Portfolios provide a tool for students to help plan their future careers, direct their learning and communicate their competence. The portfolio explores the relationship between the regulatory requirements of self-declaration and ability to achieve and maintain competency standards, whilst providing an avenue of reflection that is crucial to professional growth. You will develop a clinical portfolio that will be modelled on an integration of two types of approach; a standards-based approach and a process-orientated approach. The portfolio should be developed in a coherent and comprehensive manner and should provide evidence of your ability as a specialist Intensive Care nurse in addition to your ability to critically reflect on your practice and strategically plan your own professional development. You may include supplementary material as evidence to support your portfolio.
While you have flexibility in the construction of your portfolio you are required to include two specific elements in your portfolio. First, using a standards-based approach, you are required to demonstrate your ability to effectively fulfil your role as a specialist nurse in your subspecialty. To do this you will need to review Australian College of Critical Care Nurses (ACCCN), Competency Standards for Specialist Critical Care Nurses. With reference to each of the standards and criteria set by your professional organisation, you must provide a self-assessment of your practice. This should form the first half of your portfolio.
The second half of your portfolio uses a process-oriented approach to portfolio development. In this section of your portfolio you are required to provide a reflective and critical evaluation of your practice since the beginning of the year. This self-reflection enables you to critique your professional development as a means of understanding and learning from your experiences and will provide direction for future learning and development in your chosen area of practice. This section must also include at least two substantial examples of a situation where you were either successful with, or challenged by, your engagement with the patient and their family as partners in critical illness assessment and care, and /or physical and psychological recovery. Please refer to the attached documents carefully.
There are two ways in which you might reflect on your practice:
A short example of both the standards-based approach and the process-oriented approach to portfolio development are attached. These are examples only and it should be noted that portfolio development is personal in nature and must reflect your own experiences. An excellent source of information about professional portfolios can be found in the textbook:
Andre, K., & Heartfield, M. (2008). Professional Portfolios: Evidence of Competency for Nurses and Midwives, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier: Chatswood.
Additional references that might be useful include:
1. McMullan, M., Endacott, R., Gray, M., Miller, C., Scholes, J., & Webb, C. (2003). Portfolios and assessment of competence: A review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 41(3), 283-294.
2. Oermann, M.H. (2002). Developing a professional portfolio in nursing. Orthopaedic Nursing, 21(2)73-78.
3. Casey, D.C., & Egan, D. (2010) The use of professional portfolios and profiles for career enhancement. British Journal of Community Nursing, 15(11): 547-552.
4. Gustafsson, C., & Fagerberg, I. (2004). Reflection, the way to professional development? Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13: 271-280.