Last month, Rhonda Newsome, R.N., became the newest faculty member of the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing (GGHSON). A veteran of the Army Nurse Corps, Newsome retired from active duty in 2010 after 20 years of nursing experience, including two overseas deployments.
While assigned to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Newsome deployed to Iraq in 2003 with the 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). As a member of the 36-bed mobile hospital, she helped care for hundreds of troops, enemy prisoners of war (EPWs), and displaced civilians. Often referred to as “the last MASH standing,” Newsome’s unit eventually retired its colors and was converted to a large Combat Army Support Hospital (CSH) in 2006. Following her service in Iraq, Newsome went on to deploy to Afghanistan, where she was a member of a small team that provided primary care to Afghans in rural villages with little to no access to medical treatment. The team also visited local Afghan hospitals to assess their educational and medical equipment needs.
The Army veteran credits her time in service for many valuable life experiences she would not have otherwise had, such as providing care and assistance for Afghan families in austere environments. “These individuals were very appreciative of the care that we provided — something we tend to take for granted,” she said.
Now, as a faculty instructor in the GGHSON, Newsome will continue her passion for service by passing on her skills, experience, and passion to future nurses. “As a nurse, you get to be a vessel of knowledge,” she said. “There is nothing better than to see that students are really getting it. Watching them grow in knowledge and maturity really does something to your heart.”
Newsome joined TTUHSC El Paso in January 2017.