My job

Pay attention to serendipity

When and why did you develop an interest in research? My first nursing job was as a staff nurse in an oncology intensive care unit and a bone marrow transplant unit taking care of patients who were participating in high intensity clinical trials. During my master’s degree, I worked as a research assistant for two faculty members whose research was making an impact at state and national levels, and I was able to lead a small research project of my own. During my doctoral and post-doctoral studies, my research interests continued to grow. I find great meaning and purpose in identifying and solving difficult problems through research.
Janet Carpenter

‘It’s important to pay attention to serendipitous moments, coincidences and findings that take the research on a very different path’ believes Janet Carpenter

Who has been most influential in your career as a nurse and as a researcher?

I have been fortunate to have had many influential colleagues, supervisors and professors. Currently, I am most influenced by my colleagues at the Indiana University School of Nursing. We house the US’s, and likely the world’s, largest group of cancer researchers at a school of nursing. These colleagues are working to improve people’s cancer screening behaviour to prevent cancer early or diagnose it at an earlier stage. In addition, my postdoctoral fellow, Chen Chen, is a brilliant young scientist conducting research on dysmenorrhoea. Working with her has re-energised my own work.

Of your published research, which do you think has been the most influential and why?

I developed

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