School of Nursing Dean Emeritus Receives International Honor

November 02, 2010

Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn (in dark pink) presents University of Rochester School of Nursing professor and dean emeritus Loretta Ford with the Princess Sirinagarinda Award for Nursing at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Thailand on October 21, 2010.

Loretta C. Ford, R.N., P.N.P., F.A.A.N., F.A.A.N.P., professor and dean emeritus at the University of Rochester School of Nursing and an internationally known nursing leader, received the Princess Srinagarindra Award Oct. 21 in Bangkok, Thailand. Ford is credited with developing the role of nurse practitioner.

This honor is conferred annually upon a registered nurse/midwife or group of registered nurses/midwives who have made significant contributions through direct care, research, education or management within the profession. Established in honor of the late Princess Srinagarindra Mahidol, mother of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, the award is recognized as one of the most prestigious given by the country.

“I accepted the award in honor of all advanced practice nurses around the world, and especially the 150,000 nurse practitioners in the United States, who over a 45 year period of blood, sweat, tears and triumphs, are now coming into the recognition and rewards they have so justly earned,” said Ford. “Under the Affordable Care Act, nurse practitioners will continue with increasing recognition and reward to shoulder, with other team members, the responsibilities for which they are well prepared: to deliver accessible, high quality, acceptable and affordable health care to all.”

Loretta C. Ford

Ford earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Colorado and served as a professor for many years at the University of Colorado School of Nursing. While there, she and colleague Henry Silver, M.D., developed a model for the pediatric nurse practitioner.

Ford was dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing from 1972 until her retirement in 1985. During her tenure, the educational mission of the School of Nursing expanded beyond the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to provide both doctoral and post-doctoral training. Under her direction, the unification model of nursing education, practice and research was implemented at Rochester, placing the School of Nursing in a position of academic leadership nationally and internationally.

She has served as a visiting professor at St. Luke’s College of Nursing in Japan, the University of Washington and the University of Florida Schools of Nursing and has led many International nursing education visitations. After her retirement, she served as interim dean at the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester.

She is the author of nearly 100 publications, and has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Today, Ford frequently consults and lectures on the historical development of the role of nurse practitioner and on issues related to the advancement of nursing practice and health care policy.

Ford has received numerous awards, including the Gustav Lienhard Medal from the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, the Living Legend Award from the American Academy of Nursing, the American College of Nurse Practitioner’s Crystal Trailblazer Award, the Elizabeth Blackwell Award and many others.

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