Preceptors Resources

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 45 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 1,650 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 and have educated NP's from the Oregon border to Merced/Fresno area.

The program director is Rich Fidler, PhD, MBA, CRNA, ANP, CHSE, FAAN Program Director, Associate Professor; for program related questions he can be reached by email at The Assistant Program Director and Clinical Coordinator is Ms. Patricia Stein, RN MSN FNP-BC; she can be reached at Precepting questions can also be directed to Ms. Patricia Stein.

Please review the Prospective Students page for specific curriculum information. The program has four 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 clinical handbook. The clinical handbook describes 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.

Preceptors Pearls One

Preceptors Pearls Two

The program requires a minimum of 816 hours of clinical experience, but the majority of students accrue more hours. The program's objective is to build on the years of nursing experience that are unique to each student, one that includes a 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.


Rich Fidler, PhD, MBA, CRNA, ANP, CHSE, FAAN

FNP Program Director, Associate Professor

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 (standardized procedures for NPs) 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, which they can find in their clinical course online content.

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 the Director, Rich Fidler, at (707) 664-2389 or by email at

Please review the two accompanying Powerpoints that emphasize the importance of the preceptor and your generous contribution.

Note: Preceptorship hours/commitment can also be applied to your national Certification Recertification.

Forms and Resources