AVANA Leadership Project for Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (ALPS)

 For more information regarding the ALPS program, click on Scholarship/ALPS

2016 AVANA Leadership Program for SRNA’s Winners

Adam BenhamAdam Benham, SRNA

My name is Adam Benham and I’m from a rural town in southern Indiana.  I began my registered nursing career in 2009 in Trauma ED.  Thereafter, I spent 5 years in Los Angeles working at the West LA VA Medical Center.  My clinical experience afforded me time in the Emergency Department, as well as the Medical and CardioThoracic ICUs.  I had the great fortune of meeting a chief CRNA at the West LA VA.  She was instrumental in stewarding many shadow opportunities for me to engage with SRNAs and CRNAs in the perioperative arena.  It is through these experiences that I owe my great fortune of pursuing what I believe to be the pinnacle of nursing practice.  I attend the University of Pennsylvania and my graduation date is May 2017.  My wife and I have a 14 month old son and are expecting our second child in August, 2016.  I am a veteran of Operating Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan 2004-2005.

In the short term, I expect an eye-opening experience at the MYA and look forward to sharing the experience with my colleagues.  Long term, my passions align with the VA mission statement and I consider the opportunity to care for our veterans an unparalleled gift.  The future of our profession faces many challenges, as well as many more achievements; I’m excited to be a part of that and I anticipate a long, rewarding career within the Department of Veterans Affairs.  I will also seek opportunities to provide much-needed anesthesia expertise to underserved, rural communities.  I wish to thank all members of the AVANA for establishing this program and for supporting the ‘youth’ of our profession.


Justin Scott Fulkerson

     Justin Fulkerson, SRNA

Justin Fulkerson is a native of Columbia, SC.  He obtained his BSN from the University of South Carolina as a double major in nursing and tuba performance.  Shortly after, he started his nursing career in the emergency department while concurrently completing his MSN as an acute care nurse practitioner.  During this time, he also joined the Navy Reserves.  After two years of practice as a NP, he deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan and proudly served on a trauma team and critical care flight mission.  As a Lieutenant, he has received the following awards: the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation, Afghanistan Campaign, Global War on Terrorism Service, Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service, Armed Forces Reserve (M), NATO Service, Rife Marksmanship (S), and Pistol Marksmanship (S).  He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the United States Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing as a Veterans Affairs employee. During his time there he has received the Sarah A. Halliburton Award for Excellence, Dr. Don Johnson Researcher Award, and the Peer Mentor Award.  He remains active in the Reserves teaching Trauma Nurse Core Course throughout the year across the United States.  The dual federal career in the Reserves and Veterans Health Administration has allowed him to work for the best patient populations in the world: our service members and Veterans.  In the upcoming years, he greatly looks forward to using his perspective as a dual-specialty APRN to pursue improving access to care and the pursuit of life-long learning.