Introducing Jennifer Heaston, Goodwill NFP Nurse of the Year

    [fa icon="calendar"] May 10, 2024 3:00:00 PM / by Noelle Gray

    Noelle Gray

    Goodwill Nurse-Family Partnership® (NFP) pairs registered nurses with expectant parents for ongoing visits aimed at supporting families in providing the very best start for their children during the earliest, most developmentally critical years.

    Each year, Goodwill NFP awards a nurse who has surpassed expectations with the Nurse of the Year accolade. Jennifer Heaston was selected as the 2024 Nurse of the Year by leadership and her fellow colleagues. 


    She’s driven by her passion for her role, helping uncover strengths and identifying the barriers of first-time parents.

    “I love going into homes and seeing parents who might be unsure of themselves and providing the things they need to feel confident about having their first child,” said Jennifer. “They might need help understanding child development or need resources to assist with food, housing or things for their baby.”

    Parents might also need assistance with finding a job that can support their family, sourcing child care and navigating the health care system. Through the baby’s birth and early childhood, Goodwill NFP Nurses can plant a small seed that transforms into big success for the family.

    “It’s amazing to walk with a parent side-by-side until their baby turns two,” said Jennifer. “This is my dream job.”

    Since 2019, she’s been serving families living in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties. These areas of Indiana are more rural, and doctor’s offices and hospitals can be long distances away. Jennnifer steps up to help parents source transportation and soothe anxieties.

    “They know they can count on us,” said Jennifer. “Meeting with their nurse is something they can look forward to and get a bit of reassurance.”

    Jennifer is also passionate about being an advocate for her families in formal health care settings, especially for those who are part of marginalized communities. She has accompanied parents to doctor appointments to ensure their concerns are being heard. These experiences have opened up her worldview.

    “This has been the most influential job I’ve ever had,” said Jennifer, “It’s made me evaluate concepts I would’ve never thought about and empowered me to advocate for others – not just for NFP families but for my own family as well.”


    Jennifer has ambitions to further herself and better serve her clients. She is learning Spanish to better connect with Spanish-speaking families and is working toward earning a perinatal mental health certification, which will allow her to better assist with pregnancy-related depression and anxiety.

    To be nominated for Nurse of the Year, Goodwill NFP Nurses must demonstrate compassion and innovation while working to build community within their teams and the families they serve. Though Jennifer has exhibited these qualities, she also sees them in her colleagues.

    “I work with so many amazing nurses, and we all do the same amazing work,” said Jennifer. “Everyone is so deserving of the recognition. I’m just so proud of all of us. We’re making a difference. I just feel very honored.”

    To date, Goodwill NFP has served over 7,500 families in 61 Indiana counties. To refer yourself or someone else to the program, visit

    Topics: Nurse-Family Partnership, Mission Awareness, Nurses Week

    Noelle Gray

    Written by Noelle Gray

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