How to write a nursing portfolio

Updated February 21, 2017

Portfolios are tools that job hunters use to present to potential employers. In a sense, it's like putting your best foot forward. This is especially important in the nursing profession because nurses work with people as part of their daily routines. Your portfolio is your opportunity to put together your employment storyline and present it in such a way as to impress people who are doing the hiring. Your nursing portfolio is your work history and presentation of achievements. It tells potential employers what kind of person you are and what kind of worker you can be for them.

Print your resume. Use a three-hole punch and a page protector and put your resume in the three-ring binder as the first page. Your resume will act as a guide to everything else that follows in your portfolio.

Write an essay, keeping it to one page, about your career goals. Employers like to know what applicants are looking for in the way of careers. After adding three-hole punches and a page protector, place it in your three-ring binder.

List references for each place of employment. If you've made it far enough into the job application process to get an interview, you'll want to have references ready. Make sure your references have phone numbers listed. Employers generally prefer to call to verify work history. Add three-hole punches and a page protector and place it in your three-ring binder.

Make copies of your diplomas. If you've recently graduated, you can add your coursework and grades. For nurses who have been employed for more than 1 year, your work history will be more important than the courses you took in college. Add three-hole punches and a page protector and place it in your three-ring binder.

Photocopy any certificates, service awards or newspaper clippings you have garnered. If any of them need further explanation, print a short explanation and add it into the page protector after you three-hole punch the photocopy. Place them in the three-ring binder.

Print your name with an indelible marker on the front of the three-ring binder. You now have your nursing portfolio ready for your interview.


Make copies of your portfolio so you can leave them with the people who interview you.


Be careful when using a three-hole punch so that you don't injure a finger.

Things You'll Need

  • Three-ring binder
  • Three-hole punch
  • Printer
  • Page protectors
  • Indelible marker
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About the Author

Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."