Nurse-Family Partnership

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Categories associated with best practice:

  • Health Equity
  • Individual
  • Organization
  • Illegal Drugs Icon 3
  • Infancy (ages 0-2) icon
  • Teens (ages 13-18) icon
  • Alcohol Abuse Icon 1
  • Best Practices
  • Healthy Eating
  • Home
  • Maternal and Infant Health
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Overview

Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a prenatal and infancy nurse home visitation program that aims to improve the health, well-being, and self-sufficiency of low-income, first-time parents and their children. NFP was founded on concepts of human ecology, self-efficacy, and human attachment. Its program activities are designed to link families with needed health and human services, promote good decision-making about personal development, assist families in making healthy choices during pregnancy and providing proper care to their children, and help women build supportive relationships with families and friends. Nurses follow a detailed, visit-by-visit guide that provides information on tracking dietary intake; reducing cigarette, alcohol, and illegal drug use; identifying symptoms of pregnancy complications and signs of children’s illnesses; communicating with health care professionals; promoting parent-child interactions; creating safe households; and considering educational and career options.

Program objectives include decreased substance use, improved maternal economic self-sufficiency, fewer subsequent unintended pregnancies, reduced child abuse and neglect, and improved school readiness of the children. Individual programs serve a minimum of 100-200 families and are supported by 4-8 trained registered nurse home visitors (each carrying a caseload of 25 families), a nurse supervisor, and administrative support. Nurse home visits begin early in pregnancy and continue until the child’s second birthday. The frequency of home visits changes with the stages of pregnancy and infancy and is adapted to the mother’s needs, with a maximum of 13 visits occurring during pregnancy and 47 occurring after the child’s birth.

Several evaluations, including randomized controlled trials, have consistently demonstrated the intervention’s positive impact on maternal and child health, including: improved maternal sense of master and self-sufficiency, fewer incidences of childhood injuries and maltreatment, fewer subsequent pregnancies and increased intervals between children, improved prenatal health, and less frequent smoking, improved academic indicators for child, and use of alcohol and drugs among children at follow-up.

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