The Family Nurse Workforce

A Study for the Family Nurse Partnership National Unit

Robinson D, Miller L, Rickard C  | Report 500 | Institute for Employment Studies | Jan 2013

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The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) Programme is an evidence-based, preventative programme for vulnerable young first-time mothers and their families, offering intensive and structured home visiting, from early pregnancy until the child is two, and is delivered by specially trained nurses.

It is based on evidence that the first years of life have a long-lasting impact on a child’s future health, relationships and happiness. The FNP programme offers high intensity support through frequent structured home visits using practical activities and strength-based methods to change behaviour and tackle the emotional problems that prevent some mothers and fathers caring well for their child.

This study of the Family Nurse workforce was commissioned by the FNP National Unit (FNP NU). There have been several studies to date of the impact and effectiveness of the FNP; this study, of the FNP workforce, has a different focus.

If the FNP Programme is to be successful in the longer term it is important to be assured that staff find the FNP attractive, are well prepared for and able to cope with the role, find the role rewarding, and therefore are likely to be positive advocates for working in the FNP and be retained in the long term. This in turn is likely to have further impact in terms of positive outcomes for children and their families.

Therefore the FNP NU commissioned this study to explore workforce issues, especially recruitment, retention and job satisfaction, amongst Family Nurses (FNs) and their Supervisors.

In particular, the study explored the way in which factors such as job satisfaction and preparation mediate the attractiveness of these posts and intentions to remain in post. This, together with analyses of current turnover rates, was designed to help the Department of Health (DH) move towards a stable and sustainable workforce and assist with FN workforce planning and expansion up to 2015 and beyond.

The report annexes and executive summary are also available to download.