What Is It?
Essentially, it is a portfolio of your resume, CV, recent accomplishments and engagements in a relevant job position, while you were a student leader, or as a nursing student, etc. It helps you appear more professional and sets you apart from other New Graduate Nurses.
What Is Included?
Typically, a Nursing Portfolio includes some or all of the following in this order:
Front page (if applicable)
*Table of Contents
*Resume (Tailored to the job you're applying to)
*Cover Letter (tailored to the job you're applying for)
*Two recent Recommendation Letters/List of References
*Certifications (CPR, BLS, or any others that are required/feature skills)
Research Papers (ones in Nursing school is fine)
Professional Organizations (Ex: your university's Student Nurses Association)
Additional Documents (Please don't include something like you spending time with friends)
*I feel these are the most important to include
Okay, So Why Have It?
I feel that most employers expect New Graduates to only bring their resumes and a leather portfolio to write notes in, but by also providing a well-organized, uniquely presentable (but not over the top) portfolio, you are able to stand out from other new grads.
You can also supplement your interview examples by presenting a picture of your volunteering experience or your work in professional organizations. It's a great way to give your interviewers another aspect to remember you by.
You look prepared! Of course, this ties in with how well-organized your portfolio is, so please make sure to take the time to double-check the information you provide!
I Just Started! This Doesn't Seem Important ...
Because you've just begun or will begin Nursing School, you'll be able to keep track of the awards/accomplishments/certifications that you've completed more easily.
I made the mistake of not researching this information prior to graduation/job interviewing and had to search through many files, notes, and stashed boxes to find some of my information.
Therefore, as you progress through Nursing School, try making a pile/online folder of the previously mentioned, so you won't be like me, cramming to find all this information two days before my in-person interview (and slightly freaking out).
What Was Your Experience Like Using The Portfolio?
Prior to walking inside my interview room, I believe another New Grad was leaving. Upon entering, I recognized that she had left a resume with the interviewers.
When I provided my portfolio, my interviewers began looking through my portfolio, commenting on my experience at my previous University's hospital and my photos of my volunteer work/organization work. We had a conversation about the purpose of the organizations (because they were unfamiliar with them) and Interviewer #1 commented on how she also participated in a Teddy Bear Trauma Clinic. Interviewer #2, who was unfamiliar with the event, said a joke, with which we all laughed about.
After warming up with conversation based around the portfolio, they began the interview. In the end, I left my portfolios with them.
Essentially, because I provided the portfolios firsthand, I was able to speak briefly about my experiences, warmed up with laughs, and engage my interviewers. This helped me become more confident and clear-minded in my answers and allowed the interviewers to see more of my personality.
I'm Convinced! How Do I Make One?
I've used these materials:
Southworth Resume Paper (although, printer paper may be fine)
Staples Clear Sheet Protectors (100 ct)
Staples Deluxe Clear-Front Report Covers, Red (5 ct)
Remember these tips:
You may be interviewing with up to 5 people, so make sure to make that many. You'll be able to leave one for each interviewer (Ex: Nurse Manager, Assistant Nurse Manager, Nurse Educator, HR, etc.)
You may include photos, but include photos of you volunteering and/or working at organizations. (Ex: Because I was a Resident Assistant, I could've included a photo of an event I designed and spearheaded).
Additional documents should be relevant. (Ex: I chose to include a story that resonates with why I love Nursing/How I strive to treat my patients.)
Use the same header and text you used for your resume, for the other pages in your portfolio. You do not need a header for your degree, license, certifications, awards or evaluations because your interviewers will be able to distinguish them.
Try your best to not make it into a textbook! Remember to include the most relevant items only.
Do You Have an Example Of What It Can Look Like?
Definitely! Please see the attachment at the end of this Article.
**I've printed everything front-and-back to avoid becoming a textbook**
Photo 1: Front Cover (using same resume format)
Photo 2: Table of Contents
Photo 3: Front of Resume
Photo 4: Back of Resume and Cover Letter
Photo 5: List of References (5; I didn't prepare Letters) and Degree
Photo 6: License and Table of Certifications
Photo 7: Mandated Certifications
Photo 8: BLS and List of Organizations (With brief description/status/length; I've also combined volunteer organizations with professional ones)
Photo 9: Photos of Me in Organizations and Nursing Award
Photo 10: Resident Assistant Awards
Photo 11: Capstone Preceptor Evaluation
Photo 12: Resident Assistant Supervisor Evaluation
Photo 13: Relevant Story
If any of the information was confusing or you have any questions, concerns or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out and ask me. I am eager to help! Congratulations again and good luck!