Assignment: Embedding a Web-link
An Interview Tool
Portfolios provide documentation of specialized skills that can help CNLs market themselves more effec- tively in the interview process. Portfolios may provide an advantage in screening for high potential candi- dates because the tool communicates a particular level of interest in pursuing a position.25 An electronic for- mat allows CNLs to customize their portfolio for a specific practice setting and share the portfolio by simply embedding a Web-link in the cover letter.
In an informal survey of recent UTHSC gradu- ates, former students reported their professional portfolios useful during the employment process to generate and direct discussion with the nurse man- ager conducting the interview. Graduates shared that during the interview, some nurse managers were sur- prised at the level of professionalism and quality of the projects showcased in the portfolios. In general, the graduates believed the time spent collecting and
organizing the data was worth the effort and agreed that it was important to keep the portfolio updated. One student reported that after viewing her portfo- lio, the nurse manager who conducted the interview noted a need to begin collecting her own information and projects.
Portfolios are an effective marketing and communi- cation strategy to introduce the CNL to the practice setting. In particular, portfolios developed through the academic-practice partnership help demonstrate that the CNL has successfully bridged theory with practice.26 A well-documented portfolio can also boost a new CNL graduate’s confidence and sense of professionalism. The process of developing a port- folio provides a format for self-reflection on prac- tice, competencies, and goal planning.11 It is likely that employers will perceive the entry-level CNL as more capable of pioneering this new role in the prac- tice setting through the presentation of a professional portfolio. Finally, the ongoing use of the portfolio format facilitates role development of the CNL as the lifelong learner, continually adapting as the needs of the healthcare system evolves and helping to be a record of personal and professional outcomes.
The portfolio provides benefits for nursing insti- tutions and employers. Because of the fluidity of prac- tice settings for nurses, many need something like a portfolio to document skills and outcomes.27 Port- folios supplement the employee’s resume and provide employers with evidence of the nurse’s commitment to continued competence.28 The portfolio also aids the organization in annual performance appraisals to doc- ument how the employee met or exceeded standards.25
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