‘Becoming’ through Reflection and Professional Portfolios: the voice of growth in nurses

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Reflection, reflective practice and portfolios have become a common refrain in contemporary nursing language. A qualitative study was initiated to explore the experiences of 24 fourth year baccalaureate nursing students developing professional portfolios (Profiles) and the relationship with reflection and reflective practice. The Profile experience enabled students to view their lives as a Journey that offered control and direction for the future. Reflection, developed as an explicit process, was highly valued by the students and perceived as a critical thread to the Profile process. The Profile experience facilitated a spiral of 'Becoming' encompassing alterations in beliefs and behaviours enabling personal and professional growth. Educational insights and critical thinking skills were enhanced. Students anticipated that growth in the nursing profession would result from developing Profiles. The Profile can be an important teaching-learning strategy. It may be a critical dimension of the future of nursing education and the nursing profession.

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14623940020025570

Affiliations: 1: School of Nursing, Mohawk College, Institute of Applied Health Sciences, 1400 Main St West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8C 1C7 2: School of Nursing, McMaster University

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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