Nurse-Family Partnership

Program basics

  • Provides home visits by registered nurses to low-income first-time mothers, beginning during pregnancy and continuing through the child’s second birthday
  • One-on-one visits in client homes, beginning with 60- to 90-minute visits with pregnant mothers early in their pregnancy
  • National nonprofit organization provides information, support, and specialized training to network partners across the country to implement nurse-family partnerships

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)

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Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, Social Programs That Work, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute of Justice


Target population

Parents with children under the age of 5

Program cost

Variable; ranges from $6,000-$10,000 per family

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

Early 1970s–present

Outcomes and impact

  • Outcomes observed in at least one of the trials of the program:
  • 48% reduction in child abuse and neglect
  • 56% fewer emergency room visits for accidents and poisonings
  • 50% lower rate of delay in language development in children age 21 months
  • 67% fewer behavioral/intellectual problems at age 6
  • 79% reduction of preterm deliveries by women who smoke
  • 32% fewer subsequent pregnancies
  • 82% increase in months employed

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Dedicated nurse supervising and nurse training teams ensure that recruited nurse practitioners have adequate support.
  • A key goal of the program is to ensure trust and relationship building between nurses and clients. When clients feel comfortable sharing their goals and concerns, they receive a greater benefit from the program.
  • Partnerships with states, local governments, and research universities allow for rigorous evidence-based evaluations through which benefits can be measured.

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