Loretta C. Ford was Dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing from 1972 until her retirement in 1985. During her tenure as dean, 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 Ford's 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.
Loretta C. Ford was born in New York City. In 1942 she received a diploma in nursing from the Middlesex General Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., where she was a staff nurse until commissioned an officer in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943. Following the war, Ford entered the University of Colorado School of Nursing, from which she received her B.S. in 1949 and her masters degree in 1951.
From 1948 to 1950, Ford was on the staff of the Public Health Nursing Service in Boulder, Colorado. In 1951 she joined the Boulder City-County Health Department, of which she was nursing director from 1956 to 1958. In 1955 Ford was appointed assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Nursing in Denver. She became professor in 1965. In 1961 she received her doctorate in education from the University of Colorado.
With funding from the Kellogg Foundation, the Department of Nursing of the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry became the University of Rochester School of Nursing in July, 1972. Ford began her tenure as founding dean of the newly autonomous school in the autumn of 1972. Dr. Ford is the author of nearly a hundred publications, and has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards (see chronological index, P&P Box 1/1).
Dean Ford's records were transferred to the Miner Library from the School of Nursing in the autumn of 1994. Processing of the collection was begun in mid-June 1995, and completed on 4 July 1995. The Papers of Loretta C. Ford are contained in one hundred and ten document boxes, and occupy fifty-one linear feet in the Archives.
The bulk of the material in the Papers of Loretta C. Ford span the years 1972-1985, the period of her tenure as dean. The collection presents a remarkably complete picture of the activities and development of the School of Nursing under Ford's leadership. The collection also includes materials generated from her activities outside the Medical Center, such as participation on committees, advisory boards, consultations, lectureships, etc.
The original arrangement of Dr. Ford's files has been retained in the organization of this collection. The Ford papers are arranged in series corresponding to the fiscal year in which they were generated. Within each series the files are arranged alphabetically. The topical headings under which files are arranged alphabetically are consistent throughout the series. In the original files the chronological series were often divided into sub-series such as: School of Nursing, Strong Memorial Hospital, etc. In order to simplify the arrangement of the collection, these sub-series have been eliminated. All the former sub-series are now filed in one alphabetical series within each year.
The chronological series in the Papers of Loretta C. Ford are: