Celebrating the life and legacy of Loretta Ford

From where it began, the College of Nursing wishes Lee a Happy 100th Birthday!

We celebrate the life and legacy of one of CU Nursing’s great innovators and educators – Loretta Ford, BS, MS, EdD, FAAN, FAANP. Co-founder of the Nurse Practitioner movement with Henry Silver, MD, FAANP, in 1965, Ford has shaped the nursing profession. Today, at 100 years young, Ford remains active. This year, she even Zoomed into CU Nursing classes providing our students with her unique perspective and insight. 

Loretta Ford 100th Birthday 2020

Happy birthday Lee Ford. We are so proud of you and grateful that you are part of our GREAT College of Nursing. Your legacy inspires our future!!!

Elias Provencio-Vasquez

RN, PhD, Dean/Professor
Proud to be a CU alum (DNP โ€˜12) at the place where you blazed a trail for my career as an NP. Your determination and focus on nursing within the advanced practice role is something I hold to dearly. I share your words with my NP students and want to celebrate your birthday wishing you joy and continued good health.

Midge Bowers

DNP, FNP-BC, AACC, FAANP, FAAN, Associate Professor Duke University School of Nursing and NP Duke Cardiology
Another milestone in your glorious life! Happiest of birthdays, Dr. Ford, at least until next year! Your super-hero efforts to secure academic preparation for the NP role elevated advanced practice nursing and started drawing NPs out of the briar patch! I am thrilled to have produced your authentic story through the documentary, The Wisdom of the Willow: The History of the Nurse Practitioner. Here's one of my favorite quotations: "I think if you care deeply, you're willing to stick your neck out" (Loretta C. Ford, EdD, RN, FAAN). Spoken like a true hero! All blessings!
Linda Campbell

Linda Campbell

PhD, RN, CNS, CNE, Dean and Professor, Department of Nursing, Warner Pacific University
Dr. Ford โ€“ Thank you, from all of us at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for the trails you blazed in the field of nursing. Your vision in creating the first nurse practitioner program transformed healthcare delivery in vital ways, and we all benefit from what you put into place. Now, more than perhaps ever before, skilled nurse leaders are what our world needs. You helped make CU Nursing the innovator in education, research and care that it is today, and for that we are forever grateful. Hereโ€™s to a happy, healthy 100th birthday. Don Elliman
Don Elliman

Don Elliman

BA, Chancellor, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Dear Loretta, My Navy friends Ken Walgren and Joe Cappiello and I have often talked about our days with you as a teacher and then your amazing career and major impact on Nursing and Medicine. You have been an inspiration to us all and I wish you a very Happy Birthday. The world became a better place on the day you were born! Your friend and colleague, Mike Monahan

Mike Monahan

MEd, BSN, RN BSN, CU '71

Linda Typer

MSN but started with CU program WHCNP in 1983, FNP in rural Colorado! Challenge especially in 1996
On behalf of Nurse Practitioners, advanced practice advocates and healthcare recipients worldwide, we would like to wish Loretta C. Ford a happy 100th birthday. Your vision, leadership and inspiration have touched countless lives. Your grace, tenacity and courage to keep fighting for the cause are an exemplar for all to follow.
National Nurse Practitioner Symposium

National Nurse Practitioner Symposium

In 1962, I was your student, in hospital, last 6 weeks before graduation, out of hospital. 'against drs. orders, took exam, passed, and married at St. T. Aquinas church in Boulder as my graduation ceremony was GOING ON! We must be connected by spiritual thread, thinking of you this a.m., went to mailbox and here you are on the front of CU NURSING magazine!!-- (You came to see me on University Ave., home when I had my baby,) and you said, "I think I will adopt a baby, and I SAW HER!!!--- last talked with you and said, "WHERE IS THAT BEAUTIFUL RED HEADED BABY NOW, AND YOU SAID, SHE 51 yrs.old and lives Texas!!! --- you are gorgeous...and have always been so good to all of us--HAPPY 100TH---LOVE, MARY ANN CARRICO

Mary Ann Carrico-Mistchell

Happy Birthday, wishing you health and happiness. You have been and are such an inspiration to our profession, Thank You.

