The Evolution of a Consultant

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

July 2017 marks the introduction of Collaborative Momentum Consulting LLC,   a consulting firm designed to provide support for nurse and health professions educators in curriculum development, program evaluation, and faculty development to improve student and faculty outcomes.  My move to the role as an independent consultant has stimulated me to consider the road that has led me to this point.

As a little girl, I read the “Cherry Ames” mystery novels, which chronicle the adventures of a young woman who became a registered nurse and worked in a variety of situations (Cherry Ames: Student Nurse; Cherry Ames: Chief Nurse; Cherry Ames: Visiting Nurse; etc.).  I was hooked!  What other profession open to women at that time could provide the opportunity to work in so many different environments?   (I was that kid who was first in line when there was a new adventure.)  Besides, as Helen Wells, the author of the Cherry Ames stories, said, “I’ve always thought of nursing, and perhaps you have, too, as just about the most exciting, important, and rewarding profession there is.  Can you think of any other skill that is always needed by everybody, everywhere?” (Foreman, 2006)

Being a nurse has met all of my expectations.  I have had opportunities to work in direct care in med-surg and psych and in hospitals and in the community.  I have been a teacher and an administrator in both service and education.   I have worked closely with nurses and a variety of other health professionals. All of these opportunities have informed my practice. However, regardless of the environment in which I was working, there were two that I found most exciting.  The first was the opportunity to mentor, teach, and collaborate with others.    The second was being able to start something new.  Whether it was starting a new public psychiatric hospital or introducing a new program or curriculum (or revising those that were not working), I have always loved finding ways to bring positive change to improve outcomes.

My work as a faculty member, Associate Dean, Dean, and Director of Consulting Services for a publishing company has brought me to this point. There are many colleagues who provide excellent consultation services to nursing education.  However, I believe that my experience provides a unique set of skills that will help educational programs move to the next level of success.  I look forward to this next adventure!


Forman, H.S. (2006) The Foreword in Cherry Ames Chief Nurse, Cherry Ames Nurse Stories. New York: Springer Publishing Company, vii.


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