This portfolio contains the key elements that can be used to demonstrate the improvement of my skills and knowledge, as well as the progress toward the achievement of course objectives, that occurred over the past five weeks. Specifically, a concept map and objectives list will be included to set a direction, and a connection of the clinical, educational, and research experiences to course outcomes will be presented. Also, a reflection will be added with comments on the opportunities encountered. Other documents, including a CV and preceptor’s evaluation forms, have been submitted as well. The portfolio will proceed to be updated as needed to reflect my progress toward the objectives set below.
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Career Intentions and Objectives
Currently, I am a BSN clinical professor, and my primary responsibility consists of educating undergraduate nursing students. I have also been contributing to healthcare initiatives within my community as a part of church-based charity efforts; I believe that this experience is important for me as a nurse practitioner and can advance my abilities as a nurse educator. I have the necessary education and certifications (see the CV), and I am satisfied with this position. However, I recognize the importance of continued education for a nurse, especially a nurse educator, and I find the current course helpful for my professional development. Thus, my primary career intention is the advancement of my ability to address my current responsibilities.
In line with the course objectives and competencies, as well as the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) education essentials that were put forward by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN] (2006), I have set the following objectives.
- From the perspective of professional growth, I will proceed to advance my knowledge and skills as a nursing educator, demonstrating a significant improvement by the end of the course.
- From the perspective of clinical competences, I will advance my understanding and knowledge of evidence-based practice guidelines and quality of care, as well as gain relevant experience and proceed to contribute to the improvement of my community’s health, over the course of my studies.
- From the perspective of research, I will enhance my knowledge and skills pertinent to nursing, especially as related to quality improvement projects and workplace innovation, due to my learning throughout the course.
- As a miscellaneous objective, I intend to proceed to practice and advance other pertinent skills, including those related to leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking, over the course of my learning.
As can be seen from the list, in line with my general aim of equipping myself for my current professional activities, I am mostly focused on the objectives of advancing my skills and knowledge. I set the timeline based on the timeframe of my course, and I rank the areas of knowledge and experience in accordance with my personal needs and the demands of my job. The described objectives can be used to discuss my plans for professional growth and contextualize the contribution of recent experiences toward achieving that goal.
The course curriculum and the AACN (2006) advice were used as a guide for the below-presented map. It roughly represents the contract between my preceptor and me and provides a guideline for my professional development. As can be seen from Figure 1, my objectives are interconnected with the activities that are supposed to help me achieve the desired outcomes with the support of my preceptor. In turn, the interventions of the preceptor are defined by my key goals and activities while also having an impact on their development. The map demonstrates the way my preceptor guides my plans and actions while taking into account my preferences and learning needs.
Experiences and Course Outcomes
This section will describe the events of weeks 1-5 (6/05/19-7/09/19) in terms of course outcomes and my objectives. I was involved in patient admission, assessment, education, and management, as well as rounds and standing orders review. Furthermore, I precepted a nursing student, and a major aspect of the period’s work consisted of preparing PowerPoint presentations for nursing staff. The activity involved practicing my skills in searching for evidence-based information and developing educational materials. Thus, I had the opportunity to move toward achieving my first two objectives, which I view as the main ones.
From the perspective of AACN (2006), the essentials related to scholarship and practice are relevant for these experiences (especially Essentials I, III, VII, and VIII), and an argument can be made that my efforts assisted me in developing my collaboration- and leadership-related skills (Essentials II and VI) with respect to patients and other nurses.
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Regarding the relevant research experience, my project needs to be noted. My work to get the Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is progressing, and I have become familiar with the application process. Furthermore, I was developing a recruitment flyer and informed consent document, which was an educational experience that could help me in future research projects. I also conducted an extensive search of the literature relevant for catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), which expanded my personal clinical knowledge and ability to utilize search engines effectively. Moreover, over the past couple of weeks, I studied statistical analysis to a greater extent than before, and I believe that I have achieved a better understanding of the topic.
My research-related experience resulted in working toward achieving my first, second, third, and fourth objectives and expanding my skills and knowledge pertinent to the innovation and quality improvement projects, as well as my familiarity with the topic of CAUTI. These outcomes are related to some of the course competencies and multiple AANC (2006) essentials (especially Essentials I, III, VII, and VIII). In summary, the experiences of the past five weeks were directly targeted at the achievement of course outcomes, DNP education essentials, and my personal objectives.
Personal Reflection on Experiences and Opportunities
To summarize, the relevant experiences of the past five weeks predominantly consisted of clinical practice, nurse education, and research-related activities, which is in line with my mind map (see Figure 1) and objectives. The described period of time presented me with important opportunities for learning and development. Thus, I had the chance to expand my CAUTI-related and other clinical knowledge, practice nurse and educator skills, and learn more about the technical procedures associated with quality improvement efforts (such as the process of gaining IRB approval), as well as relevant theory (such as statistical analysis options).
My research experiences were crucial for equipping me to work with my project and future quality improvement initiatives. I also find that the opportunity to practice other skills, including information retrieval, problem-solving, and critical thinking, is a major contribution to my professional development.
The experiences were not homogenous; some of them were significantly easier, and other ones tended to pose a challenge. Thus, presentation development is an activity that I am relatively comfortable with, although I recognize the value of practicing it, especially for a nurse educator. However, the topic of statistical analysis required significant effort from me. Still, the literature covering it was a major help (Polit & Beck, 2017), and I felt sufficiently equipped for the majority of the activities of the past five weeks. My preceptor also provided instructions and support when needed. As a result, I was able to extract significant value from the described experiences.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2006). The essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. Web.
Polit, D.F., & Beck, C.T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.