Mahara for the College of Nurses Aotearoa

Catalyst collaborated with the College of Nurses Aotearoa New Zealand, using Mahara for their practice portfolios.

Desktop view of NursePortfolio


The College of Nurses was established in 1992 as a professional organisation for New Zealand nurses. It is a strong voice in the nursing community in New Zealand, focusing on the support of nurses and their ongoing professional development.


As a key contributor and advocate for change in the New Zealand nursing community, the College of Nurses wanted an online space that allows its members to create and store their practice portfolios easily. The College of Nurses required a site that would reflect its reputation while offering a clean and engaging interface for nursing professionals.


Catalyst collaborated with the College of Nurses to set up a site designed to support New Zealand Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners to create their professional nursing ePortfolio, using the open source ePortfolio platform Mahara.

Catalyst themed and customised the instance of Mahara to reflect the overall College brand and provide the functionality necessary for practice portfolio development for registered nurses (RN) and nurse practitioners (NP).

Mahara enables nurses to complete a professional practice portfolio, tailored for a Nursing Council Recertification audit, or NP registration application, in a modern, efficient, and accessible way through the Nurseportfolio site. Nurse portfolios can store career, education, and practice information, and meet the requirements for a Nursing Council recertification audit or a portfolio for NP applicant registration.

Catalyst set up a support website to guide nurses through the creation of their practice portfolios. Alongside these helpful guides, there are templates available on Nurseportfolio that make it easy for nurses to start and maintain their portfolio. College of Nurses staff have full control over the platform, created these templates themselves, and also have the power to change them as needed.

The flexibility and freedom the College of Nurses has over its software is the result of Mahara being an open source solution. This also means that as their use of Mahara evolves, our developers can build new features to meet new needs, providing the College of Nurses with unlimited potential. Catalyst’s award winning designers themed the Mahara instance and the help guide to ensure seamless integration and easy recognition of the College of Nurses identity. Nurses can now access their ePortfolio when and where it suits them while keeping their practice portfolios confidential and secure.

In areas without an Internet connection, nurses can collect evidence via the Mahara mobile app and then upload it to their ePortfolio once back online. Mahara caters for a variety of evidence types including submission of reflective statements, documents, images, videos, and audio recordings.

The transition to ePortfolios has been swift, efficient, and warmly received. Professor Jenny Carryer, Executive Director, College of Nurses Aotearoa, said “The College is proud to host a facility that makes the collection and presentation of evidence so much easier, so much more flexible, and completely portable.”

While Liz Manning, Operations Manager, College of Nurses Aotearoa, said, “Nurses have said they that they are delighted that it’s all been set-up for them... to see it all so easily laid out has them going ‘okay now I know what I need to do’.”

Catalyst and the College of Nurses continue to grow together as Catalyst maintains the online documentation, while also providing stakeholder and technical support as needed.

Nurseportfolio is a versatile platform that continues to grow and improve. If you would like to talk more about what our Mahara and eLearning specialists can create for you, get in touch.