Nurses for NewbornsSaving babies. Strengthening families.
Nurses for Newborns (NFN) is a home visitation program that provides a safety net for families in order to prevent infant mortality, child abuse, and neglect. We send specially trained pediatric nurses to the homes of pregnant women or parents with infants who face medical, social, or environmental risks. On the first home visits, NFN nurses conduct mother and child health and developmental assessments and screen for co-occurring risk factors including maternal depression, everyday stress and domestic violence. Guided by evidence based clinical guidelines, NFN nurses prepare a plan of action with the infant’s caregiver(s), to ensure the baby’s health, safety, and optimum development. In subsequent visits, NFN nurses monitor, the infant’s health and developmental progress, and the family’s progress with the plan they prepared. Nurses present a variety of educational topics and tools designed to address identified issues and support family strengths and improve parenting skills. Nurses advance appropriate infant/child development, and help parents access external resources as needed, including infant materials such as diapers, formula, and safety equipment to promote the health and safety of both the mother and child.
Services are provided as needed, and may be provided for up to two years after the infant’s birth. For some families in Missouri, nurse home visiting is augmented by the assistance of NFN Missouri’s Community Health Workers who provide language interpretation and/or enhanced cultural competency, assistance with material and community resources, and peer support for the infant’s caregivers. Missouri’s Licensed Clinical Social Workers also assist some families with environmental or mental health concerns that may impede the infant’s progress. Tennessee nurses provide as much of this same support as possible but also work with partnering organizations and refer families for additional levels of assistance as needed.
Throughout the time of service, the impact of home visitation is monitored and evaluated in order to enhance its effectiveness and ensure program outcomes that include freedom from substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect, increased immunizations, as well as reduced injuries, hospitalizations, and use of the emergency room. Continually adapting to the needs of new populations served, NFN has used its home visitation model successfully with over 112,000 infants and their families during our 30-year history.