WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU MIX A CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST AND A MEDIA EXPERT?
MEET AMERICA’S FAVORITE NURSE
ALICE BENJAMIN, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, PCCN-CCMC
Nurse Alice is a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Author, Entrepreneur and media pro that has redefined what nursing looks like.
Missy: How long have you been a nurse?
Alice: 19 years
Missy: Why did you decide to become a nurse?
Alice: I was the eldest of my siblings and helped my mother take care of my father who was frequently seeing doctors and in/out of the hospital with hypertension, stroke and heart disease. As well, as a little girl, I was in and out of the doctor’s office frequently too so I saw how positive of an impact nurses could make on someone’s life so I wanted to do that for other people.
Missy: What’s next for your career?
Alice: I’m enjoying my career as a Cardiac Clinical Nurse Specialist in critical care seeing complex patients, transforming care at the bedside with evidence and training new and experienced nurses. I’m now expanding my health care expertise using a multimedia platform to educate the general public on important health matters so I’m doing more tv/radio and writing. I’ve also become a Nursepreneur by launching my own boutique education company for health professionals called Ask-A-Nurse First. I teach critical care and cardiac topics and nursing specialty review courses across the nation and online.
Missy: What areas have you worked in nursing and what area do you currently work in?
Alice: I’ve spent a majority of my career in critical care, ICU (MICU, SICU, trauma and burn) for a few years but mostly in cardiac progressive care (aka step down). But as many nurses I always had a second job but in a very different area. I’ve worked in corrections, outpatient clinics, home health and as an adjunct clinical nursing instructor. It was still work but a break from the regular routine of inpatient work.
Missy: What is one tip that you have for an aspiring nurse or nursing student?
Alice: Pace and plan. There will be tons of studying and homework that happens outside of your normal life. And for a while (at least during nursing school) life won’t seem normal but if you plan out your studying and assignments and pace your activities, you’ll find that you don’t have to give up all your personal time and your stress levels won’t be V’taching (going up down up down) all the time. There is such a thing called school life balance. And you need it or you will burn out before you finish school.
Missy: Nurse burnout is one of the most challenging issues in the nursing field. What are you doing to prevent yourself from experiencing this in your career?
Alice: Burnout is something every nurse will experience if they’re not careful and it will have a physical, mental and emotional toll on you. I chose a nursing pathway that was aligned with my passions. I love all things cardiac. And I love to teach. So as a cardiac clinical nurse specialist I get to do all those things. I feel like I have purpose and a voice in the work that I do. I also take time for myself and family and leave work behind. Its important to protect your personal time. Having a fruitful career is important but not at the expense of your happiness and health.
Missy: Finish the statement. If I wasn’t a nurse, I’d probably be a .
Alice: Science teacher because I love pathophysiology and pharmacology and have a gift for teaching in an easy to understand way.
To learn more about this busy nurse and how she does it all visit her website at www.AliceBenjamin.com and for more information on her education company find out more at www.AskANurseFirst.com. Nurse Alice offer lots of great education for nursing students and nurses both online and in a classroom setting. Every month she offers a free webinar on a particular topic.
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