I'm An IU Nurse

Several years ago, Indiana University School of Nursing Alumnus Eric Newsom, MSHI, RN, was recognized by his peers for a great accomplishment. He successfully managed a team of analysts for a multi-site electronic medical record implementation project that included more than 20 health care service areas. That’s the moment he knew he could be a successful leader.

“I attribute that recognition to the skills of negotiation, delegation, and dignity I learned from being a nurse,” said Newsom, BSN ’09 and a former president of the IUSON Alumni Association.

Of the many characteristics an IU Nurse possesses, Newsom sees himself as a leader and an advocate.

“Leadership is about vision and a message,” he said. “Being president of the Alumni Association was my chance to give something back to the school. The association has been challenged to prove that it serves a purpose for its young alumni and we have begun to meet that challenge.”

Over the years, the IUSON Alumni Association has become more visible during students’ undergraduate studies by participating in President’s Council meetings. The President’s Council is IUSON’s student leadership group composed of all undergraduate class officers and additional participants. The Alumni Association is recruiting young graduates to be part of their board, organizing alumni events for millennials and starting a mentoring program to help recent graduates transition from student to professional life.

Newsom was a member of the first BSN class to have the opportunity to enroll in the honors program. The mentoring he received from that program opened the door to exploration and a focus on research concepts in nursing informatics. This led him to pursue his master’s degree in health care informatics and the chance to be part of a research project with Karen Monsen, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the University of Minnesota. His experience earned him the positions of associate partner at IU Health’s Neuro Critical Care, implementation strategy clinical educator, and clinical systems analyst at IU Health.

Through his clinical practice and work in electronic medical record integration, Newsom participated in lean process improvements that increased efficiencies over time with positive effects on the bottom line. He was able to see the value in motivating and training nurses to find ways to be contributors to complex problems. Newsom said that he wants to see a solution to these issues that includes the nursing community’s voice and believes there is real potential.

“As costs, revenues, and access to insurance continue to be some of the biggest stressors in health care, nurses need opportunities to learn and understand these forces so that we can be valuable contributors to the solutions as well as contributors to the enhancements of our body of professional knowledge,” he said. “Nursing leaders will be challenged to engage and train nurses to be contributors in creating a free market product that guarantees sufficient revenue for our paychecks and coverage for patients that won’t leave them in financial hardship.”

Newsom is currently on a journey west to establish his new home in Southern California and is looking forward to where his career will go.

“I’m not even a decade into my nursing career, but I want to take time at this point to strategize what my next step as an IU Nurse will be,” he said. “That’s one of the great things about this profession, you can move in any direction you imagine.”