How to Create a Nursing Portfolio

Updated April 17, 2017

A nursing student must complete extensive training in both the classroom and the hands-on clinical setting. Since this education and training continue throughout her career, a portfolio is a useful tool that can be easily expanded to reflect changes. A nursing portfolio highlights academic achievements and continuing education, acquired skills, various clinical experiences, and special certifications, such as CPR certification. A student's nursing portfolio can be used by the instructor to ensure that the student has met necessary requirements. The nursing portfolio is also an important marketing tool during the job search.

Purchase a three-ring binder, clear page protectors, and section dividers with tabs. These items will allow you to easily expand or edit the contents of the portfolio as your career evolves.

Gather all the documents you wish to include in the portfolio. Necessary items will include proof of education, a copy of any certifications you hold, a copy of your resume, and a copy of your nursing license. If you are a student or recent graduate, you may want to include skills assessments that have been reviewed by your peers or instructors.

Use a word-processing program to create a cover sheet for each section you will include in the portfolio (education, skills, and certifications). According to Marcia Doucet, RN, of Stressed Out, this helps keep your portfolio organised and makes it easier for prospective employers to read.

Create a professional biography. Lippincott's Nursing recommends that this page include your name, address, current contact information (phone number, e-mail address), and your nursing registration number. This page should have its own section and cover page.

Compile a list of any honours or awards you have received. These may be either academic or professional. You do not have to include copies of award certificates. A typed page listing honours and awards will suffice. This page should have its own section and cover page.

List any community service or charity work you participate in. Lippincott recommends detailing your specific role in these organisations to highlight skills and areas of expertise that may not appear in your resume or education history. This page should have its own section and cover page.

Create a tabbed divider for each section you will include in your portfolio.

Place each document and cover sheet into a clear page protector. For easier reading, only place documents on the front side of page protectors.

Insert dividers and documents into your three-ring binder. Begin with the biography section. Then include education history/skills assessments, resume, honours/awards, and charity or community work.

Proofread all documents carefully for accuracy, grammatical errors, and typographical errors.


Your portfolio should be constantly evolving. Make sure to update it as you acquire new skills or professional credits and when any of your information changes.

Things You'll Need

  • Three-ring binder
  • Clear page protectors
  • Tabbed dividers
  • Professional documents (i.e. diploma, resume, nursing license, copies of certifications)
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About the Author

Kelly Smith has been writing professionally since 2010. She writes for various websites, specializing in health and literature. Smith is a certified pharmacy technician with more than five years of professional experience. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in multimedia communications from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.