The Nurse Family Partnership program at Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinic is transforming the health and well-being of young first-time moms and their babies. But it’s also had an impact on the nurses who provide care through the program.
“It has been the most rewarding career opportunity that I have had in my 18 years of nursing,” said Benoit, who has a bachelor of science in nursing as well as an M.B.A. “The Nurse Family Partnership not only allows you to impact the lives of new moms and their families but you are also given the opportunity to assist in creating the foundation of their parenting.”
“Typically patient education for new mothers is about 10 minutes in the physician’s office or prior to hospital discharge,” she continued. “But the Nurse Family Partnership NFP allows you over two years to effectively elevate the outcomes of your teaching.”
The national Nurse-Family Partnership program was developed 30-plus years ago. It has been shown to improve prenatal health, lead to increased maternal employment and improve school readiness of children. It has also led to a reduction in child abuse and neglect among participants.
At BCM, the program was introduced at the Teen Health Clinic in 2009, offering home-based nurse services to low-income Houston women, ages 15 to 24, and their children. A nurse makes home visits beginning during pregnancy and continues until the child is 2.
The program has been quite a success. More than 87 percent of the babies born to mothers in the program were full-term; almost 92 percent were born at or greater than the average birth weight; 85 percent of the mothers have initiated breast feeding and 89 percent of the babies are up to date on immunizations. At the two-year anniversary of the program, 78 percent of the mothers were enrolled in some form of school.
The program allows the nurses to get back to what many consider the fundamentals of nursing by developing a long-term relationship with the mother and child.
For more information joining the Nurse Family Partnership as a nurse or a new mother, call Chelsea James at 713-876-5652.
-By Dana Benson