Nurse-Family Partnership Program

Dates of Program: April 1999 to April 2008

Field of Work: Nurses visiting young, low-income pregnant women and first-time mothers to train them and deliver preventive health services.

Problem Synopsis: Infant mortality, child abuse, accidental injury, impaired development of the nervous system and other costly problems of early childhood cross all segments of society. Research shows that many of these problems are more common among children born to poor, single and teenage women.

Synopsis of the Work: In 1979, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supported a demonstration project in Elmira, N.Y., that used registered nurses to take preventive health services into the homes of young, low-income pregnant women and first-time mothers. Randomized controlled trials conducted in Elmira and subsequently Memphis, Tenn., and Denver showed the home visits yielded positive health and developmental outcomes for children and mothers. After two decades of research, David L. Olds, PhD, architect of the Nurse-Family Partnership Program, initiated a national program to replicate the model across the country.

Key Results

  • A total of 113 state, county and city agencies and private organizations provided Nurse-Family Partnership services in 290 counties in 23 states.

  • An estimated 860 registered nurses were active as home visitors.

  • Enrollment in the program averaged 13,272 families at any one time during the year.

  • The cumulative number of families served by the program since the first dissemination effort in 1996 totaled an estimated 80,423.