ICN President Dr Pamela Cipriano visits global nurse pioneer Mo-Im Kim to honour her lifelong leadership and dedication to nursing

6 February 2023
WS 07

International Council of Nurses (ICN) President Dr Pamela Cipriano has visited the home of the renowned South Korean nurse Mo-Im Kim to thank her for her lifelong dedication to nurses and nursing throughout her incredibly influential career.

Born in 1935, Dr Kim has been a lifelong policy activist and pioneer for public health, as well as holding many influential positions, including that of ICN President from 1989 to 1993, President of the Korean Nurses Association (KNA), Professor and Dean of the Yonsei University College of Nursing in Seoul, South Korea. She has been a member of South Korean Parliament and the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Health and Welfare.

Dr Kim has been a champion and icon for advancing public health and home health nursing through research and policy advocacy, and the impact of her work continues to be felt far beyond the Western Pacific region.

Just prior to attending the 6th Korea-Japan-China Nursing Conference, in Seoul, ICN President Pam Cipriano and ICN Chief Nurse Michelle Acorn, visited Dr Mo-Im Kim, who has Parkinson’s disease, at her residence.

During the visit, Dr Cipriano presented a plaque to honour her transformational leadership and devotion to the profession.

The dedication on the plaque reads: “ICN expresses its deepest gratitude to Dr Kim Mo-Im, pioneer and evolutional leader in various areas of social and health development, for decades of extraordinary devotion to nurses and nursing.”

After her visit Dr Cipriano said: “Dr Kim is now in the twilight of her life, surrounded by nurses and a team of excellent and dedicated caregivers around the clock, who are fortunate to enjoy time with one of the icons of global nursing. She acknowledged that she has been weakened by age and illness, yet she retains a strong interest in the work of nurses as they advocate for better health and quality care.

‘With a twinkle in her eye, Dr Kim reflected on a life well-lived. She maintains a sense of humour and enjoyed posing with us for photographs and signing a book about her life, “1000 Paths for Nurses”.

Dr Cipriano thanked former ICN Board Member Dr Euisook Kim, professor emerita, Yonsei University, for arranging the visit and Dr TaeWha Lee, who is a board member of KNA and former Dean of Yonsei University College of Nursing, who joined them to honor Mo-Im.

Dr Euisook Kim said that after the visit, Dr Kim had said she had enjoyed the meeting with Drs Cipriano and Acorn, and proudly showed off the plaque to other visitors later that week.

Through the generosity of Dr Kim and the Yonsei University, ICN awards the “Kim Mo-Im Policy Innovation and Impact” award every two years in honour of her contributions to nursing and social advancement. For information about the award go to its web page here.

Download the communique here