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Strategies for Developing an Academic Portfolio

Academic portfolios help nursing students at all educational levels. It allows them to be set apart from others in the job market after graduation. Portfolios provide guidelines for an individual throughout the student’s educational journey, after graduation, and in their career. According to Mollahadi et al. (2018), portfolios provide the best work and show the trajectory of a learner’s educational growth. Utilization of my portfolio will provide understanding, and show advancement, and progress that has been made.  It will also aid in providing further guidance on the key areas where improvement is needed and allow for self-evaluations. I will incorporate two strategies to develop my portfolio—using technology and having a social change initiative because both align with my personal goals and those of Walden University (Walden University, n.d.).  

One of the strategies, I will use in the development of my academic portfolio is the utilization of information technology tools. I will make the document easily shareable and accessible to receive more feedback from peers and instructors. To attain this goal, I will use digital tools to create an e-Portfolio for my accomplishments. Collins and O’Brien (2018) explain that e-portfolios that feature multimedia artifacts and hyperlinks foster interaction and encourage instructors to give positive feedback. Instructor feedback provides well-informed responses that are grounded in experience and competence; hence, it is essential for my growth as a nurse. Thus, my e-Portfolio should be interactive and accessible.

In combination with coursework, I plan to initiate a social change initiative which will be part of my final school project. Having a social change will demonstrate my clinical competence and ability to apply the concepts we have learned in class and receive feedback from the society. Nurses have a social responsibility for the communities that they serve which can be linked to one of their main roles as a patient advocates. According to Phillips et al. (2020), nurses are expected to apply a holistic approach to patient care by seeking deeper insights into the root causes of illnesses, such as poverty and other social issues. I am passionate about mental health and its relationship with low socioeconomic status. Also, I would like to initiate a social initiative within the community that will focus on mental health among ethnic minorities in rural areas. This patient population with mental health issues is more likely to lack the resources and ability to access treatment, medications, and quality healthcare. I will develop a program that reaches out to them to create awareness of the importance of mental health wellness and reduce the stigma related to how society views patients with mental health issues and provide unbiased psychiatric care. An approach of this magnitude will strengthen my portfolio. It will also provide an opportunity to apply the skills learned in the classroom to improve awareness and provide knowledge to the community.

My decision to initiate the program aligns with Walden University’s commitment to social change. Walden University prides itself as an institution for connecting people, resources, and opportunities for positive social change (Walden University, n.d.). To attain these goals, it seeks to empower change makers, build the community, and elevate social change outcomes. As an aspiring nurse, I resonate with these goals as I will work with my peers and faculty to build communities through which we can support each other’s programs. I hope to see not only our professional growth but also improve the well-being of the communities. As we work together in these initiatives, we will develop our teamwork and diversity skills, which are essential competencies for nurses.

References

Collins, E., & O’Brien, R. (2018). Highly structured ePortfolio platform for Bachelor of Nursing

students: Lessons learned in implementation. International Journal of ePortfolio, 8(1), 43-55.

Mollahadi, M., Khademolhoseini, S. M., Mokhtari-Nouri, J., & Khaghanizadeh, M. (2018). The

portfolio as a tool for mentoring in nursing students: A scoping review. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 23(4), 241-247.

Phillips, J., Richard, A., Mayer, K. M., Shilkaitis, M., Fogg, L. F., & Vondracek, H. (2020).

Integrating the social determinants of health into nursing practice: Nurses’ perspectives. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52(5), 497-505.

Walden University. (n.d.). Field experience: College of nursing: College of nursing. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son