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AANP Announces Loretta Ford Centennial Scholarships Honoring Co-founder of Nurse Practitioner (NP) Role on Her 100th Birthday

Black and white photo of a young Dr. Loretta Ford with another nurse, who holds an infant

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) proudly announces the Loretta Ford Centennial Scholarship fund in recognition of the 100th birthday on December 28, 2020, of Loretta C. Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, champion and co-founder of the NP profession. The scholarships will award educational grants to current registered nurses (RNs) for the purpose of pursuing NP education. The five $10,000 scholarships honor the 100th birthday and remarkable legacy of Dr. Ford, who co-founded the first NP program at the University of Colorado in 1965.

This exciting opportunity is available to five AANP members who are RNs currently enrolled in an accredited graduate program in pursuit of a DNP. They must have two years of paid work experience, working at least 20 hours a week. Applicants must have completed at least one semester of their current DNP program and have at least one semester of their program remaining to be completed after spring 2021, with a planned graduation date in fall 2021 or later.

Awardees may receive up to $10,000 in scholarship funding. Only completed applications will be accepted and reviewed. The application deadline is February 5, 2021, at 6 p.m. ET. More information is available at

“Dr. Ford is a living legend, a founder of the NP role, and an incomparable leader who has dedicated her life to the cause of strengthening patient access to high-quality health care,” said AANP President, Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP. ”At the age of 100, she continues to inspire our profession and blaze trails for women in health care. Her lifetime of service is the example we all strive to follow.”

“It is truly a privilege to honor the woman who launched the NP movement,” said David Hebert, JD, Chief Executive Officer of AANP. “It is our hope that these scholarships will inspire nurses to become NPs and follow in her footsteps.”

For more than half a century, Dr. Ford has been an active champion for the NP community in areas of practice, education and research. At the University of Colorado in 1965, Dr. Ford along with Dr. Henry Silver established the nation’s first NP program. This pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) program expanded the role of public health nurses to focus on illness prevention and health promotion. Ford then became the founding dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing in 1972 and continued to positively influence graduate-level nursing education, developing a model that melded practice, education and research.

She holds several honorary doctorate degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Living Legend Award from the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) and the Gustav O. Lienhard Award from the National Academy of Medicine. She has also been inducted into both the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. Most recently, Ford was honored as the recipient of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Medallion for actions of exceptional achievement in the cause of public health and medicine.


The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 290,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs' patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. To locate an NP in your community, visit For more information about NPs, visit For COVID-19 information from AANP, visit

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