Leslie Newman earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Minnesota. The practice doctorate, recently established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), signifies the highest level of nursing in direct, clinical practice. In addition to her doctorate, Newman holds nurse practitioner certifications in both Women’s Health and Adult Health.
An avid cyclist, Newman belongs to a local bike team, competing in both road and track races — the latter in a cycling velodrome, on a bike with no brakes. “It’s super-fun,” she says. “You get to be going pretty fast!”
But when it’s time to meet with her patients, Newman slows way down. “I really enjoy talking with my patients — almost too much,” she says with a laugh. “I’ve had preceptors tell me to work on being a little more ‘efficient’! But I’m a good listener, and I really want to understand each individual patient’s needs.”
Newman focuses on wellness with her patients, providing the education and support they need to make changes and choices for lifelong health and disease prevention. “I really like digging up information, providing my patients with tools they can use themselves, and then working with them as a team,” she says.
Newman says her colleagues have called her “resourceful,” a trait exemplified by her DNP Scholarship Leadership project. She worked one-on-one with a family-planning clinic, streamlining an administrative process to give numerous patients quicker and easier access to birth control. “It was really rewarding to provide the clinic with a useful end result,” she says. So far, eight additional clinics have adopted Newman’s initiative.
When she’s not biking — often with fellow cyclist and husband, Aaron — Newman enjoys gardening (often with her cat Maya keeping her company in the yard), cooking, and baking with secret ingredients. “I like to sneak in some healthy substitutions, and not tell anybody,” she says.
Also in her spare time, Newman works to improve women’s healthcare on a larger scale — volunteering for Planned Parenthood and keeping a close watch on healthcare legislation and issues. “I’m not shy about contacting my legislators,” she says with a laugh. “We have a good relationship. I give them real-world scenarios of how certain bills would play out in a clinic. I think it’s up to us as constituents to help them understand the impact that a certain bill could have.”
I’ve had a lot of mentors who have helped shape the way I practice,” she says, “but it’s my patients who inspire me. When I hear their stories — about how they’ve dealt with challenging circumstances and still manage to smile every day and keep a good spirit — I find that incredible. Their constitution and personal strength are amazing.”