You are here

Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN

Mary T. Champagne Professor of Nursing
(919) 668-3838
4111 Pearson Building

Dr. Im received a BSN with an honor (magna cum laude) and a MPH from Seoul National University in South Korea. She received her second Master's degree (MSN) from the University of California, San 
Francisco (UCSF), and finally a PhD in nursing from UCSF in 1997. She also had 1.5 years of postdoctoral study at UCSF.

Dr. Im's most outstanding contribution to nursing is a research program that adopts Internet and computer technologies to eliminate gender and ethnic disparities. She has taken the lead in this burgeoning field, and her current studies are among the first of their kind to use these technologies to build nursing knowledge. She has also gained national and international recognition as a methodologist and theorist in international cross-cultural women’s health through more than 350 papers, abstracts, and chapters (over 150 refereed journal articles) and over 250 international and national multi-disciplinary presentations. Dr. Im has been on more than 45 research review panels of the NIH, and is also a reviewer for the PCORI and the American Heart Association. Dr. Im is a senior editor of the Journal of Transcultural Nursing, is on the editorial boards of 8 journals including the Advances in Nursing Science and the Research in Nursing and Health, and is on 13 editorial review boards. She has numerous national and international awards, one of which is the 2014 International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award from the Sigma Theta Tau International.

Dr. Im's program of research can be described as feminist-driven Internet research on gender and ethnic differences in health/illness experience of midlife women. Dr. Im's doctoral research and post-doctoral study focused on international cross-cultural women’s health research. Then, her work extended to oncology areas, and she developed Internet research methodology as an area of expertise. She further integrated this line of work with research projects on gender and ethnic differences in cancer pain, menopausal symptoms, and physical activity as the principal investigator through a series of NIH-funded, R01 awards. She has obtained about 17.5 million dollars (9.1 million as the PI) of research funding through R01s (4 R01s as the PI) and other grants (25 small grant studies).

Dr. Im’s dedication to teaching and mentoring a new generation of scholars is reflected in her efforts made to individually mentor more than 40 doctoral and post-doctoral scholars, 90 undergraduate students, and 50 research assistants (counting only since Sep. 2002). Also, her national and international invited lectures, presentations, book chapters, and service activities represent her efforts to raise a next generation of nurses and to make advances in nursing science. Dr. Im has taught courses on nursing theory, nursing philosophy, critical literature review, research methods, and global women’s health issues.

Academic Program Affiliations

  • PhD in Nursing Program

Research Interests

  • International cross-cultural women’s health
  • Midlife women’s health issues
  • Cancer survivorship (breast cancer)
  • Cancer pain
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Physical Activity
  • Racial/ethnic disparities
  • Web-based research
  • Technology-based intervention
  • Global health

Awards and Honors

  • 2017 || The Distinguished Contributions for Nursing Science Award, Duke University School of Nursing & Alumni Association
  • 2015 || Finalist for Aetna Susan B. Anthony Award for Excellence in Research on Older Women and Public Health, American Public Health Association
  • 2014 || Invited Distinguished International Visiting Scholar, Chang Gung Institute of Science and Technology, Taiwan
  • 2014 || International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award, Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2011 || Marjorie O. Rendell Endowed Professor in Healthy Nursing Transitions, The University of Pennsylvania
  • 2010 || Invited International Distinguished Scholar, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, South Korea
  • 2009 || Dean’s Excellence Award, Research Award, The University of Texas at Austin
  • 2007 || Centennial Alumni Recognition Award, of College of Nursing at Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 2007 || Invited International Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Chang Gung Institute of Technology, Taiwan
  • 2007 || La Quinta Motor Inns. Inc. Centennial Professor in Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin
  • 2006 || Dean’s Excellence Award, Research Award, The University of Texas at Austin
  • 2005 || Inducted as Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
  • 2005 || D. Jean Wood Nursing Scholarship Award, Southern Nursing Research Society
  • 2005 || Ed and Molly Smith Fellowship, The University of Texas at Austin
  • 2004 || Dean’s Excellence Award, Writing Award, The University of Texas at Austin
  • 2002 || UWM Foundation Research Award, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM)
  • 2002 || Ed and Molly Smith Centennial Fellowship, The University of Texas at Austin
  • 2002 || Graduate School Research Committee Award, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • 2001 || American Nurses Foundation Scholar, Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
  • 2000 || Faculty Research Initiative Award, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Nursing
  • 1996 || Century Club Annual Research Fund Award, University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing
  • 1996 || Graduate Division Research Award, University of California, San Francisco
  • 1989 || Magna cum laude, Seoul National University, School of Medicine
  • 1989 || President Award, The Korean Nurses’ Association
  • 1987 || Scholarship Award, Seoul National University Hospital, Nurses’ Association (Hanul hoi)
  • 1985 || Education Committee Chairman Award, City of Seoul, Korea

Areas of Expertise

  • Global and Community Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Oncology
  • Palliative Care
  • Women's Health

Areas of Interest

International cross-cultural midlife women’s health issues
Breast cancer survivorship
Gender and ethnic disparities in midlife health
Technology-based research
Physical activity promotion
Oncology, specifically survivorship and palliative care

