Nurse home visiting can be an effective method of serving vulnerable populations over the life course but is particularly promising as a prevention strategy when applied to pregnant women and parents of young children living in highly toxic contexts. This entry provides a brief history of nurse home visiting, its conceptual bases, and evidentiary foundations, with a particular focus on nurse home visiting during pregnancy and the early years of children’s lives.

History of Nurse Home Visiting

Public health nursing for women and children can be traced to Florence Nightingale’s work in England in the 19th century. She noted that children growing up in unsanitary conditions in which the parents were impoverished had particularly high rates of illness and infant mortality. Nightingale spearheaded the development of education ...

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