Melissa began her career in nursing as a certified nursing assistant in a small medical-surgical (Med/Surg) unit while earning her LVN certificate in 2001. She pursued her nursing education in piecemeal fashion, with an Associate of Science in Nursing degree in 2007 and a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing in 2011. Most recently, Melissa completed her Master of Health Leadership in 2022.
Her career has included clinical practice in Med/Surg, Orthopedics (acute care), perioperative services, progressive care, critical care, and ambulatory care. She transitioned away from clinical practice to guide one community hospital to their 4th Magnet® designation in 2019. This project solidified Melissa’s dedication to ambulatory care, as the American Nurse Credentialing Center’s 2019 Magnet manual had an increased focus on evaluation of an organization’s processes in place in to support and empower nurses outside of the acute care arena. At the same time, she became a staunch advocate for shared governance, not just in acute care nursing, but extending it to the greater body of nursing in the ambulatory care setting.
Melissa designed and was the Principal Investigator for the ELEVATE nursing research study, which evaluated the relationship between an educational workshop and nurses’ perception of shared governance, as measured by Dr. Robert Hess’ Index of Professional Nursing Governance (IPNG), soon to be published in the Journal of Nursing Administration. In addition, Melissa has presented poster and podium presentations on nursing practice and shared governance around the United States.
Melissa continues her work in ambulatory care shared governance at an academic children’s medical center, where she has just established one location’s first ambulatory care nursing shared professional governance council. She serves on the publications committee for the American Organization for Nursing Leadership. Melissa is an active member of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing, the American Nurses Association, the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, the Association of California Nursing Leaders, and the Association for Nursing Professional Development.