Nurse home visitation has been an important component of public health for over 100 years. Recent reports of large clinical trials have provided a convincing body of evidence of the cost-effectiveness of home visitation. The findings from these studies have helped to renew policy interest in nurse home visitation as a means of improving health and quality of life for low-income families. Reimplementing home visitation on a large scale, however, will require using nurses with little or no home-visiting experience. Sponsoring organizations must delegate, and nurses from hospitals or clinics must accept, responsibility for both increased autonomy and discretion of home visitors. Case study analysis of observational and interview data from the implementation of a large demonstration home visitation program carried out in a health department in a mid-South city from 1989 to 1994 provides evidence that the bottom-up perspective of Hanf and Toonen (1983) best describes how such programs can be put in place. Nurses with little community experience were able to create appropriate strategies to help families achieve the broad program goals in the context of resource constraints associated with a poverty-level lifestyle and the existing health and human service system. Furthermore, nurses were able to establish an organizational culture and job structure in a city/county health department to support their work.