Dr. Dianne Bartels served as a staff nurse and then head nurse at University Hospital from 1964 to 1970. After completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she returned to University Hospital in 1979, serving as associate director of nursing until 1986. Dr. Bartels helped create the Center for Bioethics in 1985, serving in various leadership positions in the Center, including associate director and acting director. After earning her Ph.D. in family social science, Dr. Bartels became an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine. She retired in 2011.
Dr. Dianne Bartels begins her interview by describing her interest in healthcare and her experiences in nursing school and as a nurse at University of Minnesota Hospital. In relation to her work as a nurse at University Hospital, she reviews medical technologies, relations among different members of the staff, Florence Julian and Marie Manthey’s leadership, the development of primary nursing, and the relations between nursing staff at the Hospital and the School of Nursing. Dr. Bartels then discusses all of the following topics in relation to her career in nursing: her time at Mary Crest College in Davenport, IA and the University of Washington; her return to Minnesota as associate director at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park; concerns about nursing shortages; her experiences as associate director at University of Minnesota Hospital; the push for a doctoral program in the School of Nursing; the emergence of Diagnosis-Related Groups; issues around nursing unions; the emergence of HIV-AIDS; abortion services at University Hospital; and the effects of budget constraints on the creation of new programs. In relation to her work at the Center for Bioethics (the Center for Biomedical Ethics at its inception in 1985), Dr. Bartels covers the following topics: the creation and funding of the Center; Dr. Paul Quie’s leadership; the responsibilities and functions of the Center; the placement of the Center in the AHC rather than the Medical School; major bioethical issues the Center faced; her own leadership within the Center; Art Caplan as director of the Center; Jeffrey Kahn as director of the Center; her doctoral research; and ethical issues in genetics and genetic counseling. She concludes with a reflection on the expansion of the Center for Bioethics.
Dr. Dianne Bartels was born and raised in St. Peter, MN. She attended St. Mary’s Nursing School in Minneapolis, earning her diploma in 1964. She worked as a staff nurse and then became head nurse at University Hospital, where she worked until 1970. She pursued some work for her Bachelor’s degree at the University but ultimately completed her degree in nursing with a minor in natural science at Marycrest College in Davenport, IA in 1973. In 1975, she completed her master’s degree in nursing at the University of Washington. While working on her master’s, she worked as an outpatient nurse at Eastside Community Mental Health Center in Bellevue, WA. After completing her degree, Dr. Bartels returned to Minnesota, serving as associate director of Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, MN from 1976 to 1979, and then as associate director at University Hospital in Minneapolis, MN from 1979 to 1986. From 1986 to 1989, Dr. Bartels served as a consultant at Creative Nursing Management. Also beginning in 1986, Dr. Bartels served in many leadership positions in the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota, including associate director and acting director, until her retirement in 2011. During her time at the Center for Bioethics, Dr. Bartels completed her Ph.D. in family social science (2001) and became an assistant professor at the University (2005).