Abstract This qualitative study reports on the content analysis of 62 essays written by clients about their experiences in an Alaska public health nursing home visitation project for prevention of child abuse and neglect. Home visitation services were provided to two groups of demographically matched first-time mothers: intense protocol services (intervention group) and ‘‘usual’’ services (current practice group). Intervention and current practice group essays were analyzed separately. The purpose was to determine how congruent client experiences were with public health nurse perspectives of the care they gave to clients. Similarities and differences between groups were also examined. Although in different order of frequency, themes about knowledge and learning, nurse qualities, validation of parenting skills, and suggestions emerged for both groups, but the intervention group essays were, on average, seven times longer and more descriptively rich. Client experiences were similar to public health nurse concepts of effective service and to other findings in existing research.