How the West Was Won—By Nurse Practitioners

Meet assistant teaching professor Rod Newman, one of the BYU College of Nursing’s newest faculty members. He’s a mild-mannered teacher, nurse practitioner, and…cowboy action shooter?

Open Fire
Newman zeroes in on a target with his handy Wild West era rifle in a competition.

This is just a sampling of his many interests and hobbies.

Newman has been a nurse practitioner since 1979, a period spanning 38 years. He initially started studying nursing at Ricks College to be a nurse anesthetist, but he quickly found that the field was not for him.

“I like patient interaction a lot more, so I decided to go in that direction,” he says. After getting his associate’s at Ricks, he came to BYU for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing.

Since then, he has worked at various places in Utah Valley, including a 25-year stint at Revere Health. He worked mainly in cardiology and critical care, with some work in internal medicine.

From Newman’s perspective, being a nurse practitioner offers multiple benefits. It is an expanding job field that lets nurses have real patient interaction. Newman still has patients at Revere Health who refuse to see anyone but him due to the relationship of trust he has established with them.

BYU offers Newman the chance to teach the importance of this trust to students in what he describes as “a wonderful environment.”

“This is a choice place to be,” he says. “The College of Nursing is fantastic and supportive, and I can’t say that professionally I’ve been happier anywhere else.”

In addition, Newman will be using the College’s ultrasound machine to examine ways that nurses can measure pulmonary hypertension without having to resort to either an expensive procedure or partially accurate tests.

When he is not at the hospital or teaching, you can often find Newman at the shooting range. One of Newman’s biggest hobbies is cowboy action shooting, which involves dressing up as a cowboy and shooting authentic guns from the time-period.

Watch out Black Bart
Newman in a competition that requires both speed and accuracy

“The big thing is you dress up like a cowboy, so you go back to your childhood,” he says. Firearms include old Winchester rifles and single-action revolvers. What’s more, Newman has won several shooting competitions.

The one thing that has lasted longer than his career as an NP is his marriage, which is now in its 42nd year. He has seven children and twenty-three grandchildren.

Newman with one of his horses

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