Mary M. Benbenek, PhD, MS, APRN, FNP, PNP

Clinical Professor, Child Family Health Cooperative

Mary M. Benbenek

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-5236

Fax 612-626-6606

Office Address:
6-119B Weaver-Densford Hall

Mailing Address:
School of Nursing
University of Minnesota
5-140 Weaver-Densford Hall
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Clinical Professor, Child Family Health Cooperative

Family Nurse Practitioner Program Coordinator, School of Nursing

PhD, University of Minnesota (Nursing), 2010

MS, University of Minnesota (Nursing), 1994

BA, College of St. Catherine's (Nursing), 1980


Dr. Benbenek, PhD, MS, APRN, FNP, PNP is a Clinical Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota where she coordinates the Family Nurse Practitioner program. Her clinical scholarship focuses on the key areas of: advanced practice nursing education, family-centered primary health care, global health and health promotion in underserved populations. Dr. Benbenek has earned national recognition as a clinical scholar in the area of nurse practitioner education and academic practice partnerships. Dr. Benbenek’s leadership, innovation and recognition as a teacher are evident in the family nurse practitioner specialty area of study in the School of Nursing doctorate of nursing practice program.

Awards & Recognition

University of Minnesota

  • Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Mentor Program, 2018-2019
  • LEADS program University of Minnesota, 2018
  • Minnesota Association of Colleges of Nursing Outstanding Educator Award, 2013
  • University of Minnesota School of Nursing E. Louise Grant Award, 2013
  • University of Minnesota School of Nursing Alumni Award for Excellent Teaching, 2013
  • Daisy Award, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, 2012
  • Public Service Award, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, 2010
  • Distinguished Alumni Award University of Minnesota School of Nursing Summit of the Sages, 2009
  • Theresa V. James Award for doctoral education, Center for Child and Family Health Promotion Research, 2007

External Sources

  • Fellow National Academies of Practice, 2020
  • Fellow American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2020
  • Teacher Appreciation Award, University of Minnesota, 2005
  • Third District Nurses Advanced Practice Nurse Award, 2004
  • Recipient Mended Hearts Scholarship, 1984
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 1994
  • Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, 1994

Professional Associations


Research Summary/Interests

Immigrant health; Adolescent health; Bone health.

Research Funding Grants

Investigator status: Investigator
Principal Investigator: Donna Bliss
Project title and dates: Development and Pilot Testing an mHealth Application Supporting Self-Management of Accidental Bowel Leakage, “I’M ABLe”. December 2020-November 2022
Direct Costs: $277,692

Investigator Status: Co-investigator
Co-Principal Investigator: Emily Borman-Shoap MD, Department of Pediatrics
Co-Principal Investigator: Kathryn Cullen MD, Department of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Sciences
Agency: Academic Investment Advisory Committee Tier 3 Funding (UMN College of Medicine and Fairview Health Services).
Project title and dates: A Mental Health Crisis and a Workforce Solution: Improving Mental Health Education for Pediatrics Trainees. Spring 2020-Fall 2022
Direct Costs: $183,026

Investigator Status: Principal Investigator
External Agency: School of Nursing Josten Research Award
Project title and Dates: Driven to Discover: Got Shots? An Exploration of Public Attitudes about Vaccination and Vaccine
Hesitancy: deferred to August 2021
Direct Costs: $2500

Investigator status: Co-investigator
Principal Investigator: Sheila Smith
Project title and Dates: Diagnostic Reasoning Content in Midwest NP and CNM Education programs 2020


Benbenek, M., Dierich, M., Wyman, J., Avery, M., Juve, C., & Miller, J. (2016). Development and implementation of a capstone objective structured clinical examination in nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery programs. Nurse Educator, 41(6), 288-293.

Benbenek, M. & Garwick, A. (2012). Enablers and barriers to dietary factors contributing to bone health among early adolescent Somali girls living in Minnesota. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 17(3), 205-214. Doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6155.2012.00334.x

Pfeiffer, J., Avery, M., Benbenek, M., et al. (2008). Maternal care during disasters: Thinking outside the hospital paradigm. Nursing Clinics of North America, 43(3), 449-467.

Bata-Jones, B. & Benbenek, M.M. (2003). Problem-based learning in a family nurse practitioner curriculum. National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties Monogram.


Teaching Areas

Primary care; Pharmacology; Pediatrics; Health Assessment


Board Certifications


Registered Nurse, Minnesota
Certified Nurse Practitioner, Minnesota


Primary Care Pediatric NP, Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
Family NP, American Nurses Credentialing Center


Public Health Nurse