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Alumni Profile: From Public Safety to Pluta Cancer, Melissa Langworthy Finds Calling as Nurse, Educator

  By Gianluca D'Elia
  Monday, October 23, 2023

Portrait of Melissa Langworthy in a blue shirt and white coat.

Melissa Langworthy ’23N (MS), RN, never thought she could become a nurse.

However, working for Public Safety at the University of Rochester Medical Center gave her a glimpse at what the role is like, and eventually sparked an interest in health care.

“After being exposed to the health care setting and meeting so many amazing nurses, I realized nursing was something I wanted to do,” Langworthy said. “Working Public Safety in the hospital and supporting the medical staff encouraged me to pursue a nursing career, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

Now, Langworthy has been a nurse at UR Medicine’s Pluta Cancer Center for 12 years. As an oncology certified nurse, she specializes in taking care of patients with breast cancer, and earned Pluta’s Angel Award in 2022.

Having recently earned her master’s in nursing education, she recently took a new step in her career: this fall, she became a full-time nursing instructor at Finger Lakes Community College.


What have you enjoyed the most about your experience at the School of Nursing?

The best part of my experience has been everyone I have met throughout my education here, and all of the support I received to be successful. I feel like all of the professors and other students I have met have changed me in the best way.


Family photo of Melissa, her husband and two daughters on a front porch, surrounded by Halloween decoratins.

What has been most rewarding about your role? Has anything surprised you about the nursing profession?

Working in Oncology is not like any other area of nursing. You connect with your patients in a different way, and they become your friends or family. You are there for them throughout their cancer journey and see them in the hardest times, but somehow manage to get them through it all with a lot of laughter. I think this is the most surprising part! We cry sometimes too, but at the end of their treatment, most patients will say they will miss coming in. This is what I love about oncology: the connections we make with our patients.


What are your favorite things about Rochester? Tell us where you could most likely be found if you’re not at work or school.

My favorite things about Rochester are all the seasons and festivals. I love the history here. It is such a great city to live in. Some of my favorite places to go are restaurants in Schoen Place in Pittsford and the shops on Park Avenue. Cobbs Hill Park and Whiting Road Nature Preserve are great hiking spots, and I love going to Sea Breeze Amusement Park.

I love spending time with my husband and two daughters! We are always thinking of creative things to do, or just playing and being kids with them. I also love home projects and gardening, and I try to get out hiking and biking as much as possible.

Categories: Nursing Education, Alumni

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