Featured ArticlesUSING PORTFOLIOS TO Evaluate Achievement of Population-Based Public Health Nursing Competencies in Baccalaureate Nursing StudentsSCHAFFER, MARJORIE A.; NELSON, PAMELA; LITT, EMILYAuthor Information About the AuthorsMarjorie A. Schaffer, PhD, RN, is a professor at Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota, where Pamela Nelson, MS, RN, is an assistant professor. Emily Litt, MS, RN, PHN, is a planner with the Minnesota Department of Health. The authors wish to thank the Center for Public Health Nursing at the Minnesota Department of Health for partial funding through their Linking Public Health Nursing Practice and Education to Promote Population Health grant (#1D11HP0033001) from the Division of Nursing, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration. For more information, contact Dr. Schaffer firstname.lastname@example.org. Nursing Education Perspectives: March-April 2005 - Volume 26 - Issue 2 - p 104-112 Buy Abstract Public health nurses from 13 local public health agencies and nurse educators from five schools of nursing developed population-based public health nursing competencies for new graduates and novice public health nurses. Educators in one nursing program used a portfolio assignment to measure achievement of the competencies by traditional and RN to BSN students in a community health nursing course. Data were collected from surveys and focus groups to determine students' responses to the portfolio and their use of population-based public health nursing concepts. The assignment enhanced students' critical thinking skills; however, concerns about the structure and evaluation of the portfolio decreased student satisfaction. Recommendations are made for improving the portfolio format, increasing students' valuing of the portfolio, managing the tension between assessment and learning, and orienting clinical agency staff and nursing instructors. Copyright 2005 by National League for Nursing, Inc.