Laurie McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Alice Benjamin, aka Nurse Alice. She may have wanted to be an accountant but when her father said she would become a great nurse, she changed course. Her father, a veteran, lost the battle to heart disease and as Alice was helping navigate his care, translating for her mother, she saw first-hand the impact of implicit bias. She set her sights on being the best cardiac nurse in the world and focused on prevention. That led to educating the public. She found she had a knack for this, perhaps because she understood the importance of cultural competence and meeting people where they are. Health equity awareness also became a passion and putting a spotlight on not only the inequities within health care but how they came about. Alice appreciates that there is more attention on the issues of systemic racism and that people are listening now – however, she points out the need to understand the many people left behind along the way and equity requires us to bring everyone to an equal starting point. Alice also provides a message of encouragement for women – even with the issue of our reproductive rights on the line – that women continue to be resilient and hopeful.
Clinical Nurse Specialist and Medical Correspondent
Alice Benjamin is a board-certified Clinical Nurse Specialist and Family Nurse Practitioner with over 23 years nursing experience specializing in cardiovascular and critical care. She has served as an expert clinical practitioner responsible for providing direct patient care, leadership, consultation, education and patient care management expertise for complex cardiac patients including myocardial infarction, interventional cardiac catheterization, advanced congestive heart failure, CVICU patients, ICD/pacemakers, and post heart transplants at places like Cedars Sinai Medical Center and Sharp Memorial Hospital. She also has extensive experience in burn, trauma, and emergency medicine having worked at Level 1 Trauma Centers including Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego and UC San Diego Regional Burn Center.
Nurse Alice graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a dual major in Nursing and Psychology. She later obtained a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education/Clinical Nurse Specialist and Post-Masters as a Family Nurse Practitioner.