The Evolution of the Community Health Nurse Practitioner in Korea


  • Ho Soon Michelle Cho is an Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Dallas, Texas. Maisie Schmidt Kashka is a Professor Emerita and Interim Associate Dean, College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas.

* Ho Soon Michelle Cho, Ph.D., R.N., 1810 Inwood Road., Dallas, TX 75235-7299. E-mail:


Abstract  Community health nursing in Korea has undergone dramatic changes since 1980. These changes arose through the efforts of Mo Im Kim, an internationally known leader in Korean nursing, and colleagues who successfully worked to establish a national community health nurse practitioner program. This article will review these changes with the aim of describing the evolutionary process that culminated in a community health care system that is meeting the needs of Korean citizens who live in rural and isolated areas. The authors believe that the evolution of the community health nurse practitioner in Korea provides a paradigm that can serve as a model for other countries. Health care in Korea is organized differently than that in the United States. However, the plan, process, and political activism can be used for community and public health nursing change in the United States. The information contained in this article is based upon interviews with Mo Im Kim and 20 of her colleagues and associates. Interviewees were selected using a “snowball” sampling technique. Additional data were derived from various professional and personal documents of these individuals. The first author conducted the interviews in both Korea and in the United States.