Loretta Ford

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Loretta Ford
Born (1920-12-28) December 28, 1920 (age 98)
EducationUniversity of Colorado
Medical career
ProfessionNurse educator
FieldAdvanced practice nursing
InstitutionsUniversity of Colorado
AwardsLiving Legend of the American Academy of Nursing

Loretta C. Ford (born December 28, 1920[1]) is an American nurse and the co-founder of the first nurse practitioner program. Along with pediatrician Henry Silver, Ford started the pediatric nurse practitioner program at the University of Colorado in 1965. In 1972, Ford joined the University of Rochester as founding dean of the nursing school.


Loretta Ford was born in New York City.[2] She attended nursing school though she had considered a career in teaching. She was a nurse in the US Army Air Force, and worked at several military bases during World War II before returning for bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Colorado. Ford worked as a public health nurse in rural Colorado in the 1940s and 1950s. Her experiences in this position led to an interest in advanced medical training for nurses. In 1965, Ford and pediatrician Henry Silver created the pediatric nurse practitioner program at the University of Colorado. This was the first nurse practitioner program in the United States.[3] In 1971, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine.[4] She became the founding dean of the nursing school at the University of Rochester in 1972.

Ford was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing in 1999.[5] In 2003, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Nurse Practitioner.[6] She was honored with the Elizabeth Blackwell Award from Hobart and William Smith Colleges that same year; the award honors "a woman whose life exemplifies outstanding service to humanity."[7] She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2011.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wells, Thelma J. (June 1993). "One Hundred Years of Powerful Women: A Conversation with Loretta C. Ford". Public Health Nursing. 10 (2): 72–77. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1446.1993.tb00028.x. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Papers of Loretta C. Ford". University of Rochester Medical Center. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b Landau, Elizabeth. "Nurse Practitioners Were "Lone Rangers", Founder Says". CNN.com. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  4. ^ "Directory: IOM Member - Loretta C. Ford, Ed.D., R.N." Institute of Medicine. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  5. ^ "Living Legends". American Academy of Nursing. Archived from the original on April 12, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  6. ^ "NP of the Year Winners". The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Healthcare. 28 (11): 16–17. November 2003. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  7. ^ "HWS: The Blackwell Award". Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Retrieved May 18, 2013.