursing schools require nursing students to create a nursing portfolio. This is a great way to help the new nurse get started with creating their portfolio. However, some nurses have never created one. Remember that if you are a new nurse your portfolio will not be as in depth when compared to a nurse who has been in the field for several years.
Before you start creating your nursing portfolio you need to compile supporting documents. There is no right or wrong way to compile your supporting documents. Also, keep in mind that you need to include information that highlights your competencies, educational achievements, and skills. Below are suggested documents to include in your portfolio.
What type of information is included in a Nurse Portfolio?
- College Transcripts
- 1 page essay on what your personal values and beliefs are on the nursing profession
- An outline of your plan for professional development with supporting documentation of activities and learning outcomes.
- Health records which includes immunizations and current physical
- List of Volunteer Positions with Supporting Documentation
- List of Professional Organization you are in with Supporting Documentation
- Your Job Description
- Performance Evaluations
- Competency Checklists
- Copy of your Nursing License
- Certifications with renewal dates
- Samples of Academic Work such as research
- Professional Conferences Attended with Supporting Documentation
- In-services Attended with Supporting Documentation
- References and Recommendation Letters
- Peer/Manager Evaluations
- Lists of Committees you are on and type of work you have contributed to it
- Educational Projects you have done such as in-services
- Awards you have received
Tips on How to Organize a Nursing Portfolio
Once you have compiled all of the proper paperwork you need for your nursing portfolio you need to place it into a three ring binder. It is good practice to place the resume at the beginning of the portfolio because this has your name and contact information on it.
Try to organize your documentation in chronological order, if possible. For example, organize in-services based on the date they were completed and so on. However, there is no correct way on how to organize your documentation. Try to organize it in a way that will make sense to the reader.
To help your portfolio look professional be sure to label each section with binder tabs that can be purchased at Walmart. In addition, a table of contents needs to be created and placed in the front of the portfolio.
Your nursing portfolio is yours and should reflect who you are so have fun with it!
Need Help Finding a Job or Preparing a Resume?
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Need More Help on Creating Your Nursing Portfolio?
If you need more help on creating your nursing portfolio check out a book called “Making Sense of Nursing Portfolios: A Guide for Students” by Fiona Timmins sold by Amazon.com. It is a book that will further explain and show detailed information on how to create a nursing portfolio. Here is what is looks like: