As a recent nursing grad in her home country of Korea, Jai met a nurse practitioner from the United States—and immediately knew that she, too, wanted to pursue an advanced practice. There was only one problem: It was not possible at the time to become a nurse practitioner in Korea. Jai knew what she had to do. She came to the US to become a NP, and now cares for cardiac patients and mentors other advanced practice nurses. It’s not easy to move to another country to follow your dreams, and then take on a complex leadership role to uplift other nurses, all in the service of better patient care, but that is exactly what Jai has done. 

Like many excellent nurses, Jai is often the first one to notice a problem and make a plan to address it: She saw that more and more patients required cardiac care, without additional MDs to provide it. So she worked within her institution to allow advanced practice providers to see cardiac clinic patients independently. Again, this was not easy, and Jai had to navigate system and staffing barriers. But she succeeded, and the end result has been that more patients are getting the care they need—patients like a 62-year-old woman who arrived at the cardiac clinic in a panic. She had previously had a heart attack, and now she was unwell again. Jai quickly determined that this woman had had a stroke, and she acted fast to get her the emergency care and imaging that she needed to recover. 

Jai was first inspired by an NP to follow her dreams, and now she pays it forward: She has advocated for higher nurse education in Korea, and mentors nurses both in Korea and in the United States, inspiring others to provide the very best care to their communities.