Nurse-Family Partnership

Nurse-Family Partnership's mission is to empower first-time mothers living in poverty to successfully change their lives and the lives of their children through evidence-based nurse home visiting. The goals of the Nurse-Family Partnership program are: 1. Improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in good preventive health practices, including thorough prenatal care from their healthcare providers, improving their diets, and reducing their use of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal substances; 2. Improve child health and development by helping parents provide responsible and competent care; and 3. Improve the economic self-sufficiency of the family by helping parents develop a vision fo...
Apr 9, 2012

What Would the World Be Like If ...

What would the world be like if young, at-risk moms received received guidance to get the right start?

Your  generous contribution to Nurse-Family Partnership allows babies to be born healthier, kids to be better equiped to start school, families to learn how to be more economically self-sufficient and unhealthy cycles to be broken. 

Nurse-Family Partnership has 30 years of evidence that all of this is really possible.  Nurse-Family Partnership delivers unsupassed health, educational, and economic outcomes - which leave positive and lasting impacts on our communities.  Here's a story showing how Nurse-Family Partnership does all of this.

At the tender age of 16, Sarah hears the news that has changed the lives of so many teenage women across America: she’s pregnant. And like so many others, Sarah doesn’t have to look far to see how much her world is about to change. Sarah was born to a teenage mom and has an older sister who gave birth to two children before she turned 20. So when Sarah hears the news, she wastes no time. She immediately visits her local health department in High Point, North Carolina, and signs up for a program for first-time teenage parents that she has heard about. From watching the daily struggles of her mother and sister, Sarah knows the Nurse-Family Partnership® (NFP) is exactly what she needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah is matched with a nurse, Keisha Lucas, who will guide her through her pregnancy and the first two years of her baby’s life. For their first meeting, held at the house where Sarah lives with her mom, Keisha arrives carrying a thick binder in which she will track every stage of Sarah’s pregnancy and her baby’s development. Sarah is delighted to see the big notebook; she loves writing things down and checking things off, and the binder – which could seem large and imposing to some – appears to her as a personal diary of possibilities. The first visit resembles a doctor’s appointment, with lots of weighing, measuring and questions to be answered. Sarah is glad to have a knowledgeable nurse to work with, but more importantly, she is relieved that Keisha doesn’t judge her or her family. As Sarah describes to her friends, Keisha is just “really, really, really nice.”for any potential obstacles to a healthy pregnancy and successful motherhood. Keisha observes that Sarah’s mom is frequently at work in one of multiple jobs. She is concerned that Sarah’s sister’s two children—ages five and three—run rampant around the house each time she visits. Sarah is quick to praise her mom and sister for doing the best they can as single parents in a small town, but she admits to Keisha, somewhat hesitantly, “I want more for me.” Keisha knows that this desire for a better life is the spark of hope that she must fan into flame.track team, which she loves. Longer term, she wants to graduate from high school, continue on to college, become an elementary school teacher and have her own apartment. What may sound like modest goals to some are, of course, extremely challenging when you have an expanding belly, little money and even less support from the people around you. This means that another important component of Keisha’s job is to be Sarah’s cheerleader. As Sarah’s pregnancy progresses and she complains about being too tired to go to class, Keisha is always there to motivate her. “Remember that you want to be a good role model to your daughter,” she says frequently to keep Sarah going. a nearby university and dated for several years. He is supportive of the pregnancy and attends a handful of Sarah and Keisha’s meetings, but Sarah has concerns about the way he lives his life and ultimately realizes he cannot be counted on to play a significant role in her future plans. the phone when the teenager has nightmares that she is bleeding. She assures her that strange cravings are normal for pregnant women when Sarah calls her in a panic because of a scary craving for laundry detergent. Keisha is also the first person Sarah reaches out to when she develops a major pregnancy complication during her ninth month: a terribly itchy, chicken-pox-like rash all over her body.worsening PUPPPs condition. The doctors decide to induce labor.Nevaeh. The baby’s father is there, as are Sarah’s mother and sister. NFP nurses do not normally attend their clients’ births, but Sarah feels Keisha’s presence in the delivery room nonetheless. During the pain of her contractions, Sarah remembers the breathing exercises Keisha taught her. And when she hears Nevaeh cry for the first time, she feels a surge of gratitude for all she has learned about being a good mother to her child.her daughter.

