Barton Nursing graduate reflects on rewarding and successful early career; Nursing application deadline is Jan. 31

December 5, 2018
Story and portrait by Brandon Steinert

When Director of Nursing Robert Mangold walks into work at The University of Kansas Health Systems Pawnee Valley Campus, he’s not just trading his time for a paycheck, dealing with the daily grind. He’s beginning yet another shift in a role that challenges him to be present for others as the best human being he can be, showing care, compassion and empathy mixed with just the right amount of professionalism.

“One of the best feelings is going home and knowing you’ve helped someone or helped save a life,” he said. “My day-to-day most rewarding experience is seeing patients happy and family members happy, knowing that myself and my team of nursing staff are providing good care and making sure we’re taking care of our community.”

Keeping that level of quality care, he added, takes dedication, patience and self care, especially when dealing with the death of a patient or helping them with a traumatic injury.

“That can take an emotional toll on you,” he said. “But the staff here is like a family. It’s not just work, it’s coming to a place where you know you’re going to be cared for.”

The role suits Mangold; when meeting him for the first time, it might seem as though he has always been a nurse, but like anyone he started out unsure what to do with himself.

After graduating from Greeley County High School in 2007, he started out at Wichita State University with “undecided health professions” as his declared major. He eventually landed on nursing as his chosen path.

“It’s a great career if you’re looking for something long term and just enjoy caring for people,” he said. “There’s unlimited possibilities of different specializations and schooling you can continue to pursue. You’re never really going to be without a job. There’s always going to be a need for nurses.”

He looked at a few nursing programs in Kansas once he figured out what he wanted, and said Barton stood out to him. He earned his Licensed Practical Nurse Certificate in 2014 and his associate degree in Nursing in 2015.

“The instructors made it a good experience,” he said. “It’s a good school. They make it feel like a community, like you’re in a small hometown, and they want you to succeed.”

After Barton, he transferred to Wichita State University and finished his bachelor’s degree in May of 2018.

He racked up a lot of experience in a few short years by working while attending school. Mangold has spent time in emergency rooms, helping with surgery, outpatient nursing and more.

As a Director of Nursing, Mangold is now focused on doing what he can for The University of Kansas Health Systems Pawnee Valley Campus, but he said he’ll never stop learning. His next goal is to eventually earn his master’s degree in nursing.

While there are more men pursuing nursing than before, it’s still a field predominantly populated by women. Mangold said that comes with its own set of challenges, but it’s an afterthought to him.

“Caring for somebody is a gender neutral role,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a male or female as long as you can provide that care, that’s all that really matters.”

Applications to start in Barton’s nursing program in the fall of 2019 are due January 31. For more information or to request an application, visit or contact Director of Nursing and Healthcare Education Kathy Kottas at (620) 792-9355 or

Medical Assistant

In addition to nursing, Barton offers several other healthcare professional training options, including Medical Assistant. Medical Assistants are multi-skilled individuals trained to assist physicians, work in a medical clinic and areas of hospitals or laboratories. They measure and record vital signs, take medical histories, administer medications, sterilize instruments, assist with minor surgeries, handle emergencies, obtain blood samples, perform routine lab procedures, x-ray preparation and more.

A career can be built as a medical assistant, or it can be a versatile launchpad into many other healthcare professions.

For more information about Barton’s Medical Assistant program, visit or contact Program Instructor & Coordinator Kim Brennan at (620) 792-9326 or

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