The role and experience of Child and Family Health Nurses in developed countries: A review of the literature

Sarah Fraser, Julian Grant, Trudi Mannix

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim: To describe the role and experience of child and family health nurses (CaFHNs) in developed countries, particularly Australia, through a scoping review of the literature. Background: CaFHNs deliver varied primary health services to children and families with the intent of improved child health and wellbeing. There is no consistent description of the role of CaFHNs in the international literature. Data sources: CINAHL, Science Direct, Informit Australia and Scopus databases were searched from 2002 until 2012. Grey literature was also sourced from available governmental and organisational data. Methods: Twenty-nine articles were reviewed including 19 qualitative research reports; five quantitative research reports and six secondary reports of literature. In addition, grey literature documents were also reviewed. Results: The role of the CaFHN is comprehensive and diverse. The review identified that there are specific areas of child health maintenance, surveillance and health promotion in which CaFHNs work. CaFHNs also specialise in approaches to care that prioritise developing trusting relationships to accomplish their role. No papers were found to comprehensively describe the role or experience of the CaFHN. Conclusion and implications for research: This review highlights the need for further research into the CaFHN role, especially in Australia. While some aspects of the role have been identified, there is no consistent evidence providing an all-encompassing description of the role. This makes it difficult to define and work towards standards for best practice in child and family health nursing, and for educators to develop and deliver standardised quality education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2-10
    Number of pages9
    JournalNeonatal, Paediatric and Child Health Nursing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


    • Child and family health nurse
    • Experience
    • Maternal
    • Nurse
    • Role


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