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Woman Who Transformed Health Care Delivery Will Share Her Story at UW Event

May 15, 2013
Woman and man
Pete Simpson will interview Loretta Ford in a public event set for Thursday, May 23, at 2 p.m. in the UW College of Business Scarlett Auditorium.

To commemorate the University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing's first Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) class, Loretta Ford, co-founder of the national nurse practitioner movement, will participate in an interview with UW’s Distinguished Emeritus Professor Pete Simpson Thursday, May 23, at 2 p.m. in the College of Business Scarlett Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the College of Business atrium.

In 1965, nurse Loretta Ford, along with physician Henry Silver, envisioned the nurse practitioner (NP) role and offered the world’s first NP program at the University of Colorado. Silver died in 1991. Ford continues to advocate for NPs, a profession with approximately 150,000 licensed NPs across the United States and a projected estimate of 250,000 NPs by 2025.

Originally offered as a certificate program for registered nurses, NP education now requires a minimum of a master's degree and is moving toward a doctoral degree, known as the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The UW Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing opened its DNP program last fall with 14 students in the Family Nurse Practitioner option.

When the program became a national success in 1972, Ford was recruited to serve as the founding dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing, according to the National Women’s Hall of Fame. “There, she developed and implemented the unification model of nursing. Through the model, clinical practice, education and research were combined to provide nurses with a more holistic education.”

Ford has written more than 100 publications and has served as a consultant and lecturer to multiple organizations and universities. She holds many honorary doctorate degrees and received many awards, including the Living Legend Award from the American Academy of Nursing and the Gustav O. Lienhard Award from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

A popular and entertaining speaker, UW alumnus and Professor Emeritus Simpson has contributed a lifetime of public service to the state and university. He was the first coordinator of the UW/Casper College Center and later served as vice president for development, alumni relations and university relations. He was the executive director of UW Foundation and vice president for institutional advancement.

Simpson has been active with the UW Foundation Board of Directors, the A&S Board of Visitors and the Symphony Association board. After he retired from his UW administrative post, he and his brother, Sen. Alan Simpson, taught a course in the UW Department of Political Science, which turned into a 12-year commitment for Pete.

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