Developing a portfolio of my academic achievements and activities will help me move toward my professional goals. My long-term professional development goal is to be a Nurse Practitioner who focuses on the needs of the homeless. Those needs include behavior/physical issues, family and financial issues (Tarrant County Homeless Coalition, 2018). I know from experience working at a clinic that services the homeless, they also have medication regimen and disease management needs. In order to track my progress toward my goals, it is imperative that I created a professional portfolio.
One strategy I can use for building my portfolio with my professional goal in mind is by using the S.M.A.R.T acronym. Doran (1982) as cited by Cope and Murray (2018) indicated that this stands for: Specific (described definitely), Measurable (objective), Achievable (obtainable goals), Relevant (applicable), and Time-bound (linked to a specific time frame) (p. 5). Using this acronym can make my portfolio well organized.
Another strategy that I can use is to develop an e-portfolio as my first portfolio. I can make a large all-inclusive portfolio and then I can select specific items to present to in various situations. Many organizations require electronic documents to standardize and manage data. Some things to consider as I being are the use a recent electronic resume and certifications. I could use a word processing program to edit this information to create a uniform document. Paper documents can be scanned into a word processing program. It is important to save a copy on a “portable electronic medium” (Burns, 2018, p.17).
There are several key components to creating a portfolio. According to Burns (2018) a portfolio should include a cover page with demographic data, table of Contents, transcripts, professional license verifications and certifications, memberships in professional organizations, teaching and leadership activities, awards, recognitions, and promotions, publications (including audio and video), community activities and service, notes of appreciation and evaluation. A portfolio could be used for analysis: identify strengths and areas for improvement. A well organized portfolio will help me see what I have accomplished and areas that I will need to improve in order to reach my professional goals.
My goal of being a Nurse Practitioner who focuses on the needs of the homeless aligns well with Walden University‘s emphasis on social change. The homeless have so many and varied needs. As this population increases, violence and drug abuse add to the problems they already experience. Disorder.org (n.d) reported, “Approximately 37% of homeless people report that they are alcohol abusers or alcoholics and 27% report that they are drug abusers or drug addicts”. This shows the need for social change and expanded program for them. There are several ways that I could facilitate social change. I could go out with the Outreach Team from the clinic where I work to assess the needs of the homeless population, and provide information about community resources. I could speak to my town counselors. I could get involved in state and national levels to influence changes that would benefit the homeless.
Burns, M. K. (2018). Creating a Nursing Portfolio. Ohio Nurses Review, 93(3), 16–17.
Cope , V., & Murray , M. (2018). Use of professional portfolios in nursing. Nursing Standard
(2014+), 32(30), 55. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7748/ns.2018.e10985
Tarrant County Homeless Coalition. 2018. https://www.fortworthtexas.gov/files/assets/public/city-manager/documents/directions- home/state-of-homeless-report-2018.pdf
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