Melinda Oberleitner is Dean and Professor, College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and holds the BORSF/SLEMCO Endowed Professorship in Nursing.
A pioneer and award-winning oncology nurse, Dr. Oberleitner’s significant contributions to oncology nursing span more than four decades. These contributions, which have impact on practice, policy, and research, are related specifically to building oncology nursing capacity to enhance the care experiences of cancer survivors. Dr. Oberleitner served as investigator on national studies funded by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) with strategic objectives of uncovering gaps in cancer content in nursing school curricula and determining educational needs of oncology and non-oncology nurses caring for cancer survivors. Study outcomes have had direct impact on the specialty and resulted in the creation of oncology nursing competencies for graduates of pre-licensure nursing programs. Research outcomes stimulated the creation of an essential oncology curriculum with supporting resources for students and faculty to ensure integration of evidence-based oncology content in nursing school curricula. Dr. Oberleitner is a prior recipient of ONS’s Oncology Certified Nurse of the Year Award and the American Cancer Society, Louisiana Division, Public Education Lifesaver Award. A long-standing member of the Review Board of the Oncology Nursing Forum, ONS’s research journal, while Associate Editor, Dr. Oberleitner and a colleague developed the Leadership and Professional feature.
Dr. Oberleitner received the BSN degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, MSN from Texas Woman’s University and DNS from LSU Health Sciences Center.