How to develop a professional nursing portfolio

Written by kimberly cummings
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How to develop a professional nursing portfolio
Developing a professional nursing portfolio over time shows commitment to nursing. (nurse chris image by John Keith from

A professional nursing portfolio is used to provide complete documentation of a nurse's career. While a well-organised nursing portfolio includes a complete resume and other information that can be found on a curriculum vitae, or CV, it in no way replaces them. Instead, a thorough professional nursing portfolio expands on the nursing information given, including listing any added experience that the nurse has gained while working in her chosen field. A well-versed nursing portfolio highlights any nursing goals to which the nurse wants to pursue. Developing a high quality professional nursing portfolio requires several key elements.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Start by updating all documents in your present professional nursing portfolio. This process should include a revised version of your resume with up-to-date personal information such as addresses, phone numbers and e-mails. Make sure that all work experience is current as well, such as if you have changed positions or employers.

  2. 2

    List any nurse training activities that you may have completed, along with identification of sponsors and completion dates. Evaluate what you learnt from the activities and what completing the activity provided for professional growth. Nursing activities that you could include would be mock disaster drills you took part in, nursing labs you completed such as learning oxygen arterial blood draws or any new techniques or treatments such as Botox injections or skin laser dermabrasion.

  3. 3

    Examine any additional nursing skills that you should attain and list the desired steps and diagnostic courses that must be taken to attain these skills or certifications. Make sure you set goals or time limits for yourself to reach these skills and keep your nursing portfolio updated on your progression with each phase of the advancement process.

  4. 4

    Develop a plan for attending or maintaining continued educational units that must be met to maintain your nursing license or certification. his list should be maintained just like the goal skills listing you previously made. However, a continued educational unit, or CEU, listing should only list the requirements needed to maintain your license and should include a log showing each class completed and all re-certification dates you have completed successfully.

  5. 5

    Evaluate your progress as a nurse and assess your talents and skill level as you see it to date. Develop an assessment plan and include it in your portfolio to show that you are capable of assessing your own professional skills and making a critique of any weaknesses or skills shortages. Detail what you must do to improve. This type of addition in your portfolio shows that you are developing your portfolio, education and experience in order to keep your skills up to date. It also shows a commitment to continuing advancement in your nursing career.

Tips and warnings

  • Developing a professional nursing portfolio requires constant attention to details within your present nursing career. Many times nurses will go years without developing or updating their nursing information in their portfolios, resumes and CV. Developing your professional nursing portfolio is simply a reflection that shows how your career has developed and your expertise has grown over time.

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