Celebrating National Nurses Week

At the end of the 19th century, Florence Nightingale founded modern nursing. Today, over 3 million nurses work in the US, making up the highest percentage of the country's healthcare workforce. To recognize the dedication of nurses, May 6 kicks off National Nurses Week and culminates on May 12, Nightingale's birthday.


CASA celebrates National Nurses Week by recognizing the nurses who are also volunteer advocates. Check out their spotlights below.



BRENDA HACKETT, MSN, RN

Brenda has been a nurse for over 48 years. She is an Academic Advisor and Lecturer at Indiana University Southeast. Brenda became a CASA volunteer in February 2020.


Why did you decide to become a CASA?

My first nursing job was in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital. I was especially touched by one of my young patients - a baby who had been abused by a relative. My heart has always gone out to children who do not have a stable home with adults that care for them. Although my nursing career eventually led me to work primarily with adults, I have always had an interest in helping children, especially those in dire circumstances. Hearing CASA advertised on the radio, I saw this as an opportunity to pursue my interest in retirement.


What keeps you motivated to helping kids? I hope to make a positive difference in their lives.

What skills from your nursing profession has helped you with being a CASA?

Nursing skills that have helped me include skills of observation, assessment and communication, especially listening. It is also helpful that I understand growth and developmental changes that children go through at various stages of their lives.


NATALIE WHEATLEY, RN, APRN

Natalie graduated from University of Louisville's Nursing School with a Bachelor's of Nursing in 2009 and with a Masters in Nursing in 2015. She became a CASA volunteer in March 2021.


Why did you decide to become a CASA?

I decided to become a CASA after learning about the program and viewing personal testimony of how CASA impacted a childs life.


What keeps you motivated to helping kids?

Since I had my own child my heart was especially opened to helping other children in need. Our church is constantly challenging us to live out what we believe and once I learned about CASA I saw this as an opportunity to be a support in our community. Children are our future and can be the most vulnerable aspect of our society. I feel anything I can do to help support them and give them a voice is an investment in our future and gives us hope for better days ahead.


What skills from your nursing profession has helped you with being a CASA?

As both a RN and APRN in Kentucky, I have seen the needs of children in our state. A huge part of nursing is advocating for patients and this aspect of nursing easily carries over into being a CASA. As a CASA you get to be the advocate for a child in a unique way. The medical background is also helpful when reviewing case files.


To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, attend a virtual information session held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month. Info/RSVP: www.casarr.org/casa101

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