Jonas V Nurse Leader Scholar

Shelly Benfield, MPH, BSN

University of San Diego
DNP Student

Shelly Benfield is currently is serving on active duty as a Commander in the United States Navy. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and also earned Master of Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology from San Diego State University. She has over twenty years of nursing experience to include labor and delivery, inpatient pediatrics and adult med/surg. She also has extensive experience in the outpatient medical home setting and has held numerous leadership positions to include nurse manager, inpatient hospital nursing supervisor and outpatient clinical director. With twenty years of active duty military service, she has served in three countries and deployed in support of two humanitarian medical missions in six developing countries. Her awards and recognitions include four Navy Commendation Medals and one Navy Achievement medal. Shelly currently serves as the Nurse Resident Program Director at Naval Medical Center, San Diego. For her specific clinical practice focus, she would like to utilize her MPH and DNP to highlight advance directives and palliative care as a public health priority. Advanced care planning and palliative care services have been shown to improve quality of life and decrease health care spending. Healthcare providers can take a proactive approach to advance care planning by discussing palliative care to maximize quality of life when treating patients facing life-limiting illnesses. Nurse practitioners are poised to play a pivotal role in advanced care planning and the implementation of palliative care.