Category Archives: Home visiting
David Olds, PhD, is founder of the Nurse-Family Partnership, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 40th Anniversary Force Multiplier that provides maternal and early childhood health programs for at-risk, first-time mothers. He is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he directs the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health.
When I finished my undergraduate degree in Baltimore in 1970, I went to work at an inner-city day care center, hoping that I might help poor preschoolers get off to a great start and have a better chance of succeeding in school and becoming productive, healthy citizens. But I soon realized that for many children in my classroom, it was already too little, too late. One little boy had been exposed to alcohol during pregnancy and was pretty profoundly developmentally compromised—he couldn’t communicate with words. Other children were being abused or neglected, so it was clear to me that parents’ prenatal health and parenting behaviors were part of the solution for low-income children.
I would have been out of touch, however, to think that all that was needed was for parents to do a better job of caring for their children. Our center was in a poor, inner-city neighborhood, where poverty, crime and a lack of adequate housing were undeniable influences for families. It was clear that parents wanted the best for their children, but their own personal histories and the social and material stressors weighing on them often made it really hard for them to protect themselves and their children. And this was happening in countless communities across the country.
Are you signed up to receive Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge? The monthly Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) e-newsletter will keep you up to date on the latest nursing news, research and trends. Here are descriptions of some of the stories in the February issue:
As the leading edge of the baby boomers reach retirement age, there aren’t enough nurses with competencies in geriatric care to meet the surging need for their services. One of the key ways to ensure that nurses are able to provide optimal care for the elderly is to include geriatric content in nursing school curricula, experts say, and some efforts are underway to make that happen.
Although only recently dubbed an Action Coalition, the “Texas Team” has been working to increase the capacity of nurse education in the state for years. Now, as they work to advance recommendations in the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report, they have recruited more than 120 partner organizations from business, health care, academia, and other sectors.
Learn about the Nurse-Family Partnership, which sends nurses into the homes of new teen mothers to provide assistance, guidance and support. This highly successful evidence-based program is improving child health, developmental and maternal outcomes, and increasing the young women’s self-sufficiency. Now operating in 34 states, the Nurse-Family Partnership has touched the lives of more than 140,000 mothers and families since receiving a $10 million grant from RWJF in 1999.
Read a profile of RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar alumna AkkeNeel Talsma, whose research explores how perioperative practices, processes and staffing policies may contribute to postoperative infections. Talsma and her colleagues are currently collecting data from a network of Michigan hospitals to learn how their nurses prepare patients’ skin for surgery, and linking these processes with patient outcomes. They are sharing the results among participating hospitals to initiate local improvement projects.