The Development of the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Professions: The Commonwealth Fund, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation of New York, 1965

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



Case Study Sector


In the years following World War II, the United States suffered from an acute shortage of doctors. Foundation-supported innovations of the 1960s, the professions of nurse practitioner and physician assistant have improved the availability and quality of care for millions of patients. Private foundations, most notably the Commonwealth Fund, but also the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and others, played a crucial role in providing startup capital, as well as helping the two professions evolve and gather additional funding to go to scale over the last forty years.



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Blog Posts

More on time, value, and time limits

February 19, 2018

A new report applies a theory of time and value in philanthropy to three real cases, to see how a foundation could decide whether to operate with a limited life, based on the amount and kind of value it hopes to create.


Oct 05

Rip Rapson
President and CEO
The Kresge Foundation