Representative Publications

  • 2017 -- PubMed # : 28118298 Im, E. and Kim, S. and Ji, X. and Park, S. and Chee, E. and Chee, W. and Tsai, H. Improving menopausal symptoms through promoting physical activity: a pilot Web-based intervention study among Asian Americans. Menopause. 24(6); 653-662
  • 2017 -- PubMed # : 28482995 Im, E. and Kong, E. What Is the Status Quo of Evidence-Based Community Health Nursing? Res Theory Nurs Pract. 31(2); 156-178
  • 2017 -- PubMed # : 27846052 Im, E. and Ko, Y. and Chee, E. and Chee, W. and Mao, J. J. Clusters of midlife women by physical activity and their racial/ethnic differences. Menopause. 24(4); 417-425
  • 2017 -- PubMed # : 27177930 Lee, I. and Garland, S. N. and DeMichele, A. and Farrar, J. T. and Im, E. and Mao, J. J. A cross-sectional survey of pain catastrophising and acupuncture use among breast cancer survivors. Acupunct Med. 35(1); 38-43
  • 2017 -- PubMed # : 26881786 Im, E. and Ko, Y. and Chee, E. and Chee, W. Immigration transition and sleep-related symptoms experienced during menopausal transition. Women Health. 57(1); 69-87
  • 2017 -- PubMed # : 27889049 Im, E. and Lee, Y. and Chee, E. and Chee, W. Web-based interventions for menopause: A systematic integrated literature review. Maturitas. 95 24-30
  • 2017 -- Im, E. O., & Meleis, A. I. Situation specific theories In Theoretical Nursing: Development and Progress edited by A. I. Meleis. ; pp. 390-400. : Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 390-400
  • 2017 -- Im, E. Meleis transitions theory In Nursing Theorists and Their Work edited by Alligood, M. R., & Tomey, A. M.. 2017, In press; : Mosby. 2017, In press
  • 2017 -- Im, E. Theory of transitions In Middle Range Theory for Nursing edited by M. J. Smith & P. Liehr. Springer. 2017, In press
  • 2017 -- Kim, S., & Im, E. O. Korean breast cancer survivors In Global Applications of Culturally Competent Health Care: Guidelines for Practice edited by Douglas, M., Pacquiao, D. F., & Purnell, L.. Springer. 2017, In press


Grant Funding (Selected)

  • To Enhance Breast Cancer Survivorship of Asian Americans

    06/2016 to 05/2021
    Role: Principal Investigator

    The purpose of the proposed randomized intervention study is to test the efficacy of the technology-based information and coaching/support program for Asian American breast cancer survivors (TICAA) in enhancing the women’s breast cancer survivorship experience.

  • Research on Vulnerable Women, Children and Families

    3T32 NR007100-15
    06/2014 to 05/2019
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • Retention in Cancer Clinical Trials: Modeling Patients' Risk-Benefit Assessments

    1R01 CA196131
    06/2014 to 05/2019
    Role: Consultant
  • Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health

    K12 HD043446-15
    Role: Advisor, Internal Advisory Council
  • Development of Korean-National Cancer and Health-related Information Survey Scale and Spreading Strategies

    Korean National Research Foundation
    06/2017 to 05/2020
    Role: Consultant/Mentor
  • Development and Evaluation of Decision Support System on Health Literacy in Multi-Ethnic Females

    Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology
    06/2015 to 05/2017
    Role: Consultant
  • A Pilot Intervention Study on Depressive Symptoms of Midlife Korean Americans

    Dr. Dorothy Mereness Endowed Research Fund, University of Pennsylvania
    06/2015 to 05/2016
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • Web-based Physical Activity Promotion Program

    Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
    06/2014 to 05/2016
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • A Web-based Physical Activity Promotion Program and Depressive Symptoms of Midlife Korean Americans

    Office of Vice Provost for Research, University of Pennsylvania
    06/2015 to 05/2016
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • Web-based Physical Activity Promotion Program

    Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
    06/2015 to 05/2016


Monday, April 9, 2018

​Eun-Ok Im, Wonshik Chee and PhD student Chiyoung Lee recently presented at the Global Breast Cancer Conference held in South Korea. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Eun-Ok Im and Wonshik Chee recently published an article entitled "Clusters of midwife women identified by cogntive symptoms" in Maturitas. Co-authors include experts from Shanghai Jia Tong University, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Gachon University and North Carolina State University. 


Objectives: The study aimed to identify clusters of midlife women by their cognitive symptoms and to examine racial/ethnic differences in the clusters.

Monday, March 12, 2018

​Eun-Ok Im recently authored a chapter entitled "Theory of Transitions" in the book entitled "Middle Range Theory for Nursing, 4th edition." This book is a three-time recipient of the AJN Book of the Year Award and reflects the most current theoretical advances in the field of nursing.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Eun-Ok Im, Wonshik Chee and members of Im's research team recently published an article entitled "The use of multiple languages in a technology-based intervention study: A discussion paper" in Applied Nursing Research. Co-authors include experts from Duke University School of Nursing, Korea National Open University and Tsukuba University.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Eun-Ok Im and Wonshik Chee recently published an article entitled "Midlife women's cardiovascular symptoms: A cluster analysis" in Health Care for Women International. Co-authors include experts from Gachon University and The Bendheim Center for Integrative Medicine. 


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Eun-Ok Im, Wonshik Chee and their research team delivered four presentations at the American Public Health Association 2017 annual conference in Atlanta, GA. Their research team includes postdoctoral associate Sangmi Kim and others from the TICAA research team.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Wonshik Chee and Eun-Ok Im recently published an article entitled "The Influence of Social Structure on Cancer Pain and Quality of Life" in the Western Journal of Nursing Research. Co-author, Ok-Kyung Ham, is an expert from Inha University in South Korea. 


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Eun-Ok Im was recently featured in an article on entitled "She Watched Her Mother Suffer Quietly. Now She's Helping Cancer Survivors Find Help." The article goes into detail about Im's study "To Enhance Breast Cancer Survivorship of Asian Americans."

Click here to read the full article.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Eun-Ok Im published an article entitled "Effect of a Health Literacy-Considered Diabetes Self-Management Program for Older Adults in South Korea" in the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Co-author, Soo Jin Lee visited Duke last year as a visiting scholar.