Implementing the Nurse-Family Partnership model.

This maternal-child health program offers communities one of the most promising approaches developed for helping at-risk, low-income families succeed.

The Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office works with communities interested in implementing the Nurse-Family Partnership model to ensure the program is right for their needs and that broad-based community support can be established and sustained. When community need and commitment come together, the Nurse-Family Partnership is ready for launch through an implementing agency.

Nurse-Family Partnership implementing agencies contract with the National Service Office to provide services at a community level. These agencies are administered by a range of non-profit and for-profit entities, including state and county health departments, community-based health centers, nursing associations and hospitals, generally through maternal and child health services.

Implementing agencies vary in size and location. Some serve hundreds of families in parts of an urban area, while others serve a hundred families in one or two rural counties. The standard implementation of Nurse-Family Partnership is 8 nurse home visitors, each serving a maximum of 25 families – total 200 families – supported by a full-time nurse supervisor. The minimum start-up program must be able to serve 100 families. NFP business development managers work with all communities to assess program capacity and determine an appropriate team size.

The first step to becoming a Nurse-Family Partnership implementing agency is to contact the National Service Office business development manger in your area, who will work closely with you and your community and/or state to determine feasibility. Specific factors considered during this phase of the process include:

  • Need for services – what similar programs exist in your service area for the target population
  • Annual number of low-income, first-time births in your community
  • Plan for sound financing of the program
  • Experience of the agency with innovative programs
  • Presence of, or potential for, broad-based community support
  • Ability to coordinate with existing health and human services programs
  • Ability to establish a highly effective referral procedure to ensure an adequate number of voluntary enrollments in the program
  • Ability to recruit and retain qualified registered nurses

If the initial phase of the process establishes feasibility, the process continues with the completion of a formal implementation plan. This process provides an avenue for dialogue between the maternal and child health services agency and National Service Office staff relative to the requirements of the program. View the Nurse-Family Partnership Implementation Logic Model and the Theory of Change Logic Model.

Most importantly, the agency must provide a stable and supporting environment for nursing staff; maintain fidelity to the Nurse-Family Partnership Model Elements; and have a sustainable, long-term funding strategy. Once formal contracts are signed, agencies become official Nurse-Family Partnership implementing agencies.

For additional guidance on implementing the Nurse-Family Partnership model, please review these resources:


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