Steven Gallegos

MSN, ACNP/FNP-BC, Las Animas Colorado
Loretta Ford, you were my professor in 1966 and asked me to join the group of four in the third class of this experimental program. I was interviewed by Henry Silver and he asked me how many times I had cried in the past few months. He knew that we were not going to be welcomed either by the medical students or the nursing community. Right on! It was exciting! It was scary! After 4 months of classes we were sent out to a community in Denver. Three of us in a tiny basement with a Pediatrician each day. Both were fantastic! We did it all from sticking fingers for the hematocrit, to mixing the antibiotics which we ordered-- after checking with the pediatrician. We were under the Public Health Nursing Department and that became a heavy burden, but instead of contacting you or Dr Silver, we came to work in street clothes and just about blew the whole thing up! I have no idea of what transpired behind the scenes but we were not put back in uniforms. The program continued. I worked for a couple of years at the Martin Luther Health Care Center in the Bronx. Again, pioneering. I was sent to one section with a Pediatrician I did not know. Had three children with Strep and the doc would not come to treat them and I ended up taking the family to their emergency room for treatment! "Its a bird, its a plane, its a Super Nurse! I am so glad you persevered. I feel that our year the foundation was laid. I think Dr. Silver said something about that in class. I have had NP's as my service providers over the years and they are wonderful. I was so excited to get the magazine, CU Nursing, with your picture on the front cover and how you have continued to impact the nursing world. I hope you celebrate all year and that you continue to have vibrant health!
J Reeves

Jane Corwin Reeves

BSN, PNP, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Praise God for all your work and enthusiasm! Without you none of us would be where we are!!!

Vicky Wolf

DNP, Nurse Practitioner
Dear Dr. Ford, Fondest wishes for an amazing birthday to a nurse leader (a.k.a. nurse warrior!!!) I have looked up to for many years. I was honored to finally hear you speak at the NNPS in Keystone, Co. several years ago. You did not disappoint. You challenged, inspired, motivated and encouraged this "mature" NP. I am forever grateful to the pioneers and innovators who made what I do today possible and you are certainly chief amongst them. So again, I wish for you a most wonderful birthday with hopes for many more! With sincerity and many thanks, Jane Bycroft, FNPc Metrolina Nephrology Assos.

Jane Bycroft

Wish you a blessed birthday. Thank you for all you have done for our profession. I salute you.

Beth Cuevas

You have been such an inspiration! Best wishes on your 100th Birthday!

Louise Spugnardi

NP, C.Family N.P.
A very Happy Birthday to you!!! You gifted the world with an added component to the nursing world. It was a most needed form of expression and you heard the call of the universe. You saw the need and heard the call. The need was from both nurses and patients around the world. So you gave voice, expression, and form to that need, that desire. Thank you. It seems so little to say just 2 words to express my gratitude. Thank you from my heart. May this birthday bring to you the music and sounds of gratitude for hearing the call.

Maryellen Riley

Happy Birthday Ms. Ford๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ. So very thankful for your contributions to nursing and the amazing role model you are. God bless you ๐Ÿ’•

Cheryl Bleier

I wish you health and joy! You are an inspiration to us all. Happy Birthday ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽŠ

Robin Shaw

Happy Birthday Dr. Ford!

Shannon Idzik

DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, Associate Dean, DNP Program; University of Maryland School of Nursing
Thank you for your incredible leadership in changing the face of health care worldwide! I believe the highlight of my 45 year nursing career was crossing paths with you, Lee! Thank you for that opportunity! Please have a wonderful celebration of your centennial birthday! And I pray that God will hold you in the palm of His hand always!

Mary Wagner

RN, MSN, ANP, Retired
Wishing Dr. Ford a very happy birthday! You were instrumental in establishing nurse practitioners as a force for good, and you continue to be an inspiration to us all!
Cindy Munro

