I've just handed in my Level 1 Professional Portfolio!
I am so relieved that stress is off my shoulders! Of course the Level 2 Portfolio is due in another 5 months, but at least I am halfway there with this one.
For those that don't know, Registered Nurses in NZ have to meet certain practice competencies to gain and renew their practising certificates. There are 2 ways we can prove this. The first option is waiting until the Nursing Council decides to audit you and then compiling a portfolio with evidence to show how you have met the competencies. The second option is signing up to your employer's Professional Development Recognition Programme (PDRP). This consists of several levels. As a New Graduate RN, the terms of my first year of employment are that I submit a Level 1 Portfolio at 6 months and a Level 2 Portfolio at about 12 months.
Most RNs work at Level 2. You can progress to Level 3 or 4 by submitting further portfolios, but for these levels it would usually mean you had a more senior role or were more experienced in your field. If you are on the PDRP you are exempt from the audits, at least for a while.
Although the portfolios are a pain to do, they are beneficial in providing proof to the Nursing Council that an RN is maintaining his or her competence to practice. A lot of nurses freak out about them, but those of us that have trained recently in degree programmes are much more used to putting portfolios together.
The New Grad RNs are also being encouraged to apply for the postgraduate courses next year. To be honest, I have no intention of studying next year, even if it is free. I feel like I need a year to consolidate my knowledge and concentrate on improving my nursing practice. There are also a lot of practical ward-based certificates and courses I'd like to spend my time doing next year. Although I do want to continue postgraduate study at some point, I really don't think I'd get an awful lot out of it this soon into my practice.
Anyway, I'm going to have a short break from portfolio-related work and focus on some other things, in particular buying my first house!