How to create and use a professional nursing portfolio

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, September 24, 2007

Have you heard the buzz about nursing portfolios? If you haven't, this article will give you some ideas on how to begin putting yours together (and you should!) If you have, get ready for some insight on what hiring nurse managers think about them. Stressed Out columnist Heather Grondin, RN, gives us an introduction and some fantastic tips on how to sell yourself.

Recently, I stumbled upon a Clinical Advancement Program and decided to look into it. One of the many requirements was a professional nursing portfolio. I was perplexed. Exactly what is a "professional nursing portfolio"? I decided to have an informal meeting with the supervisor of patient care services at a level II trauma community hospital located in Nashua, NH, to find out more.

I set up an informal interview with my supervisor, Marcia Doucet, RN. She works closely with the president of nursing services and the nursing recruiter at St. Joseph Hospital.

Q. Should prospective employees present a professional nursing portfolio at their first interview?
A. Absolutely. It increases the marketability of the interviewee; helps to showcase the knowledge of the prospective employee; allows you to keep all of the CEU's, contact hours, and seminars in one neat place; and, if you do not interview well, it may be your saving grace.

Q. Why should I have a nursing portfolio if I already have the job?
A. It will keep your CEU's and other educational certificates organized and easily accessible if you were to be audited by your board of nursing. It may also show you where your interests lie: If you tend to attend classes about new trends in nursing, you may be a great research nurse.

Q. Of all the portfolios you have seen, what characteristics are you most impressed by?
A. One employee wrote a paragraph on why she attended the classes she did and what she learned from each of them. Another new grad, one with limited clinical experience, wrote about a difficult patient she received in clinical. She wrote about what interventions she chose and why she chose them.

Q. What does a professional nursing portfolio look like?

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