Cindy Munro

PhD, ANP-BC, Dean and Professor, University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies
My hero! - Wright Faye, MSN, EDM, MBA, FNP
Lee - So happy to wish you your 100th Birthday. So very glad you were on the Vanguard of the N P profession in which I spent a 27 year career. A legend indeed! - Chuck Sheeley, BSN, MS, MSN, Nurse Practitioner - Certificate Graduate of the CU Nursing's Primary Care - Core N P Program of 1983
Happy birthday to the woman who began a movement to give NPโ€™s a voice and chance to change healthcare as we know it. Thank you for everything! - Hayley Avino, BSN, RN, Arizona State University, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation
You are truly an inspiration! - Barbara Wahl, BSN, MS, Public Health Nurse, Family Nurse Practitioner - retired
Dear Dr. Ford, best wishes for a fantastic 100th birthday. You are an inspiration to nurse practitioners everywhere. In Kansas, we continue to fight for full practice and when I get discouraged going up against organized medicine and some of my nurse colleagues in our state, I think of everything you accomplished in Colorado in the early days. It gives me the strength to keep our fight going. Thank you for all you have done for the profession and being a wonderful example to follow. - Michelle Knowles, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP
Thank you for paving the way for the Nurse Practitioner! A very happy birthday to you. May your day be filled with sunshine and joy. - Maria Kenneally, DNP, FNP-BC
To an amazing woman and leader par excellence! You are a force of nature! I have heard you speak a few times, usually at the nurse practitioner symposium - I love hearing you and seeing you (I was there when you were in your Superwoman costume). I graduated from UCSF, not UCmed campus - you probably knew some of my profs - Patricia Benner, Pat Ludder Jackson, a few others - I imagine you ran in the same circles - and my own mother is 93 and a retired nurse from Saint Anthony's. I imagine her stories of early nursing are similar to yours - what an astounding journey! I am so grateful to your pioneering spirit and grit that smoothed the way for the rest of us - a true pioneer - shine on, beautiful lady! - Barbara Calo, MSN, RN, C-PNP - Barbara Calo, MSN, RN, C-PNP
Happy birthday Dr Ford, you are an amazing woman and nurse trail blazer! I โค๏ธ my NP career and with enthusiasm mentor NP and RN students! 30 years of being an NP, starting at the university of Colorado hospital when it was on 9thAve, (my office was a custodians closet) , womenโ€™s health to change management to running an APN -led practice, health policy and now helping design assessments for clinicians wanting to return to practice or RE-instate their license. We can do so much! Thanks for your foresight and wisdom. This profession is the BEST! Weโ€™d never be here without you! Much love and affection, Linda. - Linda Kottmann, DNP, Nurse Practitioner!!!
Happy Birthday Dr. Ford. Your foresight has helped changed healthcare for the better. - Donna Hammond, MSN, PPCNP-BC
Wishing you a birthday filled with blessings! Thank you for being a role model and inspiration to all. - Tawnya Madl, PhD, APRN-C, Director of Medical Development CHCSEK
Happy Birthday Loretta! You are such an inspiration! May your special day be amazing and sparkling:). Thank you for forging the way for all of us! - Audrey Collins, DNP, Clinical Faculty
Happy Birthday to one of the best. You have blessed the lives of many people. - Sharon Stewart, M.S. in Nursing, APRN-CNP
Happy 100th Birthday to our NP trailblazer! Thanks for getting us started. May you enjoy health and happiness in the coming years. - LeAnn Isaly, MS, APRN, APRN
Hi, I want to wish you the happiest birthday ever. You are an inspiration in your career and your life. You have had such a positive impact on health care. Words cannot convey the gratitude we have for you and for starting the NP program. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ๐Ÿฅฐ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ€ SO GLAD YOU WERE BORN Pat - Pat Konstant, MSN, FNP-BC
Happy Birthday to a pioneer and trailblazer. Thanks for your leadership! - Ernestine Olson, DNP, Retired
Happy Birthday to the mother of nurse practitioners. I hope that you stay healthy and vibrant. - Margarita Sloan, FNP, Nurse practitioner
Thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do. You are a true inspiration!! - Laura Weiss, Dr., DNP, FNP-C, RN
So blessed to have you at the helm of our profession. Thank you for you service in nursing and your tenacity that pushed out profession forward. Happy 100th birthday! - Krista Hodges, MSN, CNP
ZoomClass_56We were members of the University of Colorado's Class of 1956 - Bachelor of Science Degree (Nursing).
When we were student nurses, in what was then called the University's School of Nursing, Loretta Ford was our Public Health Instructor. As she celebrates her 100th birthday, we are delighted to join the celebration by sending her our very best wishes.
Top row L-R Janis Kessel Saferstein, Mary Jo Barnhart Powell
Row 2 L-R. Meredith Schlater Blundell, Mary Faith Racen Brown
Row 3 L-R. Marilyn Biehl Brown, Nancy Mc Philimy Riebe

Happy Birthday! Thanks for inspiring us all to advocate for our patients and our profession. - Sharon Barefoot, MSN, FNP-BC
Happy 100th Birthday Dr. Ford...thank you for your continued inspiration. Kathleen - Kathleen Bertone-Kellogg, MA, MS, FNP-BC
Happy Birthday Loretta! You are an inspiration & role model for us all. - Susan Minello Cell, ANP-BC, APRN MSN
Happy Birthday Dr Ford and thank you for being such a visionary in your day. May you have a wonderful and relaxing birthday with many wishes from those who love and admire you. - Ann Glasheen, WHNP, WHNP
Happy Birthday, Dr. Ford. What a milestone to reach. When I precepted students, I made them look up the history of the NP role if they could not tell me. Thank you for being the Florence Nightingale of the NP profession, and one woman that I admire immensely. I met you at a conference when you were dressed in your Superwoman outfit, and that is how I continue to see you โ€“ a real Superwoman. - Jan Disantostefano, BS, MS, FNP, WHNP - Retired
All the best to you Loretta. So happy to have you as my mentor. I also remember playing golf with you years back up at Keystone Colorado......You have made it Loretta not only to #100 but for your nurses now and forever...God Speed ! - Valerie Novak, BSN, MSN, ANCC, Nurse Practitioner
Happy Birthday Loretta Ford! You paved the way for many of us! I have practiced as a nurse practitioner for 20 years now and appreciate your Leadership in nursing.

