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Nursing Portfolio: Why You Should Start One Now!

If you're a nurse, you might have heard about nursing portfolios, but have you ever considered creating one for yourself?

Developing your very own nurse portfolio can seem daunting at first, but once you have it in motion it will quickly come together, you'll find that it's a fantastic extension of your work and a great source for potential employers. In this article, we'll delve into the concept of a nursing portfolio, what it comprises, and why you should start working on one without delay.

What is a Nursing Portfolio?

A nursing portfolio is simply a compilation of materials which showcase your skills and knowledge as a nurse. From the beginning of your pre-registration course, right up to your continuous professional development you may be completing today! It will demonstrate your professional career from goals, accomplishments, achievements and skills.

A well completed portfolio is a chronological visual representation of your professional growth. Whether you are a newly qualified nurse, or an experienced practitioner, it will provide employers with insight into your nursing experience, clinical expertise, accolades and scope of practice.

Nurse using a laptop

A portfolio gives you an opportunity to showcase your achievements

Building Your Portfolio

Creating a nursing portfolio involves thoughtful organisation and curation of key elements that highlight your nursing journey. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of what your portfolio could include:

Table of Contents

Start your portfolio with a table of contents, to keep your documents organised and easily accessible for the employer.

CV & Cover Letter

Your portfolio's introduction should feature an up-to-date CV, and cover letter that reflects your enthusiasm for nursing. A cover letter is especially important if you are bringing your portfolio to an interview.


Include your personal information, address, and contact details. Also, consider adding occupational health records to showcase your commitment to patient safety.


Provide details about your nursing degree, university attended, and any additional nursing studies you've undertaken. Highlighting advanced degrees can set you apart.

Nursing Licensure

Include proof of your NMBI annual retention certification.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Certs

Showcase your commitment to staying current in your skills and knowledge by highlighting certification cards such as BLS, CPI, etc.; HSEland certs; patient moving and handling; and other such certificates. 

Work Experience

Detail your work experience to date. If you’re newly graduated you can use this section to share details of your clinical experience or internship.

Performance Evaluation

You can use this section to showcase your success! Recommendation letters, performance evaluations, positive feedback signed by supervisors, patient satisfaction surveys, thank you cards from patients can all go here. If you are recently qualified, you can put in written feedback from your preceptors as part of your placements.

Professional Affiliations

If you won any awards as a nurse; are a member of any healthcare committees; have done volunteer project work; or do anything extracurricular that can reflect positively on you as an employee, this can go here. For example, if you teach first aid, have done volunteer work abroad, or are part of a sporting club which demonstrates teamwork capabilities, put proof of this in here. You could also add a picture!

Academic Transcripts

Showcase examples of professional or scholarly work such as articles or research. A great example is a literature review you might have had to write for your final year in college, or the cover page of your thesis if you have done a masters.

Two female nurses having a chat

Request references from colleagues who've seen your work first hand


You can include references contact information at the end if you wish, and we would recommend any letter of recommendation, verification of service, etc. as these can be needed for future employment. Learn more about references here.

Important Things to Remember

  • While the content of your nursing portfolio is crucial, its presentation is equally important. Remember to keep it organised and professional, and do not let it end up looking like a scrapbook. You will want to bring this portfolio to prospective interviews and impress employers.
  • Working alongside your portfolio, it is advised to also complete a personal development plan. Ask yourself, "Where do you want to be in five or ten years?; What steps are you taking to achieve these goals?; What course or further education are you interested in?". Define your long-term goals, identify steps to achieve them, and consider further education options to enhance your skills.

Let Us Help You!

If you are interested in putting together your nursing portfolio today and want to find out more, please feel free to contact us at Clarity where a dedicated recruitment consultant will be on hand to guide you through this process.

Contact Us View All Nursing Roles


Posted on 29 August 2023 by Laura Mulchrone
Author Info

Laura Mulchrone

01 567 3123
[email protected]

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