* * *

Postscript

weight while running on the track team, is in her second year at Winston-Salem State University, Keisha’s alma mater. She is majoring in elementary education.

Please help Nurse-Family Partnership to spread the word - the more people that know about our work, the greater the impact we can have. 

Make a Mother's Day gift in 2012 in honor of your mother or another important woman in you life!  Thank you for your support!

 

Keisha also has a sharp eye, trained by years of experiences in households just like Sarah’s. As she takes notes and answers Sarah’s questions in their first few meetings, Keisha also scans the environment, looking

Over the next few months, Keisha works with Sarah on personal goal setting, an important component of the NFP program. Sarah determines that her short-term goals are to stay in school and eventually rejoin the

 

Keisha also helps Sarah consider her relationship with the baby’s father. The two met while he was attending

 

Beyond supporting Sarah with personal goals and relationship issues, Keisha answers Sarah’s questions about the changes in her body. She comforts Sarah over

“Miss Keisha, I have broken out in this rash and I don’t know what it is!” Sarah exclaims over the phone.

Keisha asks a few questions and advises Sarah to go to her doctor immediately. The doctor diagnoses PUPPPs (Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy), an uncomfortable but benign rash that disappears from the mother when the baby is born. Sarah is in terrible discomfort during the final weeks of her pregnancy, ultimately landing in the emergency room due to a

And then, after two long days of labor, the PUPPPs disappear when Sarah gives birth to her daughter,

When Keisha hears the good news about the successful delivery from Sarah, she beams with pride and shared joy, and recalls a conversation they had a few weeks earlier, when Sarah had shared the name she had decided to give

“Nevaeh is a beautiful name,” said Keisha. “How did you come up with it?”

Sarah beams as she replies, filled with expectation and a new sense of confidence thanks to the woman across from her. “It’s heaven spelled backward.”

 

Three years later, Sarah has graduated from the NFP program and Nevaeh is a healthy, happy three-year-old girl who always wears pink ribbons on her pigtails. Sarah, who graduated high school on time and lost her baby

Links:

Apr 9, 2012

Changing Lives - One Family at a Time

Crystal, Torrian and Kelvin
Crystal, Torrian and Kelvin

   Nurse-Family Partnership empowers thousands of low-income, first-time families to create better lives for their babies and themselves.  Your support helps make this happen!  Following is just one of the many success stories demonstrating the power of Nurse-Family Partnership. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A family photo of Crystal, her boyfriend Kelvin and their son Torrian is worth so much more. The picture shows a smiling Crystal gazing up proudly at baby Torrian, who is being lifted into the sky by Kelvin, his dad. Torri, as they call him, is looking directly into the camera, smiling brightly, with a blur of trees, grass and sunlight behind him.   

  

 

 

 The high school nurse gives Crystal a pregnancy test, which turns out positive. She immediately refers Crystal to her colleague Debbie Dulaney, a registered nurse and a veteran with the State of Louisiana Office of Public  

 

  

 

Health’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program. Debbie sets up her first meeting with Crystal and drives to where Crystal is living in cramped quarters with her aunt, uncle and their children. She knocks on the door and is greeted by a teenage girl who emanates warmth. “I’m Crystal,” she says with a wide open smile, adding “and you’re prompt!” Immediately, Debbie can see this young woman is unique. In her experience, most pregnant teenagers aren’t very concerned with promptness. The two women bond quickly. While telling Debbie her story, Crystal reveals that she discovered her pregnancy exactly one month after her mother passed away. “I’m an only child by my mom,” says Crystal. “When I lost her, it was like I lost a part of myself.” Debbie confides that she lost her mother at a young age, too. “I understand what you’re going through,” Debbie replies gently. “But it will make you a stronger person. Once you get through the first year without her—through Christmas, your birthday—everything is going to get easier.”


 

 

 

 

Each time Crystal and Debbie meet, weekly at first and  then bi-weekly as Crystal’s due date approaches, their bond grows stronger. Crystal may be just a growing teenager, but she is a enthusiastic client. She is eager to learn about what foods to eat, how best to sleep with her growing belly and how to build an emotional attachment with the baby. Kelvin attends most of the meetings as well. A high school dropout, he is determined to be a good father and provide his son with every opportunity.

