The Catholic University of America

Melissa Hladek

Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

I grew up in San Diego, California and attended Scripps Women’s College in the Claremont Colleges (in Los Angeles County) for a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience.    After that, I joined a faith based social justice organization in East Los Angeles called Servant Partners and worked for the City of Los Angeles.  It was during my years in college and East Los Angeles where I developed an understanding of the plight of the underserved and oppressed.  The desire to care for this vulnerable population eventually led me to nursing.  I attended Columbia University School of Nursing in New York City for both my bachelors and masters degrees in nursing.  I worked as a staff nurse in neurology/ neurosurgery and then became a Family Nurse Practitioner with a subspecialty in HIV/AIDS care.  I have greatly enjoyed serving people through nursing and caring for the sick.  As I progressed in my profession, I also realized my deep love for teaching.  Hence, this biography!
Through my career choices and education, my faith and the values that it has taught me have been major factors guiding me to the communities for which I serve.  I have seen this same attitude modeled for me by many saints as well as many of the nurses, doctors, and nurse practitioners for which I have worked.
As a teacher, I have worked at Columbia University, Mendocino College and now here at CUA School of Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program.  My favorite piece of advice to give to students is this: learn all that you can from every situation that presents itself, whether it is a positive situation or a negative one.  Beyond anything, this flexibility in attitude will help you get through the ups and downs of school and life.