Happy 100th Birthday, Loretta Ford! - NAPNAP

Happy 100th Birthday, Loretta Ford!

Loretta C. Ford, pioneer of the nurse practitioner profession, turns 100!

Dr. Ford has dedicated herself to nursing since the age of 16 when, as a new high school graduate, she became a nurse’s aide because she was too young to begin nursing training. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces, Ford went on to earn a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Colorado School of Nursing in 1949 and 1951, respectively.

As she advanced in her career as a nursing leader, Dr. Ford realized the profound, untapped potential of the nursing profession to do more to promote and positively impact the health of children. In 1965, she worked with pediatrician Dr. Henry K. Silver at the University of Colorado to co-found the pediatric nurse practitioner role to meet growing primary health care needs for children. The nurse practitioner profession and its dedication to elevating nursing clinicians grew, and by 1973 the United States offered more than 65 nurse practitioner programs. In that same year, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) was established. 

Celebrate Dr. Ford and her contribution to advanced practice nursing with us on her birthday, Dec. 28. Thank you to everyone who shared birthday greetings for this webpage and our Facebook page.

Happy 100th Birthday to a true leader for advanced practice nursing, Dr. Loretta Ford! Pictured at the 2012 annual NAPNAP conference, with Mary Dirks, Patricia Clinton and Cheryll Jones, you blazed a trail for all APPs, and NAPNAP is proud to claim you as a PNP! A notable quote from your talk at that conference, ‘Nurse practitioners are not physician extenders; that would be like saying we are Hamburger Helper’! Your undeniable passion and ongoing advocacy for the NP profession is inspirational.

Patricia L Loretta Ford Picture

Dear Dr. Ford, You were my dean at the University of Rochester. In 1986, we had the pleasure of holding a wonderful retirement party for you, where a signed blue “apron” that students were required to wear as part of their clinical rotations was given to you. While you may not remember me, I remember, with great respect, your leadership. I had fun searching for a photo of you and I at your retirement party. I have since gone on to become a pediatric nurse practitioner in 1992, graduating from Boston College, and am now a full time PhD student. Thank you for all that you have done for nursing. You are a hero and an icon to so many!

Happy birthday Dr. Ford, who started our profession with an audacious dream and bold vision! As we celebrate the year of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday and your 100th birthday, I can only imagine where 2021 will take us into the next 100 years of nursing. We have much work to do as NPs to impact health. I am confident we are up for the challenge. Thank you from this Texas girl who was the first woman in her family to get a baccalaureate degree and has done more than she could have ever dreamed because of the path you blazed. You are an inspiration to the world!

A very Happy Birthday Dr. Ford! I am so very glad you were born 100 years ago to lead us into a brighter and healthier future for children around the globe. Thank you for commitment to advancement of nursing practice while increasing access to high quality pediatric primary care. We all need heroes and you are mine.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Ford! This proud pediatric nurse practitioner adds her greetings and congratulations to the thousands I am sure you will receive. When thinking about your long life, career and never-ending contributions to our children's well-being and the advancement of our profession, one of my favorite children's books, Doctor Suess' "Oh the Places You'll Go" came to mind. Oh the places you went and the trails you blazed! And in doing so, have inspired us by your strength, determination, grace and integrity to continue the journey to places we never would have imagined without your example and inspiration. Happy birthday and many blessings!

Happy, Happy 100th Birthday, Dr. Ford! Thank you so much for your leadership and vision. It has helped to make the world a better place!! I will always remember the day that I had an opportunity to meet you at a NAPNAP Conference. Wishing you a special and wonderful day and a happy, healthy 2021!

Dr. Ford, Happy 100th birthday to you — what an extraordinary milestone to reach! I hope your vision for the PNPs’ (and all NPs’) contributions to the health and well-being of patients and their families has far-exceeded that what you identified all those years ago!!!! Thank you for starting the path that so many of us have and are traveling!

Dr. Ford, I wish you the happiest of birthdays. You are truly an inspiration to us all.

Dr. Loretta Ford, Happy 100th Birthday to You! Thank you for your commitment to and love for nurses, nurse practitioners, nursing students and NAPNAP! And, for my degree from University of Colorado just after you left!

Birthday wishes: Happy 100th, Dr. Ford! Thanks so much for being the trailblazer. I’m so honored to be able to follow in your footsteps!

Happy 100th birthday, Loretta!

Happy 100th Birthday Dr. Ford. Thank you for being trailblazer for our beloved profession. Congratulations on your most recent award, it is truly deserved.

Iowa NAPNAP Loretta Ford

Dr. Ford graced the Iowa Association of Nurse Practitioners, Iowa Chapter of NAPNAP, with her being our keynote speaker at the Spring Conference in 2015. She helped us celebrated IANP’s 40th year anniversary. "The nurse practitioner philosophy is a holistic approach to the health of the patient…Nurse practitioners focus on health, functionality and daily living, and giving the patient feedback. The end result, of course, is to empower the patient or the family or the person to advance to self-care and to be responsible for that.” Ford said.

You continue to serve as a beacon for up and coming nurse practitioners. One of the high points in my life was meeting you in Denver at a School Nurse conference. Thank you for all you do and Happy 100th Birthday.

Happy Birthday to Dr. Loretta Ford, the pioneer of our profession- 290,000 nurse practitioners strong and growing! It is because of your innovative spirit the nursing profession evolved, widening its reach to serve the health and welfare of our communities across the nation. Your holistic approach to education and pediatric health care distinguishes our role as advanced practice nurses, and I am honored to stand beside you. Wishing you, on your day, a very, joy-filled celebration!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Ford. Thank you for all of your trailblazing leadership. You have made such an impact literally on millions of lives. I hope that you have an extra special day.

Thank you for your passion, vision, and commitment to nursing and advance practice. You changed by life for the better!

Happy 100th Birthday!!! Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader, they set out to make a difference and that is exactly what you have done. Thank you for all you have accomplished for nursing and for children and families all over the world. I am forever grateful.

Thank you for paving the way to allow generations of nurses advance their careers and their contributions to children and their families. Yours is a life well lived!

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