Three-time WVU School of Nursing graduate elected to serve as WVNA president in 2024
Donte Newsom, a three-time West Virginia University School of Nursing graduate, has been elected to serve as the 2024 president of the West Virginia Nurses Association. He will serve during 2023 as president-elect.
“It is an honor and privilege to be elected to the office of President-Elect of the WVNA,” Newsom said. “I became actively involved in WVNA in early 2021 to take additional steps towards my goal of being an advocate and giving back to the communities to which I belong.”
Newsom received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2011, his Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) in 2014, and his Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in 2018.
After receiving his DNP, he first decided to join a local organization’s board to help his community. He selected Connecting Link, which aims address an individual’s immediate crisis need and to assist residents of North Central West Virginia in locating resources to help them become more self-sufficient.
Less than a year later, Newsom was approached about joining the board of Fairness West Virginia, a statewide civil rights organization serving LGBTQ+ residents.
“As a proud gay man, it has been tremendously rewarding to be a part of such an impactful organization, and I am proud of the work we have done over the past three years. It was through the partnership with Fairness that I was re-introduced to the WVNA and the work they do for nurses across the state.”
Newsom became a WVNA member in 2021 and found himself impressed by the organization’s dedication to nurses in the state, regardless of race, gender, sexuality or other identities. He later joined the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee of the WVNA and was elected co-chair. He soon decided to run for the president position with WVNA.
“I was informed that I will be the first person of color on the board as well as the first man and first openly gay person to serve as president,” Newsom shared. “Through my experience with Fairness WV and the WVNA DEI Committee, I have grown to understand the power behind this kind of representation.”
He said he has heard from people over the years who have not felt seen nor served by the organizations of which they are a part.
“For the past several years, my focus on service to the communities I identify with has brought a lot of growth in my understanding, empathy, and appreciation for diversity in thought, class, gender, race, and sexual orientation. My sense of belonging to my hometown, my state, the LGBTQ+ community, the BIPOC community, and to nursing has strengthened through my service via the boards I represent.”
Newsom said he is grateful and excited to begin his work in the new role.
“My goal and vision for the future of the WVNA under our leadership is to increase membership and belonging within the organization, reaching into both small and large towns and to nurses from all backgrounds to bolster a sense of community for West Virginia nurses who continue to face unprecedented challenges. With strength in numbers and the power of diversity and inclusion, I believe that we can further the profession within the state and make nursing in West Virginia more rewarding and more desirable.”
CONTACT: Wendy Holdren
Director of Communications and Marketing
WVU School of Nursing