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Shaping the Future of Nursing

David Mangler

David Mangler (BSN ′75) relished his time at UI’s College of Nursing. He firmly believes his education at Iowa provided a solid foundation that’s helped him to excel throughout his career. “My undergraduate education at the University of Iowa provided the broad base upon which my experiences and opportunities have been built over the past 40 years.”

Mangler, who is originally from Bellevue, Iowa, is currently in charge of the State of Delaware’s Division of Professional Regulation, an agency that was created to ensure the protection of the public's health, safety and welfare, by providing administrative and investigative services that benefit the citizens of Delaware, professional licensees, license applicants, other state and national agencies and private organizations.

He recently took time to reflect on his days as an undergrad at the college, what inspired him to pursue a degree in nursing, and his involvement in potential policy changes that could expand the scope of practice for Advance Practice Registered Nurses.

Describe the moment you knew you wanted to be a nurse? 
In January 1970, I was sitting in an auditorium at the Navy Hospital Corps School, San Diego, listening to a presentation that the Senior Nurse at the school was giving to about 250 new students. She talked about the honorable work that we were about to undertake and the responsibilities that come with it. She also talked about opportunities that were available to those exceptional hospital corpsmen, one being the Navy Enlisted Nursing Education Program. From that point forward everything that I did was aimed at preparing myself to be in a position of being competitive for that program. That evening I called my parents in Bellevue and told them that I had discovered what I wanted to do the rest of my life—I was going to be a nurse.

Why did you choose the University of Iowa to pursue your education?
When I was selected for the Navy's nursing education program, I received orders to attend the University of Iowa. Iowa was still considered my state of residence and an in-state tuition rate was more desirable to the Navy. I was excited when I read my orders because I had considered attending the university when I was in high school.

What do you remember most about your time as a UI College of Nursing student?
Although undergraduate students numbered around 600 in the College of Nursing, my class was small. We were the first group of students starting in a new integrated curriculum. The camaraderie with fellow students seemed to feel different than the larger classes ahead of us. We learned to work together and relied on each other during the sometimes difficult and challenging times. I was also one of the first two men to integrate the Scottish Highlanders in 1973. I learned to play bagpipes and perform with that incredible organization while in school.

Was there a particular class or instructor that stood out?
Dr. Teresa Christy. Her lectures provided me with an understanding of my moral and ethical responsibilities to people. I gained a clear understanding of the relationship between my education, my practice and the basic responsibilities to society. What I learned from Dr. Christy has served me well throughout my career, particularly when needing to balance patient care with management and leadership decisions.

Describe how you’re currently involved in the profession.
I am the director of the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation (DPR), which provides oversight and administrative support to 35 boards and commissions, including the Board of Nursing. I previously served as DPR’s executive director and I often spoke with nurses—individually and in groups—about issues in the profession.

During periods that the State Legislature is in session, I work with multiple bills that various boards may have in play. I provide coordination, consensus building discussions and testimony for those pieces of legislation. This year, the Board of Nursing introduced a number of bills that are aimed at achieving the Advance Practice Nursing Consensus Model of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, which would allow APRNs in Delaware to practice at the highest level of their education.

Do you believe your educational experience at UI enhanced your preparation for this role?
Without question. My undergraduate education at the University of Iowa provided the broad base upon which my experiences and opportunities have been built over the past 40 years. Dean Barritt impressed upon students the importance of obtaining a solid liberal arts foundation and to take electives during the undergraduate years that were perhaps non-traditional for nursing students. I took that advice to heart. The broad based educational experiences that I took advantage of serve me well in my current role—a leadership role in which I proudly identify myself as a nurse while utilizing the critical thinking skills I learned in every aspect of my work.

What words of advice would you offer to current or future nursing students?
Nursing comes from a core sense of responsibility to other humans. Caring comes from the integration of that sense of responsibility with what is gained during the early and ongoing education and experience. Allow your experiences to shape you as a person and as a nurse.

What’s next for David Mangler?
I am in an appointed position within the Delaware State Government and serve at the pleasure of the Governor and Delaware Secretary of State. The current administration’s final term comes to a close at the end of 2016. My time in this position could end with a new administration or it could possibly continue under a new administration.

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Posted On: 
Aug 11th, 2015