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Portfolio Use as a Tool to Demonstrate Professional Development in Advanced Nursing Practice

Hespenheide, Molly MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC; Cottingham, Talisha MSN, RN, APHN; Mueller, Gail MSN, RN-BC, ACNS-BC

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e318233ea90
Feature Article

A concrete way of recognizing and rewarding clinical leadership, excellence in practice, and personal and professional development of the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) is lacking in the literature and healthcare institutions in the United States. This article presents the process of developing and evaluating a professional development program designed to address this gap. The program uses APRN Professional Performance Standards, Relationship-Based Care, and the Magnet Forces as a guide and theoretical base. A key tenet of the program is the creation of a professional portfolio. Narrative reflections are included that illustrate the convergence of theories. A crosswalk supports this structure, guides portfolio development, and operationalizes the convergence of theories as they specifically relate to professional development in advanced practice. Implementation of the program has proven to be challenging and rewarding. Feedback from APRNs involved in the program supports program participation as a meaningful method to recognize excellence in advanced practice and a clear means to foster ongoing professional growth and development.

Author Affiliations: CNS Psychiatry Services (Ms Hespenheide), APRN Surgical Services (Ms Mueller), Akron General Medical Center, Ohio; and Division Manager (Ms Cottingham), Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Talisha Cottingham, MSN, RN, APHN, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, 11100 Euclid Ave, Mailstop 6073, Cleveland, OH 44106 (

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.