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Loretta Ford, Co-Founder of the Nurse Practitioner Role, Opens AANP National Conference with a Heartwarming Welcome

Media Contact: Bryan Black

NASHVILLE, TN — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is honored to announce Dr. Loretta Ford, co-founder of the nurse practitioner (NP) profession and a trailblazer in health care, opened the general session of the 2024 AANP National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Ford, who at 103 years old continues to inspire the NP community, captivated the nearly 5,000 attendees with her inspiring words and presence.

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“I am deeply honored to welcome all of you to the 2024 AANP National Conference,” Ford said. “It fills my heart with immense pride to see how far the nurse practitioners have come. As you gather here today, remember that each one of you has the power to make a profound impact on the lives of your patients. Embrace this opportunity to learn, to grow and to inspire one another. Never forget that the essence of our work is rooted in compassion, knowledge and unwavering dedication to providing the highest quality of care. Together, we are the heartbeat of health care.”

During the opening general session, Ford delivered her heartfelt welcome message through a video offering wisdom and encouragement to the NPs in attendance. Her words resonated deeply, emphasizing the importance of delivering exceptional care. Ford walked out on stage and received a standing ovation from the audience who were moved by her enduring commitment to the NPs and her profound impact on health care.

“We are truly honored to have Dr. Loretta Ford join us and share her invaluable insights and wisdom,” said Stephen A. Ferrara, DNP, president of AANP. “Her presence is a highlight of the conference, reminding us of the transformative power of NP delivered health care and the growth of the profession. The standing ovation she received is a testament to the NP community's deep respect and admiration for her.”

The 2024 AANP National Conference, being held from June 25-30 at the Music City Center in Nashville, brings together NPs from across the nation under the theme “Music to Our Patients’ Ears: The Nurse Practitioner Difference.” The conference features more than 330 educational sessions and workshops, focusing on the diversity and comprehensive care provided by NPs.

The conference underscored AANP’s mission to empower NPs to advance accessible, person-centered, high-quality health care for diverse communities. Attendees are participating in a variety of sessions aimed at enhancing clinical practice, discussing current health care policies and promoting health equity through inclusive, culturally responsive care. The AANP national conference remains the largest national gathering for NPs, offering unparalleled opportunities for professional development, networking and advocacy.


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 385,000 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