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Diseases and Illnesses

Nurse practitioners changed U.S. health care

Nurse practitioners changed U.S. health care

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...