Mary Lagaard Interview 7-7-2023

Recorded July 31, 2023 Archived July 31, 2023 57:32 minutes
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Id: APP3944223


BIOGRAPHY: Mary Wotzka Lagaard entered her nursing career through the “back door” of psychology. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Benedict’s College in central MN, but eventually
received a nursing degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. There she worked in several
positions in the neurology/neurosurgical service before moving back to Minnesota to take a
position as a Nurse Clinician with neurosurgeons in a local trauma hospital. After receiving a
master’s degree in nursing and completing a study on minor head injury and alcohol use, she
was hired by Abbott Northwestern as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Neuroscience where she
taught nurses neuroanatomy and physiology and developed patient policies and procedures.
After marriage, she moved to rural Minnesota and changed her nursing focus. She returned to
school to finish a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner program and finally a Doctor of Nursing Practice
degree from the University of Minnesota. She also began teaching at Saint Catherine’s
University and was fortunate enough to be awarded recognition for her teaching with a Daisy
Award. Today, she continues a rural focus by working to improve access and cross-cultural
health education for local Amish communities and learning from graduate nursing students.

INTERVIEWER: Jocelyn Bessette Gorlin
TECH SUPPORT: Sarah Osborne


  • Jocelyn Bessette Gorlin
  • Mary Lagaard