NPAM Leaders Julie Stanik Hutt, Andrea Schram, Beverly Lang and Veronica Gutchell contributed this article to the Baltimore Sun November 25, 2015.
"Back in the 1960s, while thousands of Americans were "sitting in" for civil rights and burning draft cards to end the Vietnam War, one Colorado nurse started a quiet health care revolution.
At that time many children, especially the poor and those living in rural and medically underserved areas, lacked access to health care services. Loretta Ford, a public health nurse, believed that experienced registered nurses (RNs) could improve children's health if they were trained to provide many of the health care services that were historically provided only by physicians. So she began collaborating with a physician colleague and in 1965 changed health care by creating the first nurse practitioner (NP). Since then, the NP profession has spread like wildfire, expanding to all 50 states and to more than 20 other countries. More than 205,000 nurses have been trained as NPs, and they deliver half of the primary health care in the U.S. This month, NPs and their patients across the world are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the profession."