Did you know that the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) has a non-insurance-based Visiting Nurse Program that can assist you with health education, research, and referrals? Navigating the health care systems at each new duty station can be downright frustrating, and adding your children’s healthcare on top of that and you’ve got a full-time job getting lined up with providers and/or referrals.
NMCRS’ Visiting Nurse Program can offer help to military families in several ways!
To help us answer questions, we sat down with Visiting Nurse Susan McKelvey, who serves sailors and their family members stationed in Groton. Nurse Susan is not only a Registered Nurse (RN), she is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She is an invaluable resource for breastfeeding moms and her assistance is absolutely free. You read that right – free – zero cost to you! I can personally attest to how incrediby helpful and attentive Nurse Susan is to any and all concerns new moms may have. From breastfeeding, to mental health support, Susan provides education and referals when needed.
In addition to one-on-one support, she also runs a weekly support group for new moms to drop in whenever they want, no pressure. Currently most of this is occurring virtually, but hopefully will be able to get back to in-person soon! However, for individual support, in-person visits can be arranged.
Take a look at our interview below:
What health services does the NMCRS Visiting Nurse Program Offer?
Visiting nurses are there to be your health advocate. While they do not provide emergency and/or bedside care, they do work to understand your health concerns and help determine the best options for care are in your area. They help refer and educate on a variety of areas including, but not limited to, primary care, pediatric care, mental health, postnatal/postpardum, general health/wellness, etc.
Where/how do I meet with a NMCRS Visiting Nurse?
In general, the following methods are available; home visits, telehealth visits, support groups, and health education classes. In the wake of COVID, in-person options for meeting with a Visiting Nurse will vary depending on the HPCON level at your home port. When in-person is not an option, many programs have made online options available.
Who does the NMCRS Visiting Nurse Program serve?
- Active duty sailors/marines
- Dependents (ie: family members) of active duty
How do I know what NMCRS Nurse Progam services are available at my home base and how do I contact them?
- Click HERE to view a list of nurses, services, contact information, and classes available in your area.
Other helpful links & resources
- NMCRS Health & Education
- NMCRS COVID-19 Assistance & Info
- NMCRS Facebook Page – Be sure to look up your home base for NMCRS Facebook pages specific to your area! (ie: Guam)
If you’re stationed in Groton and are interested in reaching out to Nurse Susan, the best way to get in contact is via phone/text or email!
To see if there is a Visiting Nurse in your area and how to contact them, take a look at this spreadsheet from NMCRS.