Sustained nurse home visiting in early childhood: exploring Australian nursing competencies

Public Health Nurs. May-Jun 2005;22(3):254-9. doi: 10.1111/j.0737-1209.2005.220309.x.


Abstract There is strong evidence that a comprehensive model of sustained nurse home visiting (SNHV) in early childhood can improve child and family outcomes for vulnerable and at-risk families. There is also evidence that nurse home visitors experience challenges in delivering SNHV. This article aims to identify the nursing competencies needed for delivering a comprehensive model of SNHV and highlight the areas where further competency development is required. Qualitative analysis compared the content and language of published registered generalist and child and family nursing competency statements for Australian nurses with the work experiences of a team of community-based nurses delivering SNHV. Development of competencies is needed in the areas of (a) enhanced knowledge of child development, social determinants of health, and broader outcomes for individuals and populations; (b) advanced skills in fine observation, anticipatory guidance, negotiating, modelling and experimentation, holistic case management, and working in interdisciplinary teams; and (c) attitudinal competency for working "with" and supporting risk taking. The current published competencies for general and child and family nurses do not encompass the different and advanced competencies required for performing SNHV. Competency development and associated nurse training and support are needed for delivery of quality SHNV services.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Australia
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Community Health Nursing* / education
  • Community Health Nursing* / standards
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / standards
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing / standards
  • Employee Performance Appraisal
  • Family Nursing* / standards
  • Focus Groups
  • Guideline Adherence / standards
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • House Calls*
  • Humans
  • Models, Nursing
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Assessment / standards
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff / education
  • Nursing Staff / psychology
  • Nursing Staff / standards
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pediatric Nursing* / education
  • Pediatric Nursing* / standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Efficacy