Career Cartography: A Conceptualization of Career Development to Advance Health and Policy

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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this article is to propose a conceptualization of career development that emphasizes the interdependence between research, practice, and policy.

Organizing Construct:

Career cartography applies three decades of career development experience to lay out a systematic, comprehensive, and iterative approach for planning and communicating the outcomes of science at any career stage. To inform practice and policy, nurse researchers must be clear on the intended destination and trajectory of the science, and be skilled in communicating that science and vision to diverse stakeholders. Career cartography builds on the science of cartography, is developed within the context of public and health policy, and is composed of several components, including a destination statement, career mapping, a supportive career cartography team, and use of communication and dissemination strategies.

Conclusions:

The successful utilization of career cartography may accelerate advancement of individual careers, scientific impact, and the discipline as a whole by guiding nurse researchers to be deliberative in career planning and to communicate successfully the outcomes of research across a wide variety of stakeholders. Career cartography provides a framework for planning a nurse researcher's program of research and scholarship to advance science, policy, and health of the public.

Clinical Relevance:

Career cartography guides nurse researchers to realize their full potential to advance the health of the public and inform public and health policy in academic and practice environments.

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