Preceptors

Welcome, Preceptors, to the Sonoma State University Family Nurse Practitioner Program (SSU FNPP) team! We commend and appreciate your participation in the education of future primary care providers. We recognize the time and effort that you will generously donate as a mentor to these enthusiastic students. Preceptors play such an important role in the educational process of nurse practitioners and physicians, as educators and providers. We can all recall those mentors who were influential in our own professional development.

Sonoma State University has been educating Family Nurse Practitioners for more than 38 years. The program was one of the first in the State of California to move NP education into the setting of higher education, where students could be granted university credit for their effort versus continuing education units. The program has graduated over 1,300 students. Our FNP graduates practice in all areas of the country and some even in the far-flung corners of the world. We are proud to report that over 60% of our FNP graduates practice in environments that provide care to medically underserved populations.

We have been successful and are nationally competitive with other NP programs in that we have received many Federal and State grants/awards. As result of this success, since 1994 we have participated in distance education with first our satellite programs on the campuses of Humboldt State University (HSU) in Northern California, then Stanislaus State University (1998) in Central California and eventually Chico State University (2001). With the evolution of our distance education expertise and comfort with the pedagogy and technology we now serve whole geographic areas of the state versus selected areas around each of the aforementioned campuses. Students are required to attend the SSU campus for intensives and labs.

The overall program director is at SSU and is Mary Ellen Wilkosz,PHD RN FNP, Associate Professor of Nursing ; she can be reached by email at wilkosz@sonoma.edu. The Assistant Director is Dr. Wendy Smith, RN FNP,Professor of Nursing; she can be reached at wendy.smith@sonoma.edu. In the Modesto, Turlock, Merced area the coordinator is Ms. Judy Richards, RN MS FNP an Assistant Professor of Nursing; she can be reached at jgr@fire2wire.com. In the Northeast I-5 and I-99 corridor inquires related to practice, precepting and program questions can be directed towards; Mary Ellen Wilkosz,PHD RN FNP, Associate Professor of Nursing ; she can be reached by email at wilkosz@sonoma.edu.

Please review the Prospective Students page for for specific curriculum information. The program has three clinical semesters and each semester has its own learning objectives and grading criteria. As a preceptor you will be asked to evaluate the student's performance. The student will be responsible for providing you with a hard copy of the Preceptorship document. The Preceptorship package includes what you can expect from the program, what the program expects from you, information about communicating with clinical faculty and coordinators, the objectives and the grading sheets for each of the clinical courses, and information on how to receive adjunct professor appointments and continuing education units.

The program requires a minimum of 816 hours of clinical experience, but the majority of students average 1000 or more hours. The program's objective is to build on the years of nursing experience that are unique to each student, one that includes grounding in assessment and clinical decision-making skills. We carefully screen each applicant and our distance education mission is to meet the health manpower needs of underserved and rural populations. Our graduates are eligible for certification as NPs in the State of California, to apply for furnishing and DEA numbers, Medical and Medicare PIN numbers, and are eligible to take the National Board exams for Nurse Practitioners.

I look forward to our collaboration in this exciting education process, knowing that we are sharing in the development of a safe and accessible primary care work force. If you have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Wendy A. Smith, RN. C, FNP, DNSc.


Specific Expectations for Students, Preceptors & Faculty

As a Preceptor, the Program expects you to:

  1. Promote a safe and positive experience conducive to learning.
  2. Be available, to the student, as a resource and support person.
  3. Facilitate a structured & realistic perception of the professional role of a primary care provider. If the preceptor is a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Midwife, we expect that they will facilitate a structured and realistic perception of the Advance Nursing role. Must have process protocols in place. Please ask your student about them.
  4. Assist the student in increasing their clinical competence and experience.
  5. Provide for an open and honest communication between preceptor, student, faculty and program.

The Program expects the student to:

  1. Act as a prudent and professional Nurse Practitioner student at all times in the clinical setting as a collaborative member of the healthcare team.
  2. Be motivated to learn, to attend clinical prepared with program information and recommended resources, and to be willing to extend one's self to experience new clinical situations as available.
  3. Deliver safe and competent client care; to ask questions and consult/seek help as directed to by the preceptor.
  4. Be responsible for increasingly complex experience as appropriate to course progression, and one's skill progression and abilities.
  5. Be assertive in stating concerns and additional needs for learning experience, including providing feedback regarding the clinical experience to preceptor prn.

The Preceptor can expect the Program's Clinical Faculty to:

  1. Be available by phone and/or email to consult on student progress and experience, and to address any questions or concerns expressed by the preceptor.
  2. Be honest, direct and open in communication with the preceptor and clinical site.
  3. Share concerns about the student's clinical experience and performance, offering suggestions for changes as needed regarding the actions of the preceptor and in issues related to the clinical setting.
  4. Be flexible and understand the realities of the practice setting given the needs of the program and the student.

Preceptor Evaluation Forms

The student you are working with is responsible for providing you with the necessary preceptor forms and evaluations.

Contact Information

The student will provide the preceptor with the name and contact information of the FNPP Clinical Faculty who is assigned to oversee the student's progress and evaluation.

Any questions or concerns about the clinical evaluation forms and process may be addressed at the time of the site visit by the FNPP Clinical Faculty or you may contact Dr. Mary Ellen Wilkosz at (707) 664-2297 or by email at Mary.wilkosz@sonoma.edu or Asst. Director, Wendy Smith at (707) 664-2276 or at wendy.smith@sonoma.edu