Today in the chart

Nurse Alice: From Bedside to NBC Medical Correspondent

Read our exclusive interview with Nurse Alice and learn more about her amazing journey from the bedside to NBC’s Medical Correspondent

From the outside, it seemed like any other health fair. Alice Benjamin, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, FNP-C, CCRN, CEN, CV-BC, was volunteering with the American Heart Association to teach community members about preventative cardiac care. 

“Come on, dad! Your daughters want you to know what your blood pressure is!” She proclaimed, beckoning one family over to her station. Her bright, engaging energy is second nature for her, but it was particularly enticing for the American Heart Association’s PR team, who happened to be watching her that day.

“Would you be interested in doing a radio spot for us?” The American Heart Association asked. Benjamin’s first media appearance was on their behalf with KJLH radio in Los Angeles to discuss heart health during the holidays. 

Benjamin is also a clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, CEO of and, and an NBC medical contributor. Read on to learn more about her nursing journey and how she’s changing the game for nurses in media.

The Birth of America’s Favorite Nurse 

Benjamin is known as Nurse Alice, and has also been affectionately coined as ‘America’s Favorite Nurse.’

“I always feel a little weird when I say that, because there’s millions of great nurses out there,” she confides. “But I think it was because I’ve been in healthcare for 25 years now, and I was frequently appearing with public-facing consumer outlets. I was a consistent face and a consistent voice.” 

Benjamin’s nursing background includes her work as a:

  • Nurse practitioner
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • ER and ICU nurse
  • Critical care transport nurse
  • Home health nurse
  • Ambulatory care nurse
  • Licensed vocational nurse
  • Certified nursing assistant

Benjamin is based in Los Angeles. When she’s not in clinical practice, she is a media correspondent for NBC, a nurse entrepreneur, and a podcast host. 

The Media Snowball

After her first successful radio spot, Benjamin was asked to return for other stories. News like celebrity hospital stays or health-related current events were consistent topics of discussion. Various news outlets caught on, and she was invited to speak on multiple occasions.

Benjamin clearly remembers her first live television experience. "I didn't do any research on the media outlet. I would never recommend anyone do that." She was invited to Fox for a morning show, America Live with Megyn Kelly. "I didn't know how to act in a live television setting. They wanted me to talk about the importance of health insurance while the Affordable Care Act was coming onto the scene. I just went and did it." 

From the difficult experience, Benjamin learned:

  • During live television, you have to think on your feet to get your message across
  • What you say can be politicized to serve a specific narrative
  • You may be asked hard questions that you have to navigate in real-time

"I probably should get some media training," she reflected after her first live appearance.

As time went on, she was asked to return to Fox, appear on Dr. Oz, and eventually, NBC offered her a role as a paid medical correspondent. "It was really like a snowball." 

The Conflicts Between Nursing and Media

During the media frenzy, Benjamin was still working as a nurse and participated as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Nurses Association California, was the president of her local American Association of Critical-Care Nurses chapter, was a leadership institute fellow with the National Black Nurses Association, and was involved in several other professional organizations. 

"It didn't feel like people were excited for me," Benjamin recalls. One day, a media member called the Chief Nursing Officer at her workplace to give accolades for Benjamin's recent media appearance. "I then got called into the CNO's office and told that nurses don't belong on TV. That only doctors and senior leadership do. Nurses should be at the bedside." That was only about a decade ago.

But at the time, nurses didn’t have much of a media presence. Nurses were occasionally the topic of a news story but rarely ever were they the subject matter expert delivering information. Benjamin proceeded to tiptoe and hide her early morning radio appearances before her shifts. If people asked if it was her, she would deny it. "It didn't feel good to not be embraced by the nursing community."

Still, Benjamin knew she was doing right by continuing her media appearances. It was everything nurses were taught to do: patient education, teaching health literacy, reaching people where they are—before they have a health crisis. 

There were also times her appearances were bumped to accommodate doctors instead.

I just stayed at it. I got media training. I was consistent, and I perfected my craft.

She's since had more opportunities in media, even in the writer's room at NBC, to consult on the experiences of new grad nurses to help create characters for medical TV dramas.

How Nurses Can Use MediaRX to Learn More

One endeavor that Benjamin is currently passionate about is her company, MediaRX. 

MediaRX thrives at the intersection of healthcare and media, and is designed to build up nurses who want to appear in media and receive the support and training to do so. 

Some of the skills her course with MediaRX offer include:

  • How to prepare for interviews
  • How to present on camera, TV, and radio
  • How to pitch ideas for medical shows, books, movies, or products 
  • How to develop your ideas into the desired media format
  • How to connect with industry leaders and professions, including multimedia production teams
  • Understanding media contracts and rights (Don't charge the bare minimum for your next idea and lose out on big residuals, Benjamin says!)
  • Access to embargoes news content for nurse writers, reporters, and journalists

"We're really interested in working with nurses and other healthcare professionals and then also helping other agencies get it right." Benjamin wants to use her platform to connect nurses with the media. "Say I get approached by Fox, and they're looking for an OB nurse to speak on a topic. I would connect them to the right nurse from my hub."

Jump Start a Career in Nurse Media

For Benjamin, it only took one radio show to catapult her career, and for her to realize this was one of her greatest passions in nursing. It inspired her to perfect the art of media appearances and to help other nurses follow suit. 

Want to become a member of the MediaRX community of nurses? Go to to learn more. 

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