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HealthJuly 08, 2021

Building a nursing digital footprint

By: Heather Swift, MSN, RN
We live in a tech world where phones, watches, doorbells, cars, and more are all tech-driven. Even when you look at healthcare, you’ll notice there are portable monitors, telehealth, and Fitbits to further advance the world.

Everyone, whether they are aware (active) or not (passive), has a digital footprint and it’s important to be aware of your digital footprint, especially as healthcare professionals. Everything a person does, clicks, writes, shares, or completes online is a part of their permanent digital footprint. It’s important to be hypervigilant on anything placed and/or shared online, as it is potentially there forever.

Building a career-centric digital footprint

Use the internet as a platform to leverage our careers in healthcare, not hurt them, by leaving a footprint that is “heavier” than a personal social media account. A person’s online presence is now a potential employer’s first impression, and it is lasting and forever. One can easily prepare and maintain an electronic portfolio to impress and showcase their achievements, certifications, and career milestones.

Benefits of a digital portfolio for nurses

digital portfolio is a collection of a nurse’s growth in much more detail and uniqueness than the traditional paper resume or curriculum vitae that gets 5-15 seconds of viewing time. Having an electronic portfolio creates a visual excerpt into your professional realm. The portfolio can be geared toward students and/or faculty. Research shows that employers conduct an internet search of job candidates before hiring. If that's the case, give them a professionally created portfolio that will increase your chances of getting to land that promotion or job.

And while electronic portfolios are not quite the norm, they are gaining traction quickly, especially as the world increases in virtual meetings, interviews, and remote work and class environments. The task may sound daunting, however, there are many sites that will help design and provide templates, some for free and some for a cost. For faculty members, I've incorporated building a digital portfolio as a course requirement, I can assure you it is not too daunting for the students. We must embrace technological advancements or be looked over.

Heather Swift, MSN, RN
Expert Insights Contributor for Wolters Kluwer, Nursing Education
Lippincott® Nursing Education
Preparing today’s students to become tomorrow’s nurses
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