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SON Founding Dean Honored with Nightingale Award

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Loretta Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, FAAN, FAANP, the co-developer of the nurse practitioner model and founding dean at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, was honored last week with a prestigious award from the Center for Nursing at the Foundation of New York State Nurses.

Ford, whose innovations thrust the nursing profession in a new direction and revolutionized the health care system, was the first individual recipient of the Nightingale Award, given to those whose actions mirror the legacy and accomplishments of the great Florence Nightingale.

Loretta Ford & Kathy Rideout

An internationally renowned nursing leader whose vision and habit of questioning the status quo galvanized colleagues and continues to inspire those who have followed in her footsteps, Ford’s studies on the expanded scope of practice in public health nursing led to the creation of the first nurse practitioner (NP) training program at the University of Colorado in 1965. Her work revolutionized the delivery of health services and the role of nursing in clinical care. Today, there are more than 350 academic institutions offering nurse practitioner programs and more than 270,000 practicing NPs.

In 1972, Ford was recruited to become the first dean of the newly independent School of Nursing at the University of Rochester. She brought the same passion and powerful thinking to her role as an administrator and educator, guiding the school to new heights. It was at the University of Rochester that she developed and implemented the Unification Model of nursing, where research, practice and education are combined to provide nurses with a more holistic education. She retired from the school in 1986, but continues to be a sought-after speaker on the nurse practitioner movement.

Named a “Living Legend” by the American Academy of Nursing, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011.



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