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Community, Mentorship, and Passion for Nursing: Q&A With Nurse Alice

What does community look like for you? A Friday night out with your best friends? A weekly run with your favorite fitness group?  

For nurses just starting their careers or advancing into new roles, community means access to the kind of wisdom and experience that only comes with time.

Nurse mentors provide an opportunity for novice nurses to gain invaluable knowledge from more experienced peers.

Mentorships also build community, promote professional growth, and encourage resilience.

And “Nurse Alice” Benjamin, MSN, ACNS-BC, FNP-C, Chief Nursing Officer Consultant for, is the ideal person to speak to the many benefits of nurse mentorships. 

“Having a collaborative culture in nursing not only supports individual nurses in achieving their potential, it also drives a collective advancement of the profession,” she said. “That type of energy is contagious. When we’re growing as individual nurses, if we’re around other nurses that do that collectively, we can do a lot of things.”

Nurse Alice has over 25 years of experience in cardiovascular health, critical care, and emergency medicine. In addition to her work with, she’s a family nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, TV medical correspondent, host of the Ask Nurse Alice podcast, and founder of

In a recent video interview with, she shared her insights on how mentorship and community can be transformative for many nurses. 

Below are some excerpts. Watch the full video here.

Q: How have mentorships contributed to your professional development?

Alice Benjamin: Nursing mentorships have definitely played an important role in my career trajectory, my journey, and the fact that I’m still a nurse.

In nursing there are so many challenges and obstacles that we just can't anticipate that are challenging both professionally and personally — not just with direct patient care, but in the workforce environment itself. And thankfully, mentorship has played a very important role in navigating it all. 

I still have a mentor. My mentors have helped me navigate the complexities of health care — and that’s an understatement. 

I'll just say that having a mentor helped me to feel supported and like I belonged in nursing, especially in those moments where I was questioning, “Is this for me?”

Q: Describe a time where you felt supported by your nursing community.

Alice Benjamin: I remember early on in my career. I was a new grad. I just finished preceptorship, so I was officially on my own. My preceptor was working the same shift, but I was on my own patient load. And I had my first code blue.

Now, theoretically, I’d studied it. I had done simulations. I’d gone over it. I’d done the packets. I’d done all the learning. But when you’re in it, there’s a sense of urgency and fear that kind of rushes you.

And I was in the room with my patient, and I was with a team of nurses I had worked with. And I was just scared. I was so frightened and afraid, and didn’t know what to do. I was frozen.

David was the charge nurse that was on. I guess he recognized the deer-in-headlights look. He said, “Alice, it’s going to be fine.”  He said, “What I want you to do is just go and be the official pulse checker, and I’m going to walk you through this. You’re going to be fine. OK?”

He did this in a very discreet manner, so no one knew that I was so overcome with fear that I was stalled in getting this information out. 

I had some really supportive nurses with me in the room that were kind, that were gentle, that were nurturing. And they just really walked me through that whole experience. 

After the code blue, all those nurses checked on me a little bit. They gave me some feedback. However, they were very supportive by giving me feedback and then following up with me and helping me with the charting afterward.

And I know that seems like just one example, and we would like to think that always happens. Sometimes that happens in workplaces, but people aren't always as nurturing. It can be more of a gotcha moment. That's when we refer to “eating our young.”

And again, I was a new nurse, so I wasn’t really sure what nursing community was supposed to look like. I didn’t even know that it was a thing, but after that day, I felt it. 

And I knew what nursing community was by experiencing it — before anyone could ever tell me really what it was.

Learn more about Nurse Alice and her role with, or watch the entire video interview here.