Marquette Model of Natural Family Planning designated an Academy Edge Runner for innovation by American Academy of Nursing

The Marquette Model of Natural Family Planning and Fertility Awareness Based Method, a product of the Marquette University College of Nursing, has been designated an Academy Edge Runner by the American Academy of Nursing, recognizing its ingenuity and collaboration in developing a new method to provide care and promote health equity.

Eleven novel models of care were named Edge Runners and recognized at the 2022 Health Policy Conference, Oct. 27-29, in Washington, D.C. Each Edge Runner is an evidence-based, nurse-designed, innovative model of care or intervention with a significant, demonstrated outcome to improve health, impact cost and influence policy.

“The Institute for Natural Family Planning is a point of pride for the College of Nursing in its innovative and science-based approach to supporting women and couples as they plan for starting a family,” said Dr. Jill Guttormson, interim dean of the College of Nursing. “The institute contributes to the advancement of knowledge in this very important area. Through scientific innovation, international collaboration and training, the Marquette Method is a great example of those models of care the AAN is recognizing as ‘Edge Runners.’”

Marquette’s Institute for NFP has been providing professional services since 1985. In 1999, a new method of NFP was developed that used the ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor. Today, the Marquette Model of NFP uses an algorithm that helps women and couples find their fertile window by interpreting these biological signs of fertility. These signs of fertility are manifested in the activity of reproductive hormones found in urine, changes in cervical mucus and/or fluctuations in basal body temperatures. The purpose of using natural biological signs of fertility is to help women and couples to identify the day closest to ovulation and narrow the estimated fertile window. This improves objectivity and method effectiveness for women and couples who want to avoid or achieve pregnancy.

The method is taught by health care professionals who are specially trained in an online asynchronous teaching environment. Marquette Method trained health care professionals help the new learner/s gain confidence in management and self-interpretation of the woman’s natural biological signs of fertility. The biological signs of fertility are important for understanding women’s menstrual and reproductive health.

Dr. Richard Fehring, professor emeritus of nursing, is one of the prime developers of the Marquette Method and the inaugural director of the Institute for NFP at Marquette. He was recognized alongside Dr. Mary Schneider, the current director of the institute, and Susanna Crespo, Spanish coordinator and teacher, among others.

About the American Academy of Nursing

The American Academy of Nursing serves the public by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. Academy Fellows are inducted into the organization for their extraordinary contributions to improve health locally and globally. With more than 2,900 Fellows, the Academy represents nursing’s most accomplished leaders in policy, research, administration, practice, and academia.