Darlene Turner

Each day we Nurse Practitioners are moved by the influence we are able to make in our patientsโ€™ lives. We want to celebrate your life and your courageous pioneering of creating our profession!! Your life has been a continuous fingerprint in all the lives we have been able to touch!! Happy One hundred- We should all reach a hundred and be like you!!!!
Rosario Medina

Rosario Medina

PhD, FNP-BC, ACNP, CNS, FAANP, Associate Dean of Clinical and Community Affairs
Have a blessed birthday!

Christine Suchan

Have an amazing day and here's to more wonderful years ahead. You are truly an inspiration! Thank you for paving the way.

Michelle Rensel

Happy birthday, Dr. Ford. You are a great inspiration to all of those who have followed in your footsteps. You are a great trailblazer and pioneer in the field of advanced practice nursing. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our field. Happy 100th birthday!!!
Gayla Dace

Gayla Dace

DNP, Family Nurse Practitioner
Thank you for leading the way. The NP movement has changed lives. And you show us a lifetime of achievements. Thank you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Nancy Rudner

Nancy Rudner

DrPH, APRN, Nurse Practitioner and faculty
It all started with one woman's audacious dream and bold vision- yours! How perfectly fitting that your hundredth birthday would coincide with nursing legend Florence Nightingale's 200th! You are a once-in-a-century kind of leader. Your recognition of the profound and untapped potential of the nursing profession is now a global phenomenon. Personally, I remember as a very young pediatric nurse working with medical residents feeling very frustrated as I helped and taught them as they would start out in the clinic where I worked. I did so with very little respect and many restrictions. One day, a nursing faculty from the University of Texas Medical Branch visited our clinic and told me about the nurse practitioner profession, with an offer to give me an educational pathway to do more for the families I served. This life changing moment made an indelible impact. As a woman with little educational opportunity at the age of 18, your vision gave me an innovative pathway to practice. Thank you for your vision, your courage, and your hard work to change the world.
Jessica Peck

Jessica Peck

DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, FAANP, FAAN, President, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Happy 100th Birthday!

Kristy Crownhart

DNP, Clinical Assistant Professor
I have been an NP since 1979 and am delighted to be a part of the evolution of this degree. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. You are a clear example of what we can be as change agents for the health care profession.

Ginger Raterink

DNSc, Associate Professor
Happy birthday and I wish you a wonderful year ahead. Thank you for your leadership and starting the nurse practitioner program which advanced the nursing profession.May God bless you.

Janet Peterson

Happy 100th Birthday!! Thank you for all you have done for our nursing profession. You have done so much for us, and with humility, grace, and authenticity!!
Christi Wilson

Christi Wilson

Phyllis ZimmerPhyllis Zimmer
President, Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation;
Faculty, University of Washington
- Lee, you are my hero! Phyl

Happy Birthday! You are truly an inspiration to not only nurse practitioners but to women! - Kathy Magdic, DNP, ACNP-BC, Retired
You are amazing and an inspiration to all! Wishing you a wonderful birthday filled with peace, health and happiness. Congratulations!! We could not have done our work without you. I am so grateful for your work, wisdom and mentorship. You have to be so proud of your outstanding accomplishments, dedication and ongoing strive for excellence in our profession. Thank you to our founder, and thank you for your 100 years of wonder and success. You touch all of our lives through our work . Happy 100th birthday to you. - Monica McAndrews, MSN, Nurse Practitioner
Wishing you a very Happy 100th Birthday!! Your major contribution to our profession has forever changed healthcare and my life. Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner has provided me the opportunity to fully care for my patients. God Bless You and I sincerely thank you. Kindly, Cheryl Johnson-Fuller - Cheryl Fuller, MSN, FNP-BC
Where would we be without you? Thank you!! - Kimberly Evers, BA, RN, MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner
Happy birthday Loretta Ford! Thank you for all your good works that paved the way for me in my practice. - Patty Reisinger, MS,FNP-BC,GNP-BC, Nurse Practitioner
CMS Login