Nursing Portfolios...what to include??

  1. Hello everyone!! So I have an interview soon and I'm putting together my portfolio. I really want to impress them but at the same time I don't know if I'm going overboard with what I'm putting in my portfolio. So far, I want to add the following to my portfolio:
    1. cover letter
    2. resume
    3. letter of recommendations (i have 4)
    4. 3 EBP projects (one paper, 2 pictures of the poster/powerpoint slide)
    5. other things, such as certificates, etc.

    What do you guys think? too much? too little? just enough? My friend said that I shouldn't add a paper in there because they won't read it all but I wanted to show them my care plans and assessments and I kinda need the rest of the paper to make it all tie together...idk :/ it's 29 pages long too (including the assessments and care plans)...i think the paper is my main concern.

    please let me know what you guys think!! i would appreciate any kind of response...thanks!!!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   llg
    Are you a new grad applying for an entry-level staff nurse position? Or are you an experienced nurse interviewing for an advanced position? That makes a difference in what I would advise you.

    For an entry-level staff nurse positions, I would never expect the hiring manager to read a 29-page undergraduate paper. At most, I would make a 1-page summary (abstract) and tell them that you had samples of your care plans, etc. available if they want to see them.
  4. by   BlueHearts53
    For an entry-level staff nurse positions, I would never expect the hiring manager to read a 29-page undergraduate paper. At most, I would make a 1-page summary (abstract) and tell them that you had samples of your care plans, etc. available if they want to see them.[/QUOTE]

    I'm a new grad. ok yeah that's what my friend said I should do too...so I should just do a paragraph summary of my paper and include maybe one or two care plans from that paper? i also had to do a table as part of my paper that involved my patient's labs and the significance of these labs to my patient's condition, should i involve these as well? I was thinking this would be significant since we look at labs all the time as nurses and it would show that i know how to look at labs...idk what do you think?

    also, thank you so much for the advice! i truly appreciate it
  5. by   llg
    No, don't include the details of the paper. In fact, I wouldn't include the paper at all unless the topic is directly related to the job you are applying for. Hiring Managers are busy people and they don't want to spend a lot of time of things (like lab work) that they can teach you. They are much more interested in what kind of person you are and whether or not you have a true interest in the work you would be doing if you get hired. If you were a good student, have good employee behaviors (reliable, dependable, etc.), and have a genuine interest in the work ... that's what they are looking for. They won't want to see the details of your student paper unless it was something truly unique and added something of value to the profession.

    Minimize the things you ask them to read. Just highlight your qualifications. Let them know you can supply more details and/or samples of your student work if they want to see it -- but don't burden them with it.

    I've never hired anyone on the basis of something I saw in their portfolio. But I have rejected applicants because of their portfolios a few times.
  6. by   Nurse Beth
    Congrats on upcoming interviews!

    Here's a couple of good tips on what to include in a portfolio. It's an excerpt from my book (link below). Oh, and NO to the care plans and assessments- they are an example of "student-think" versus "employer-think" (covered in my book )

    Book excerpt:
    Now all that's left is to prepare his portfolio. But wait...what is a portfolio, anyway? and how can a new grad have one? The better question is, what do you bring to a nursing interview? There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some helpful guidelines.

    First of all, bring whatever they ask you to bring, if anything. This shows you can and do follow instructions. This could be a copy of your license, anything.

    Resume. Your resume on heavy weight, quality paper. Often the interviewing panel will have been provided resumes, but it doesn’t hurt. It shows a prepared, professional applicant. Even though a resume handed out during an interview may not count for you, it can still count against you. I have seen resumes with glaring typos.

    A copy of your nursing license, BLS, ACLS and any other certifications copied onto a sheet of paper. BLS and ACLS cards look best printed in color. Be sure and align the cards neatly on the printer, so the print copy looks nice.

    Letters of reference(s). Again, on quality paper. Letters of reference may not be read at the time of the interview, but may be referred to later, when tiebreaker discussions are taking place.

    Bring enough packets, and then extra. If the recruiter tells you that it is going to be a panel interview with 5 interviewers, bring 10 copies. There is nothing to prevent the nurse manager from grabbing another nurse or two on the way to the interview and saying "Come with me!" It's awkward and a dissatisfier for one person on the interview panel not to have a packet when persons to the left and right of them do.

    Worried about walking in with an arm load of folders? Use a laptop carrying bag or satchel. Both look smart with any outfit, are gender neutral, and are functional.

    Bring a notepad and pen for your own use to takes notes. Taking a brief note at the right time implies deference and attention.

    It's not necessary to include transcripts. They can be lengthy, and are basically uninteresting. It's a given that you attended clinical rotations and took required classes. A GPA over 3.75 sets you apart, but can be included in your resume.

    Place your documents in a simple paper file folder or two pocket file folder. Confidently hand a portfolio packet to each interviewer. Make eye contact and smile. They'll notice your awesomeness.

    The best portfolio packet I’ve ever seen was Amanda's. She brought dark blue paper folders with a business card affixed to the front bottom corner. Her business card included a picture of herself, contact information, and a favorite quote. (never put your photo on a resume).

    What made including a business card with an image such a good idea? After a long day of interviewing candidate after candidate, it's easy for even the most conscientious, note-taking interviewer to mix up candidates and details.


    Hope this helps! Best wishes
    Last edit by Nurse Beth on Aug 5
  7. by   chocolatebuns
    I would definitely stray away from putting your paper in your portfolio. As a new grad, I just put a detailed bullet on my resume under my preceptorship info about my capstone project that I had to do. I think that will suffice. There are chances during an interview for you to go into a little more detail as needed. I also highly suggest what Nurse Beth said about having a picture. Though I've never personally done it, I meant to, and shame on me for being lazy about it. There were times where I really felt like that could have set me apart from other candidates without being way over the top.
  8. by   BlueHearts53
    Thank you everybody for the advice! It was all truly helpful!

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