The 20th Century: 1970-1979


Audrey Booth, RN became a leader in the North Carolina Regional Medical Program, a statewide educational project that helped legitimize the Nurse Practitioner (NP) role statewide and provided funding for several NP training programs in rural areas of the state. Booth would later become a Chair of the NC Board of Nursing and Associate Dean of the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing.

Russell Eugene Trangarger, a nursing administrator at North Carolina Memorial Hospital, was appointed as an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) School of Nursing, breaking gender barriers by becoming the first man on the UNC -CH School of Nursing faculty, and the first male nursing faculty meeting in the state.

The first class of seven Family Nurse Practitioner students begin studying at UNC-Chapel Hill in September, 1970. Dean Lucy Connant of the School of Nursing, Dean Issac Taylor of the School of Medicine and Mrs. Margaret Dolan, Chair of the Department of Public Health Nursing in the School of Public Health were instrumental in establishing the program. Chancellor Ferebee Taylor worked with the state legislature to secure continued funding for the program.

After pilot programs in 1968 and 1969 at UNC , Duke University Schools of Nursing and Medicine in collaboration the NC State Board of Health began offering a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program for Child Health Nurses employed by local health departments across the state. The Schools of Nursing at East Carolina College (now University) UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Charlotte, Western Carolina University, UNC-Chapel Hill and the private Lenoir Rhyne College (now University) in Hickory, NC, all worked with and offered facilties, equipment and supplies to implement the PNP program across the state.


The first pilot class of Family Nurse Practitioners graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill. This is the 3rd FNP program in the country. (See "New nurse training program fills doctor gap" April, 1972 Health Buletin page 6-7). Here is a newspaper article about Mrs. Sandra Hogan, one member of the first class.


Captain Mary Mills became the second North Carolina nurse to receive the Mary Mahoney Award from the American Nurse Association.

Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) were organized and began to offer nurses continuing educational opportunities throughout the state. Educational offerings included coursework for Bachelors and Masters degrees in nursing and continuing education classes in many areas of practice.


Nurse Practitioners begin to practice in NC. The Medical Practice Act and the Nurse Practice Act were amended to allow an expanded role for Registered Nurses who underwent advanced training. The title bestowed to advanced practice nurses was "RN approved to perform Medical Acts" and included a mechanism by which the approved Registered Nurse could prescribe medications. Regulation was by a joint subcommittee of the Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Nursing; agreement of both Boards was necessary for programs and policies to be implemented.

"Operation Input" a statewide survey of all Registered Nurses in NC was conducted by NC Board of Nurisng officials Rose George and Audrey Booth. 

Learn More: Nurse Practitioners


Five North Carolina nurses are among the first 99 to earn a special area certification from the American Nurse Association. One was a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner the other 4 were certified in geriatric care.

NC passes hallmark legislation by licensing nurses with advanced education to perform medical acts and prescribe medications. By 2003 there were 2,000 nurse practitioners working in North Carolina.

UNC Chapel Hill School of Nurisng in collaboration with the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) provide an FNP program that ran from 1975-1990 supplying hundreds of FNPs to work in rural Appalachian Mountain counties of NC.


The first two Certified Nurse Midwives were approved to practice in North Carolina. They joined 88 Family Nurse Practitioners and 2 Pediatric Nurse Practitioners certified for advanced practice nursing in North Carolina. There were 45 Registered Nurse education programs in the state including 11 baccalaureate programs, 26 associate degree programs and 8 diploma programs. The Joint Practice Committee of the NC Medical Society and the NC Nurses Association produced several joint reports including Pediatric Nurse Practitioner practice in NC, psychiatric/mental health practice, and clinics "manned" by nurse practitioners.

In December, 1976, North Carolina nurses formed the Nurse-Political Action Committee (Nurse-PAC), to engage in political issues and elect candidates that support nursing.


In 1977, to honor the 75th anniversary of the North Carolina Nurse Association, an ad hoc committee of the North Carolina Nurse Association wrote a booklet, Highlights in Nursing in North Carolina 1935-1976, to update Wyche's book with a year by year accounting of events of significance to nursing in North Carolina.