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Imogene M. King Papers

Identifier: 2022-051

Scope and Contents

Although the papers touch on the entirety of Imogene King’s academic career, the core of the collection is an interview transcript (with digital audio and video versions) of a wide-ranging interview with King conducted by Patricia Messmer on June 17-19, 1994. The interview responses served as the basis of a series of biographical essays by Messmer highlighting King’s career and theoretical propositions regarding nursing practice. Also included are a number of publications by King and others explicating these theories and their application in healthcare settings, as well as a series of award applications with letters of recommendation. A small number of photographs completes the collection.


  • Creation: 1948-2016

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Imogene M. King (1923-2007), RN, EdD, FAAN, was a professor of Nursing at the University of South Florida from 1980-1990, where she concluded her academic career as a professor emerita. Previously, King held appointments at Loyola University, Chicago (1961-66 and 1972-1980), and the Ohio State University, Columbus (1968-1972). She began her teaching career at St. John’s Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri (1948-1958), immediately following the award of her B.S.N.E. at St. Louis University. King was active in many professional nursing organizations, especially the Florida and American Nurses’ Associations and the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, and over her career led numerous academic committees and public policy initiatives relative to nursing research and healthcare. She became an ANA Hall of Fame member in 2004, and was named an ANA Living Legend in 2005.

King is best known for her writing and advocacy for nursing theory, and was instrumental in developing this field of scholarly inquiry and its practical application. A number of her multitudinous publications are considered major academic contributions: A Theory for Nursing: systems, concepts, process (1981), Curriculum and Instruction in Nursing (1986), “King’s Theory of Goal Attainment” Nursing Science Quarterly 5 (January 1992) 1: 19-26 (and later revisions), and Interacting System Framework (1997). King earned her Ed.D. in 1961 from the Teachers College of Columbia University; an M.S.N (1957) and BSNE (1948) from the St. Louis University School of Nursing and Allied Health; and the diploma in Nursing from the St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing, in St. Louis (1945).


1.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



(1923-2007) Significant author and advocate for nursing theory and its practical application, attaining wide recognition for her scholarly accomplishments. Professor at the University of South Florida, Loyola, and Ohio State. The core of the collection consists of a wide-ranging interview with King conducted by Patricia Messmer on June 17–19, 1994, and a series of biographical essays on King published by Messmer from the interviews. Publications by and about King are included.


After initial folders of administrative items and King’s curriculum vita, the materials are organized by general subject headings, arranged alphabetically. Miscellaneous audio cassette tapes and VHS video tapes are contained in a supplementary box. Digital audio and video versions of the 1994 interview are stored on the ECBCNHI shared drive.

Henry K. Sharp
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry Repository

University of Virginia School of Nursing
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0782 United States