Eportfolios in nursing

Portfolio approach: Eportfolios

Knowles (1975) assumptions of adult learners being self-directed, self-motivated, readiness to learn and having rich past experience are the basis for the framework of portfolio development and a reflective approach to learning. Joyce (2005) emphasises the development opportunities of a portfolio as the student takes charge of their learning. In nursing, a practice-based portfolio is part of role development and career progression, but is fundamentally maintained for evidence of continuing professional development required for nursing registration standards. Education time and reflection are required documentation for minimum standards.

Two types of nursing portfolio exist according to Oermann (2002):

  1. Best Practice.
  2. Growth and Development.

The e-portfolio uses a multimedia platform to represent learning over an education journey (Green, Wyllie & Jackson, 2014) . The strategy of incorporating an e-portfolio into nurse education for lifelong learning and enhancing personal and professional development means e-portfolios are now more than just an online curriculum vitae (Green, Wyllie & Jackson, 2014). E-portfolio’s allow for regular feedback, progression and development. E-portfolios can be succinctly summarised as “Collect, select, reflect and connect” Clark and Eynon (2009) (cited Green et al, 2014).

Education Theory

Nurse education theory (from undergraduate to postgraduate), key characteristics involve experiential learning and Kolb’s cycle (Quinn, 2000, pg. 62). For professional practice development, use of Schon’s reflective practice and the “reflecting in action, reflecting on action” methodology are teaching strategies common in nursing education (Quinn, 2000, pg. 568).

Regular progress review is considered a requirement in the clinical healthcare setting through performance appraisals (Green et al, 2014).  Predetermined minimum standards of professional nursing domains are expected requirements for successful completion of both undergraduate and postgraduate nursing courses.

E-Portfolio Examples

  • Simple methods include your hard drive, a memory stick (have a back up when it goes missing!) or use Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.
  • A blog or wiki as a collection of resources can be an e-portfolio.
  • E-Portfolio Software such as:
  • Your CV- use LinkedIn.


Green, J., Wyllie, A., & Jackson, D. (2014). Electronic portfolios in nursing education: a review of the literature. Nurse education in practice, 14(1), 4-8

Joyce, P. (2005). A framework for portfolio development in postgraduate nursing practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 14(4), 456-463.

Knowles, M. S., Holton III, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2014). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. Routledge.

Oermann, M. H. (2002). Developing a professional portfolio in nursing. Orthopaedic Nursing, 21(2), 73-78.

Quinn, F. M. (2000). The principles and practice of nurse education. Nelson Thornes