Sofia Pincheira Oyarzun

Chilean Nurse and author of the Code of Ethics of the Chilean College of Nurses

Sofia Pincheira Oyarzun (1903–1991) was born in Concepcion, Chile to Anibal Pincheira Toro and Emilia Oyarzun Rivera. After completing schooling at the Liceo de Nina de Concepcion, she went on to study medicine for two years at the University of Chile. She then focused on nursing and attended the School of Sanitary Nurses of Chile which was under the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Chile and Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. She graduated in 1927.

Photo source from Wikimedia

In 1929, she was the first Chilean nurse to receive a scholarship from the American Assocaition University Women to study in the United States. She attended Columbia University in New York. She then went on to Yale University School of Nursing in New Haven Connecticut and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1932.

Shortly after her return to Chile, she was appointed the Technical Deputy Director of the School of Nurses at her alma mater, University of Chile. By 1935, she began her family and married her husband Heinrich Ehrenberg. While living in Bolivia she organized the first School of Nurses at Hospital de Obrajes in La Paz, Bolivia. She returned to Chile permanently in 1943 and established the first Sanitary Unit in Quinta Normal, Chile in collaboration with the National Health Service and Rockefeller Foundation. This unit and those to follow were created as teaching demonstration centers and also where Sofia created a training course for nurses. The National Health Service appointed Sofia Director of the Sanitary Nurse Services and in 1951 she received a scholar from the World Health Organization to study at the University of Minnesota for her Masters in the School of Public Health.

Beginning in 1955, Sofia worked as a consultant and assisted with the development of various public health projects throughout the Dominican Republic, Panama, Guatemala, and Belize. She returned to Chile in 1965 as an advisory member to the Chilean Ministry of Health. After years of service, she retired from the National Health Service, but remained active in the College of Nurses of Chile in Santiago, Chile as the General Counsel. She also authored the Code of Ethics for the Chilean College of Nurses in 1983. She also authored La Enfermera Sanitaria en los Servicios de Salude Publica Sofia Has been recognized Yale School of Nursing with the Distinguished Alumnae Award for her contributions to nursing.


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