The creation of a portfolio is an essential part of professional development. This document contains a chronological and visual representation of nurse growth, including a mission statement, cover letter, resume, certifications, and performance evaluation (Schneider, 2016). Even though a portfolio may be a successful contribution to professional development and growth, this type of assessment may be a serious challenge for nurse students (Dawson & Fox, 2017). Time, format, and context are the three major barriers to portfolio development, and nurse practitioners should identify productive strategies for their elimination.
Barriers to Portfolio Development and Strategies for Elimination
Like any academic work, writing a portfolio requires time and effort. Not to be challenged by time boundaries, nurses may choose between two strategies: either to plan each step and divide a project into meaningful sections or to address a professional writing organization, the experts of which have enough time for search, analysis, and development. The choice of a format is another barrier for nurses who want to have an effective portfolio. Nowadays, electronic forms are frequently used as the main strategy in their development. Still, it is also recommended to use a hardcopy strategy when it is easy to add or remove information. Finally, the necessity to choose the right context challenges many portfolio developers. Cope and Murray (2018) underlined that nurses use their portfolios to demonstrate the results of their learning and reflect on their accomplishments. To eliminate the barrier of context, nurses may choose to focus on their strengths and weaknesses or to create a learning plan where personal and professional needs are addressed.
Portfolio and Career Goals
Regarding the characteristics of a comprehensive portfolio and the kind of work to be done, specific career goals may be evaluated and re-organized by recent achievements. Additional research and comparison help to find out some new perspectives on professional development. The use of vivid examples, communication with different experts, and self-assessment are the major contributors either to portfolio development or to professional growth.
- Cope, V., & Murray, M. (2018). Use of professional portfolios in nursing. Nursing Standard, 32(30), 55–63. doi:10.7748/ns.2018.e10985
- Dawson, L., & Fox, K. (2017). Can assessment be a barrier to successful professional development? Physical Therapy Reviews, 23(1), 11–16. doi:10.1080/10833196.2017.1336840
- Schneider, A. (2016). Building a professional nursing portfolio.