Melanie Cheap, RN, Medical/Surgical Supervisor

Earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Oklahoma City University Kramer School of Nursing.

Melanie Cheap, RN, medical/surgical supervisor at OU Health Edmond Medical Center.

Melanie Cheap chose med/surg nursing because she likes learning, she said. Compassion is to her nature.
“We’re seeing a lot of different patients, disease processes and different surgeries,” said Cheap, RN, a medical/surgical supervisor at OU Health Edmond Medical Center. “After being here for three and a half years, I still feel like I’ve seen something new every week and I’m learning something. It keeps me interested and it’s exciting.”
Med/surg lets her practice all the nursing skills she learned in nursing school. Cheap earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Oklahoma City University Kramer School of Nursing and came to OU Health Edmond Medical Center nearly four years ago. The smaller classes at Kramer School of Nursing provided a comfortable learning atmosphere, she explained.
“I knew all of my professors and was able to go to them for help with questions,” Cheap said. “We also got clinical experience at hospitals in the area. That was nice seeing how different hospitals in the area work in different ways. It was a really good experience.”
It takes a special nurse to work in med/surg, she said. It’s different from a lot of other units. A drive for hard work coupled with a desire to get things done is essential for efficiency. Med/surg nurses are on their feet all day. So, it takes a special person who is willing to do that, she tells nursing students about what to expect if they choose med/surg.
“For me and for new nurses I think OU Edmond is a great place. I don’t think there is another unit where you can learn as much as you do by being in med/surg,” Cheap continued. “It’s a great place to start and I think it’s a great place to stay.”
Cheap is grateful for the longevity of the nursing staff who shared their best practices when she came to the hospital.
“I was lucky to be trained by a nurse who had been here for several years and is still here. And I think you don’t see that everywhere,” Cheap said. “And I think that makes it feel good about where you’re at in those situations.”
As a leader she visits with patients to ensure patient care is meeting their every need. This communication ensures each patient is pleased with the staff and the care they are receiving. A big part for a nurse leader is making sure the staff is doing everything possible for patient centered care. Cheap will ask patients if there is anything the nursing staff may provide to make their hospital stay better.
Cheap said she mirrors many nurses in the sense that they became nurses because they have a passion in life for providing care. The longer she learns about nursing, the more she loves it. Customer service is a major aspect of nursing that she enjoys.
“On our unit we see a lot of different stages of life and a lot of different surgeries. A lot of these orthopedic surgeries – they can really change someone’s life. Somebody who’s coming in and is fairly healthy needing their hip or knee replaced – they will spend the rest of their life being able to get around better and do more doing the things they like to do,” Cheap said. “I think that you get to see people change by what we’re doing here.”
Med/surg nurses receive thank you cards often from patients and family members thanking them for their care. Cheap said these expressions of gratitude and kindness make nurses feel good and appreciated for doing a good job.
“I think we see some really tough situations sometimes,” Cheap said. “Everybody deserves medical care and deserves to be treated. We see the homeless population and we see addiction patients. We see cancer patients that are coming from hard situations. Every once in a while, when you have one of those sick patients or difficult patients, it just reminds me how lucky I am not to be in their situation now. I think that affects the care that you provide.”
Even when someone is grumpy or having a bad day, Cheap reminds herself of the situation her patient is in.
Being a nurse is an enriching calling in life. It’s something she’ll tell anyone considering a nursing career.
“There is such a need for good, caring nurses. It’s not something everybody can do,” she said. “But there’s so much flexibility in nursing and you get to see so much. There are opportunities all over the place.”
Nursing is an endless career, she said.
“There is so much that you can do.”
For more information about OU Health Edmond Medical Center or to join the team, visit