The theories that support Nurse-Family Partnership nursing.

The Nurse-Family Partnership program relies on three theories to effectively deliver extraordinary outcomes.


Nurse-Family Partnership's core education and visit-to-visit guidelines are the mechanism by which the theories of self-efficacy, human ecology, and attachment are woven together within a professional nursing practice framework to produce a unique program of great depth, breadth, and vitality.

Self-efficacy theory (Albert Bandura)
This theory is rooted in the notion that people are more likely to engage in a desirable behavior if they believe the behavior will produce a desired outcome. They must also believe they can successfully carry out that behavior to achieve the outcome. The Nurse-Family Partnership model helps parents set realistic goals and bolsters parents' confidence in their ability to reach those goals. Examples include avoiding or stopping risky behaviors, engaging in healthy behaviors, and/or coping with challenging situations.

Human ecology theory (Urie Bronfenbrenner)
This theory holds that how parents care for their children is influenced by the larger social context in which they live. This context includes relationships with other family members, friendship networks, neighborhoods, communities, and cultures. The Nurse-Family Partnership model acknowledges the impact of these various elements while helping parents negotiate and regulate their environments.

Attachment theory (John Bowlby)
This theory proposes that children who receive sensitive and responsive parenting are more likely to become sensitive and responsive parents themselves. The Nurse-Family Partnership model promotes nurturing parenting through a variety of direct teaching methods. Learning is further enhanced by the supportive and caring relationships that nurse home visitors establish with parents.

"As Congress considers proposals to address the shortcomings of our nation's educational system, Paul Tough [Sept. 7 article] reminds us of the need to look beyond the classroom for programs that help lower-income children succeed in the classroom. Congress need look no further than early intervention programs like the Nurse-Family Partnership."


–Then-U.S. Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) in a Letter to the Editor, The New York Times, September 28, 2008


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