Melissa Heald

Fulbright-Global Wales Visiting Student Researcher Award

Melissa Heald, from Houston, Texas, is a Doctor of Nursing Practice student at Baylor University studying to become a pediatric nurse practitioner with dual certification in primary and acute care.  

In addition to her studies, Melissa has worked as a bedside nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital for six years, experiencing COVID-19 and subsequent healthcare worker burnout firsthand in the nation's largest and busiest pediatric intensive care unit. She also works in an educator role on unit and serves as a student ambassador for the National Association for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Her Doctoral Project focuses on healthcare transition from pediatric to adult providers for youth with medical complexity. 

Through her Fulbright award and partnership with Swansea University, Melissa will research resilience in pediatric advanced practice nurses across the UK following COVID-19. This study aims to inform retention and growth of the Welsh advanced practice nursing workforce while fostering international collaboration and connectedness in a time of continuing global healthcare provider shortages. Melissa will conduct her Fulbright research from February through August of 2024 and will be joined in this adventure by her husband and newborn daughter!