Reflecting on the use of student portfolios

Sue Harris, Gina Dolan*, Gavin Fairbairn

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The use of portfolios in nursing has increased during recent years. We reflect upon the design and implementation of a portfolio for pre-registration nursing students in the School of Care Sciences1 at the University of Glamorgan. The portfolio was introduced as the result of the need to address the theory-practice divide and to provide nurse students with the skills to maintain a professional profile upon registration. We also discuss other potential benefits associated with using the portfolio. These include the use of a portfolio as a focus for discussion between the student and their preceptor or personal tutor, a vehicle for the development of reflective skills and a means of assessment. We acknowledge that along with benefits, there are a number of potential problems and limitations in their use, for example, an increase in the workload for the student, preceptor and personal tutor. We include preliminary findings of an evaluation of our portfolio, revealing that both students and staff value the introduction of the portfolio, although currently it is not a high priority in terms of the course as a whole.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)278-286
    Number of pages9
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - May 2001


    • nursing students
    • nursing portfolios
    • nurse education
    • learning and development


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