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How to build a Nursing Professional Portfolio

The professional portfolio of a Registered Nurse is a necessary piece of documentation that nurses must develop and keep up to date to demonstrate their individual professional and academic value as an RN. The portfolio also attests to the individual nurse's scope of practice. According to the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (2023), the scope of practice of an individual Registered Nurse is determined by the client needs, the individual RN competence, the employer requirements, and the practice environment. CRMC is committed to the evolution of the Nursing profession and the harmonization and full collaboration between the Medical and the Nursing professions according to the terms of current laws and professional regulations in Alberta. Documenting one's own academic and professional achievements, as well as reflecting on one's own practice on the professional portfolio aides the nurse to determine the extent of the scope of practice. 

Maintaining the portfolio up to date helps the nurse to identify what may still need professional development and growth. This can be achieved by keeping a section dedicated to personal professional reflection, like a reflective diary, of one's own practice. Personal professional reflection will help the nurse to determine individual learning needs, which in turn will offer further career opportunities.

A strong professional portfolio should include the following sections:

  • An up to date CV

    • This should be updated regularly; a 6-monthly revision is the most appropriate option​

  • An up to date copy of the RN license/s

    • All licenses held anywhere in the world should be represented in this section of the portfolio​

  • Academic diplomas and degrees

    • If the nurse has initially qualified through an RN Diploma and then topped this up to a Bachelor of Nursing, both qualifications should be present in the section. This demonstrates the academic and professional journey of the RN. Any further academic achievement should also be contained in this section.​

  • Professional specialization diplomas/certificates

    • An example of this could be any professional or Continuing Competence course certificates. Any further evidence of practical training and acquired skills should be kept here in this section. An example could be an Advanced Diploma in CBT, ANTT training certificate,  an RN prescriber certification, or a non-medical PAP smear test proficiency certificate. CRMC suggests its nurses to consider taking CCP courses from Class Central, which are accredited by highly respected institutions in the USA and the British Commonwealth.

  • An up to date BLS or ACLS certification

    • This certificate should always be in date and exchanged for a new one when needed​

  • A section dedicated to professional self-reflection

    • For this section, CRMC offers a template that guides the nurse in the personal professional reflection.​ These reflection entries should be guided by self-identified learning needs, clinical experience, and constructive feedback received by patients and colleagues.

The Nursing Times of the United Kingdom has published an article that may help nurses build their portfolio in a professional manner. Registered nurses employed or participating in any professional program at CRMC enjoy the support of the Clinical Manager and Medical Director of the clinic and are encouraged to seek help and advise when developing their nursing professional portfolio.

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