From her previous careers as a social worker and nurse in pediatrics and obstetrics, nurse Sara always felt a calling to home visiting. When a position within Nurse-Family Partnership ® (NFP) at Ingham County Health Department in Lansing, Michigan became available, she realized that was exactly where she was meant to be. Being an NFP nurse allows her to marry her social work experience and nursing role and “it all fit together.”
When she was working at the health department in the OB clinic, she was serving the same population of pregnant women she does now but didn’t have the time to address all the needs her previous patients had. With NFP, she now shapes two-year relationships with her moms. “I’m in the position to see the entire picture and build from there. They let me into their homes and lives and I can navigate their world with them. It’s more than a job – it’s a relationship.”
Sara understands that many moms take a big leap of faith when entering into Nurse-Family Partnership. “They let us into their most intimate spaces in their homes and allow us to guide them through very personal issues in their journey of motherhood. It’s truly an honor.”
It’s easy for Sara to beam while recounting some of her proudest moments while serving in the program. Examples of such instances include when one of her moms opened up to the idea of therapy to deal with her mental health issues. She mentions another mom who was very isolated in her own home, who finally was able to leave and get a job. Or another who, after being homeless for over a year, put in the work and effort to secure stable housing for herself and her child. And, the list goes on and on.
She credits ongoing training that the national and local NFP support system provides all of their nurses, to allow for her to guide her moms in the most responsible and loving ways possible.
“I’m gently challenged within this program to continuously address new things. By constantly learning of potential challenges our moms face, I’m armed with the best information to help them make informed decisions to move ahead positively.
“My goal is to stay within this program and impact as many moms as I can throughout my career. I’m lucky to serve as a support to women when the world hasn’t always felt so supportive to them. So many moms are hard on themselves, and I strive to show them all the great things they are doing. It’s really rewarding to be able to be a positive point in a person’s life – from both the mom and nurse side of things. Nurse-Family Partnership has made me a better nurse and a better person.”