Developing a Fidelity Assessment Instrument for Nurse Home Visitors




Kirsten J. Black, Mary Beth Wenger, and Molly O'Fallon

Brief Type

Journal publication


  • Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)


Fidelity monitoring is a core component for successful translation of evidence-based interventions, yet little guidance is available on developing tools to assess intervention fidelity that are valid and feasible for use in community settings. We partnered with nurses in the field to develop a fidelity monitoring instrument that would capture the essential elements of the nursing intervention that is the core of Nurse-Family Partnership, a prenatal and early childhood home visitation program. Using a grounded approach, we employed concept mapping to identify the salient behavioral characteristics associated with the program, and then, adapting Dreyfus' model of skill development, created a tool to assess nurse home visitors (NHVs) according to their stage of growth. In a pilot, the Nursing Practice Assessment (NPA) form was used to assess 188 NHVs. The average time to complete the tool was 1 hour, and skill development stage was concordant with years of NHV experience. According to surveys of supervisors and NHVs, the tool captured the essential elements of the program model. Articulating the essential elements of each skill development stage can provide a foundation for professional development for NHVs. In response to feedback, online training modules were developed prior to large-scale implementation in the field. The grounded methods used to develop the NPA enhanced its internal consistency and implementation feasibility and could be utilized by other public health nursing programs. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Focus groups
  • Record and document reviews



For More Information

Black, K. J., Wenger, M. B., & O’Fallon, M. (2015). Developing a fidelity assessment instrument for nurse home visitors. Research in Nursing & Health, 38(3), 232-240. doi: 10.1002/nur.21652
Author Contact Information:
Kirsten J. Black


  • Program Quality, Continuous Quality Improvement, and Fidelity