Family Nurse Partnership - a family nurse's perspective: 10 year anniversary

A reflection of the first 10 years of the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme in Scotland from a family nurses’ perspective.

The Family Nurse Partnership Programme in Scotland

The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) Programme is a structured, licensed, strengths-based early intervention that allows practitioners to engage with clients in a meaningful way from pregnancy until children are aged 2 years. Its aim is to promote improved health and social outcomes for clients and their babies.

FNP is based on fidelity to the original model (Nurse Family Partnership) introduced and researched rigorously in the United States over many years. It is founded on the intrinsic motivation of all parents to do the best for the child, and through targeting first time mothers, uses the role of the skilful practitioner to effect sustained behaviour change through an intensive home-visiting pattern. Committing to the programme requires strong replication of the original model, contextualising to both the country and the family. This is achieved through adherence to the programme's core model elements and a continuous approach to learning and quality improvement.

"If the home visits are delivered as planned, it helps ensure that our clients access the most helpful learning at the most appropriate stage of pregnancy and for the child's age and stage of development," a family nurse states. "We have visit guidance that provides the structure and content for each home visit based on the domains of maternal role, environmental health, life-course development, friends and family, and health and human services."

The FNP model promotes the use of the "parallel process", with the nurses being nurtured and supported to be able to provide nurture and support to their clients. Regular supervision offers family nurses the opportunity to access guidance and reassurance, and to develop skills and recognise successes.

FNP is governed by five client principles: the client is the expert in her own life; the focus is on strengths (capabilities/opportunities/successes); follow the client's heart's desire; clients identify the solutions that work for them; and only small change is necessary, and small changes count.

All family nurses undergo a rigorous education and training programme involving theoretical and practical elements. Today, the Family Nurse Partnership operates in 11 NHS health board areas across the entire mainland of Scotland. More than 250 nurses and supervisors are involved. Over the past 10 years, FNP has helped over 9,000 young mothers and their families.



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