 In October, Crystal gives birth to Torrian and it is no surprise to Debbie that Crystal and Kelvin take quickly to their roles as parents. Crystal remains in high school while Kelvin takes care of the baby during the day. Thanks to Debbie’s guidance, they have learned how to put the baby on a schedule and provide a healthy environment— Crystal allows no smoking in the house and she checks all of Torrian’s toys for hazards like chipping paint. By the following May, Crystal and Kelvin have been in the NFP program for a full year, and they are models of the  program’s success.

 Despite this accomplishment, life remains challenging  for teenage parents with minimal family support and very little income. Despite this accomplishment, life remains challenging for teenage parents with minimal family support and very little income. In the fall, the family faces yet another crossroad when Crystal decides to enroll in college at Louisiana Tech. This requires a move to Ruston, Louisiana, about 70 miles west of Delhi. Not only will the young family have to find the resources to move, they will  also have to build a new life in a place where they have no relatives or friends to rely on.

 

 

 

Debbie is still prepared to help, because helping clients set life goals in areas like education and career are part of the NFP model. She assists the couple in planning 

the move and, when Crystal and Kelvin express concern about making appropriate friends in Ruston, Debbie even gives them some entertaining tips. She brings over a few decks of cards and teaches them how to play group games like Liverpool Rummy. Finally, she reaches out to a colleague in Ruston, Debbie Nash, who will take over as the nurse home visitor after the move. It’s a natural fit; the two nurses are already part of an NFP team that meets weekly for case conferences, so the “new Debbie” is familiar with Crystal’s story.

 

apartment. Although it is over two miles from the Louisiana Tech campus and Crystal will have to walk both ways, they are thrilled that Torrian now has his own bedroom. It’s adorable—a little junior bed, a round table with two chairs—all decorated in brilliant red, yellow and blue. On her second visit, Debbie brings her camera and Torrian poses for her in his new bedroom. He perches on his bed with a huge smile, holding up an index finger to show that he is one.

 

pulls out a little book she has made for her son. Even though she is walking back and forth to school, attending classes and doing homework for her double major in psychology and journalism, she has made time to create a homemade alphabet book for Torrian. “I’m smart,” says Crystal proudly, “and I want my son to be smart, too.”

When Torrian reaches his second birthday, marking the completion of the NFP program, Debbie Nash is 

on leave recovering from shoulder surgery. This means that Debbie Dulaney will be reunited with the couple to complete their last session. Even after months without seeing his original NFP nurse, Torrian runs up to her immediately. The adults reminisce, play with Torrian, laugh and talk, and cry when it’s time to say goodbye.

 

Debbie Dulaney drives away with a feeling of tremendous joy, knowing that Crystal and Kelvin have taken advantage of every opportunity provided by the Nurse-Family Partnership, beating incredible odds and 

accomplishing so much. Inside the apartment, Crystal sits on the couch, flipping through the pages of her favorite
 

 

 

 

 In their first meeting with Debbie Nash, Crystal and Kelvin are incredibly proud to show off their new two bedroom

 

 When Torrian is 21 months old, Debbie administers a language screening and finds that Torrian is well above average. When Debbie expresses her admiration, Crystal 

 

 

Links:

Jan 20, 2012

A Hug Can Go a Long Way

Nurse-Family Partnership begins to visit vulnerable, first-time moms during pregnancy - this is in order to work with the mom to have the healthiest pregnancy possible and to reduce the risks of preterm birth.

"Perhaps the most widespread peril children face isn't guns, swimming pools or speeding cars. Rather, scientists are suggesting that it may be "toxic stress" early in life, or even before birth." - Nicholas Kristof, New York Times Article, "This Poverty Solution Starts with a Hug" January 8, 2012.

Check out the link below for the full story - your support of Nurse-Family Partnership helps to reduce the "toxic stress' in some of the highest risk families.

Links:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $20
  • $22
  • $37
  • $50
  • $252
  • $408
  • $3,000
  • $20
    each month
  • $22
    each month
  • $37
    each month
  • $50
    each month
  • $252
    each month
  • $408
    each month
  • $3,000
    each month
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Nurse-Family Partnership

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Nurse-Family Partnership on GreatNonProfits.org.