Cody Newton, a 2016 graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at UAFS, has experienced a phenomenal rise as a Registered Nurse, traveling the world and earning the title of Charge Nurse in the Emergency Department at Baptist-Fort Smith, just two years after his graduation.
In the B.S.N. program, Newton says he found an environment where he would be challenged and supported academically while being given the opportunity to learn the profession from faculty and working nurses who worked in the field every day. As a first-generation college student and the first nurse in his family, Newton said this kind of care and experience was crucial to his development as a nurse. “The B.S.N. program was instrumental in making sure I was prepared to be a competent and compassionate nurse in the real world,” he said.
“I have the opportunity to meet new people and change their lives every single day, multiple times a day, while taking care of the most critical situations they may ever experience,” Newton said, “And giving them compassion and hope during that time is so important.”
Early in his career, a medical mission trip to Ghana, Africa set Newton on a path to use his skills and his education to expand access to care as well as kindness. “That trip was life-changing,” he said. “It solidified my desire to help those less fortunate than I, who need lifesaving care.”
Locally, Newton volunteered at the Riverview Hope Campus homeless shelter in Fort Smith, served on an elementary school association, and participated in public safety outreach in the community.
Though Newton had to learn to adapt to numerous obstacles, from being away from his family to the emotionally taxing work of emergency nursing, he says a personal philosophy has helped guide his persistence, “give all the love you can and always be kind.”
An avid learner, Newton has added certifications in Emergency and Trauma Nursing (CEN) and Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN) to his resume through the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing and Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing.
Newton also served as a critical care clinical instructor in the UAFS College of Health Sciences where he got his start. “The BSN Program at UAFS was realistic, gave you plenty of time with real-life nurses in real-life situations, and helped you see what the profession was all about,” Newton said. “And now three of my students recently started in the Baptist Health Emergency Room,” he added.
Most recently, Newton began a new career as a travel trauma nurse, starting in Florida at a level 2 trauma center, where he can foster his passion for healthcare as well as his passion for scuba diving.
“I am proud of the quality education I received, the assistance I was given, and the real-life experiences I was able to achieve through being a UAFS student,” he added.