Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Debra Hagler, ’80 ’82

2019 College of Health and Social Services Distinguished Alumnus

Before Dr. Debra Hagler was a clinical professor of Nursing, a certified nurse educator and an Academy of Nursing Education fellow, she followed her mother, a nurse, on patient rounds in Albuquerque, NM. Admiring her mother’s ability to bring joy to patients at the hospital initially inspired her to pursue nursing.

Dr. Hagler’s first academic steps in this direction were at NMSU, where she earned an Associate and Bachelor of Science in Nursing in ’80 and ’82. NMSU was also where she met and became engaged to her husband, James Hagler.

After working as a critical care nurse in Las Cruces, Dr. Hagler moved to Arizona and earned a Master of Science in Nursing Education at the University of Arizona and a PhD in Learning and Instructional Technology from Arizona State University, where she had held a faculty position since 1996. As a clinical professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, she is committed to teaching current and future nurses and improving nursing education.

Her research focuses on clinical decision making and competence, innovative teaching strategies and effective use of educational technology. In addition to an extensive list of her own research publications, Dr. Hagler helps many nurses write and publish their first professional articles and book chapters. Sharing her research and experience is also one of many ways she gives back to NMSU, and she is currently discussing ideas with the School of Nursing as they plan upgrades and renovations to the NMSU Nursing Simulation Lab.

Dr. Hagler’s husband, James, was also a two-time Aggie (’82 ’85), and they have four children, Matthew, Andrew, Amanda and Dianna, and one granddaughter, Emma.

“I treasure the excellent education I had at NMSU and want future students to have that opportunity.” – Dr. Debra Hagler


To learn more about the NMSU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award, visit: http://advancing.nmsu.edu/alumni/awards-and-programs/distinguished-alumni-award



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