Hayley works closely with Dr. Piazza and Dr. Antunes to provide the best non-surgical services, as well as plastic and reconstructive surgery. Our team believes that beautiful surgical results are enhanced by leading a healthy lifestyle. Request a consultation or call The Piazza Center at
(512) 288-8200 to schedule your appointment.
An Interview with Hayley Peña
Tell us about your background.
I grew up in St. Louis, spending most summer weekends on The Lake of the Ozarks with my parents and older brother. We spent our time boating, skiing, and doing anything we could on the water. Much of my family resides in the St. Louis area. I was lucky enough to grow up with all four of my grandparents around throughout my childhood and supporting me through many of life's milestones. I grew up with a tight-knit neighborhood where I developed many of my lifelong friendships. I completed an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in nursing at the University of Missouri in Columbia in 2009 I recieved my certified plastic surgery nursing certitificate in 2015. I became a master injection nurse in 2014.
What made you decide on nursing school?
I always knew I wanted to help others in one way or another. I knew I needed to make my life's work out of the rewarding feeling you get when you help people who cannot help themselves, and nursing seemed like the obvious answer. However, it was not until I graduated nursing school that I truly found my calling.
What made you decide to become a plastic surgery nurse?
I was lucky enough to completely and unexpectedly fall upon plastic surgery. When I moved to Austin, I took a job at St. David's working on the post-op orthopedic floor. However, a close family friend and board-certified plastic surgeon here in Austin, Dr. N.D. Moscoe, knew I was trying to get my feet on the ground and was brave enough to give me a position in his operating room as a second job. He knew that I was new to town and was trying to establish my independence as a young 20-something.
How did that happen?
When I took the circulating nurse position with Dr. Moscoe, I felt like I had been handed a golden ticket! I absolutely fell in love with the transformation of plastic surgery. I was completely enamored by the possibilities of plastic surgery. As a nurse, I felt like I was able to play such a huge role in making people feeling comfortable at a time when they're excited but also anxious about their procedures.
How did you choose Austin?
When I was in college, I came to Austin on a Christmas break to visit a friend. I absolutely fell in love with the city. It was everything charming about a small town and had everything a big city had to offer – and at the time, no traffic! It was only a flight away from family, and I saw the opportunity to grow here.
How did you become an injection nurse?
Aside from being an incredible plastic surgeon, Dr. Moscoe was an experienced injector and did a lot of training sessions for Allergan, the company behind BOTOX® Cosmetic and other top products we offer at our Austin clinic. Therefore, I was exposed to learning about injection techniques at the most basic level. When I joined Dr. Piazza, I needed and wanted to learn everything about being a well-rounded plastic surgery nurse. I took on the role of being Dr. Piazza's clinic nurse, surgical nurse, and injection nurse. As we grew, Dr. Piazza gave me the freedom to evolve what I had a passion for, and that was non-surgical facial rejuvenation.
Dr. Piazza really invested in me getting the education and training I needed to become an expert injector. I have been able to travel the United States and work with some of the best injectors in the world in order to develop the craft of injecting. I am forever grateful for my training and hold it as the highest commitment to continue to pursue so that I am delivering the best results with the most up-to-date techniques and products.
What did you learn from working with Dr. Moscoe and his staff?
Dr. Moscoe is one of the most patient teachers I have had. He and his staff took me when I was green and guided me through learning the ins and outs of being a plastic surgery pre-op nurse, circulating nurse, and PACU nurse. He had a nurse, Sherry Millington, R.N., who was one of the best in her field. She was an incredible resource and example for what a nurse should be. Dr. Moscoe had staff who had worked with him for more than 20 years who were the experts of delivering the best results. I knew I wanted to grow to be an expert. Their passion and patience are what made me fall in love with plastic surgery and are why I continued to pursue my growth in the field.
What was your favorite thing about St. Louis?
My friends and family! My parents and lots of my friends are in St. Louis. St. Louis is so down to earth and was a great place to grow up; it truly gives you the warmth of home every time I am back. And I never thought I would say this, but I miss the winter! I miss the beauty of the 4 seasons ... the leaves changing color in the fall and bundling up by the fire in winter. Not to mention, the Italian food in St. Louis is like none other! St. Louis has a big Italian influence, and I miss the Italian grocery stores and restaurants.
How did you come to know Dr. Piazza?
I actually met Dr. Piazza when I was at the Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival at the John Legend concert before he finished his surgical training. He was in Austin to attend ACL with his sister, and I was there with my brother. We all struck up conversation, and I quickly learned he was finishing up his plastic surgery residency and he learned I was a plastic surgery nurse! It was meant to be! About 6 months later, we were in an injection course together, and we both said, "Hey, I know you!" He was still building his office and had not hired anyone yet, and I knew that the operating room I was working in was soon to be closing. The stars aligned, and the rest is history!
What is your favorite thing about working at The Piazza Center?
The overwhelming rewarding feeling I get when connecting with a patient and being by his or her side during such a fearful time. For instance, our breast cancer patients have such a journey, and I feel honored when they let me be a part of their care. The journey that we share with them makes it all worth it. Every single staff member at The Piazza Center is so whole-heartedly dedicated to delivering the best care and being an expert in the field that it continues to motivate me every day!
What are your favorite treatments for yourself at The Piazza Center?
I am often asked, "What do you do to maintain?" I won't give away all my secrets, but I believe in routine maintenance to manage the manifestations of aging with a healthy balance of lifestyle, skin care, and injectables. For skin care, I use my Clarisonic® brush daily, the EltaMD® tinted facial sunscreen, SkinMedica® vitamin C/E serum, and SkinMedica® TNS Illuminizing eye cream, followed by a mineral-based makeup. I get neurotoxins such as Dysport® or BOTOX every 3 months to keep fine lines at bay, and I use a variety of HA fillers such as JUVÉDERM®, JUVÉDERM VOLUMA® XC, and Restylane® to maintain shape and volume of the face. Routinely, I am treated by our skincare team with HydraFacial™ treatments, microneedling, and brow shaping. I leave it up to our in-house skincare experts to tell me what it is I need, as it is ever evolving!
As far as "What have you had done?" I rely on a healthy diet, getting my butt kicked at the gym, and Dr. Piazza's magic touch to keep me in shape!
What do you like to do when you're not working?
I love being outside and doing anything on the water. I grew up at the Lake of the Ozarks, so it is so nice to have access to Lake Austin. I have a great group of friends who keep me active and involved in all of the unique things Austin has to offer. I workout with the athletes of CrossFit South Lamar and love trying out new restaurants on the weekends. When I am unable to enjoy the weather, you can often find me at the Violet Crown Theater checking out a new movie with a glass of wine! I try to dedicate some time each year to travel home to see family and to explore a new city or beach!
I married my husband Vince Peña, April 2018. We are excited to continue to grow our roots here in Austin. We love to travel north, south, east, and west to visit our large family as much as possible in St. Louis, Chicago, El Paso, and Hermosa Beach. Family has always been and will always be a big part of my foundation as they continue to provide me encouragement, strength, and laughter. I am fortunate that The Piazza Center is very family oriented providing me time to be with them near and far.
What are your plans for the future?
Continue to grow with Dr. Piazza and our incredible team! Stay tuned – we have some exciting things yet to come!
You seem passionate about your work.
I love what I do! I can't imagine being anywhere else! If living my dream of a being beach bum lying on a hammock off the coast of Greece didn't pan out ... well, then this is the next best thing!