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Sullivan, Eleanor

Eleanor J.
Sullivan, PhD
Year Inducted: 
1993
Eleanor Sullivan
Highlights: 
  • Former Dean of the KU School of Nursing
  • Acclaimed author of mystery novels starring a nurse sleuth
  • Elected Class President in nursing school despite challenge of being a widowed mother of five children
  • Former President of the professional nursing organization Sigma Theta Tau International
  • Author of an award-winning textbook on nursing management
  • Named to the “Who’s Who in Health Care” by the Kansas City Business Journal
  • On the Board of Directors of Sisters in Crime, an international organization supporting women mystery writers
Biography: 

Eleanor Sullivan, RN, PhD, FAAN, former Dean of the KU School of Nursing, is a woman of remarkable talent and determination.  She is a true success story, not only in the field of nursing, but in following another dream: she is an acclaimed author of mystery novels starring a nurse sleuth.

Ms. Sullivan was a non-traditional nursing student: she began after the death of her husband, as a mother of five children between the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years, with little money.  She had been moved by the nurses who cared for her dying husband, and thus was determined to make it a career of her own.  Despite the challenges outside of school she faced, she graduated at the top of her class and was elected class president.

She began her professional career at KU in …. And became the Dean of the KU School of Nursing in 1984, which she remained as until 1995.  During her term, she notably pushed for a way that KU nursing faculty could continue clinical practice and earn revenue for the school, worked to establish the Kansas Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program, paved the way in providing advanced primary care nursing courses on the Internet, and began a nursing recognition program.  Ms. Sullivan has served as President of the nursing organization Sigma Theta Tau International, as an editor of the Journal of Professional Nursing, as a member of a National Institutes of Health council. 

Ms. Sullivan also found the time to write an award-winning textbook on nursing management .  She has presented papers in the United States, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, and Australia, and continues to be a popular lecturer on the field of nursing today.  Additionally, she has testified before U.S. Senate Committees and was named to the “Who’s Who in Health Care” by the Kansas City Business Journal.

She remained a professor at KU until 2004, until she moved to St. Louis and continued writing mystery novels after her 2002 success Twice Dead.  She has written two other novels to date:  Deadly Diversion and Assumed Dead; a fourth novel, Play Dead starring her nurse sleuth heroine Monika Everhardt is in the works.  Ms. Sullivan is also working on a new mystery series about a 1930’s herbalist and midwife.   She serves on the Board of Directors of Sisters in Crime, an international organization of 3600 members strong which supports women mystery writers in their professional endeavors.  A portion of her book sales funds nursing scholarships.


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