Nurse Family Partnership graduates first class

Has seen more than 100 successful births since beginning nearly three years ago

Photo: NFP Graduation By Erica Techo

An important group of individuals gathered at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing on March 7, 2020.

Some stood in front of the group, highlighting each other’s accomplishments. Others darted through and played in the aisles. Most got emotional.

Everyone in the room entered with their own story and experience, but they left with the same connection — they were part of the first graduating class of the Nurse Family Partnership of Central Alabama.

The Nurse Family Partnership of Central Alabama, which is administered by the UAB School of Nursing, began nearly three years ago and has seen more than 100 successful births. Over the course of three years, they have also seen dozens of mothers and families reach their goals for financial stability, new jobs, new homes and better health. The Spring 2020 graduating class of clients included 21 moms who entered Nurse Family Partnership early in their pregnancy and received regular home visits from a highly educated registered nurse through their child’s first two years.

“For me, the Nurse Family Partnership has been the most amazing experience of my whole career,” said NFP nurse home visitor Brandi Moore, RN, BSN. “I’ve always sought to develop relationships with my clients, to be able to support them, so NFP has been a major blessing for me. After having this first group graduate and seeing all of their accomplishments, I can’t imagine doing anything else from here on out.”

Ashlee Turner, mother to twins Aaron and Dylan Langston, first heard about NFP at an OB/GYN appointment. She was 10 weeks pregnant with her twins, and as a first-time mom, knew that having a nurse throughout her pregnancy and her babies first two years of life would be a great resource.

When she talks about her nurse, Brandi Moore, her first comment is, “I love her to death.”

“Brandi offered a lot of comfort,” Turner said of her time as a Nurse Family Partnership client. “She was always there if I had any questions, and she’d always answer them. Or if she couldn’t, she’d find the answer and print it out for me. She was a lot closer to a friend than a nurse.”

Photo: NFP GraduationTurner’s pregnancy was complicated, including Braxton Hicks contractions about halfway through her pregnancy.

“Brandi was there through all of it. She made what could have been a really, really scary, worrisome time a lot easier,” Turner said.

Melondy Griffin, another one of Moore’s clients, echoes the same sentiments. She learned about NFP six weeks into her pregnancy. Her son, Isaiah Amer Lucas, was born June 25, 2018.

“I hadn’t heard about anything like this before, and I found out about it at my OB/GYN,” Griffin said. “I was so excited and relieved because I didn’t know what to expect as a first-time mom.”

Moore’s guidance was about more than just a healthy pregnancy, as well. Griffin was in “a low place” at the start of her pregnancy, she said, and Moore’s upbeat and easy spirit helped a lot. Moore also passed along information about counseling and therapy.

“I kind of talked to her about everything,” Griffin said. “We really didn’t have any limits on what I could talk to her about — she was open and not judgmental. I honestly kind of hate that it had to end.”

As Isaiah approaches his second birthday, Griffin said he also appreciates Moore, who has been by their side his whole life.

“Every time he sees her, he takes off, kissing and hugging her. He already knows his ABCs and counts to five, and he knows his five senses,” Griffin said. “Like I said, she was a big help. We love her a lot.”

At the celebration, Moore said it was emotional to see growth of the first graduating class.

NFP Graduation009“To see these babies who were in their mom’s tummies when we first met them, to then be running up and down the aisle during the ceremony, was amazing,” she said, adding that growth is more than physical — it’s also in the goals clients reached and personal accomplishments they had.

At every visit, nurse home visitors talk to clients about their ongoing goals and recent accomplishments, as well as if any goals have changed. One client received her CNA and PCT certifications, completing at the top of her class. Others were able to purchase cars or got approved for housing.

“When they send you that picture of them with their car, even if it’s not your day to talk to them, it makes you feel amazing to know that you’re helping them reach these goals,” Moore said. “I’m able to give them the encouragement and information they need.

“I’ve become very close to all of them, and when they have a hard time it hurts me, just as much as when they accomplish something it makes me so happy and proud,” she continued. “I would stand up for any of these girls.”

Read 937 times Last modified on June 09, 2020

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