Frequently Asked Questions

The FNP Program at Sonoma State University has an excellent reputation for graduating very qualified Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioners.  The Program has been in existence for over 40 years.  It was one of the first Nurse Practitioner Programs in the State of California that educated FNPs in a University setting.

Our graduates practice in variety of settings, Counties, States and even overseas.  Each year the program has an excellent applicant pool from which candidates are selected.

Questions Frequently Asked by New Students

In addition to the information below be sure to go to review the other FNP pages linked in the navigation to the left.

What Does the Program Cost?

Master of Science in Nursing with FNP Option

Post Master's Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate Fees

Other Costs:

  • Books/software/electronic sites $1800- $2000 for the program
  • TYPHON student case/database patient management - $75.00 for 3 yrs
  • site information sent to you in your admission letter
  • Equipment $100 for stethoscope.
  • Availability to access a computer with fast and reliable Internet access

There are multiple scholarships available only for nursing majors; the scholarship applications are available in the University scholarship office from Dec to Feb in the Academic year. Please apply!

How Are the Classes Set Up?

SSU FNP courses will vary. Please see the current class schedule. Clinical courses (N509 and N549) for the semester are scheduled on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 

While most of the MSN FNP didactic courses are on-line, the instructor of record of a course or the distance coordinator at your site may require some “in-class time” via telebroadcasting, web casting and face-to-face seminars. You will be given notice regarding these times at the beginning of each course and “Mandatory” means Mandatory.  Additionally, we reserve the right to require a student come to the SSU campus if secondary clinical or didactic evaluation/assessment is necessary.

What is the Clinical Commitment?

The clinical component currently constitutes a minimum of 3 hours/clinical unit per week thus if you are registered for 3 units = 9 hours, 4 units = 12 hours etc. Please note that all clinical courses are 16 weeks in length. 

N550 ABC FNP clinical course
Times vary according to the needs of the clinical setting and the number of units however even in these courses you will be required to attend on campus at your site for seminars, and simulated exam testing. In the second and thirds semesters of clinical N550B/C respectively the clinical course constitutes a minimum of 12 hours per week each.
N509 Advanced Health Assessment
(2 units didactic and 2 units of clinical lab)
You will register for one of these section days -Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday all day from 9-5 pm on campus for first 8 weeks of Semester.
N549 Health Maintenance
(3 units of clinical)
Commitment will be on Tuesdays SSU HMC week 9-16 or Wednesday’s week 9-16 and with clinical preceptor week 10-16.  You will hear more details about this and will sign up for your days the first day of class.  You will have a simulated exam for one day.

What About Finding a Preceptor?

The program shares responsibility with you in finding a clinical preceptor but has final review and approval overview.  At each site we will supply you with a list of approved preceptors, who have indicated they are willing to accept our students.   You are also encouraged to seek out new sites that may be more convenient to you travel-wise but within a 75 min. travel radius from the various campuses.  We will assist you by making phone calls and visiting possible or potential sites to explain and describe the responsibilities and role of preceptorship. Also, please review this site's Preceptors page.

Please note that there is a process for establishing a new site and the establishment of a new contract is time consuming. Contact the Director of the FNP Program.

Can Students Work While In This Program?

Most of our students work part-time.  Juggling class hours, clinical hours, and work schedules makes working more than 20-24 hours per week very difficult.  As a professional you need to make the decision that ensures your commitment supports a quality educational experience.  As an estimate class time and clinical responsibilities amount to 3-4 days/week.  You only go to graduate school once!

Do the California State Board of Nursing and Other Credentialing Bodies Approve of the Program?

The program has full approval of the California BRN; graduates apply to the BRN to “hold-out” as a Nurse Practitioner in the State of California.  Graduates are eligible to sit for the ANCC/ANA, credential exam as a Family Nurse Practitioner and the AANP exam.  The program also covers the BRN didactic/course requirements for furnishing and schedule II furnishing.   SSU and the FNP program is fully accredited by the ACEN.

Do I Have to Meet All Conditions as Specified In My Admission Letter Prior to Start of Courses?


What kind of Computer and Computer Literacy Do I Need to Possess?

  • You must be able to fluently access the internet, use email, know how to upload and download files, be familiar with internet etiquette, and be able to use Moodle, SSU's Learning Management System.
  • Your computer should have enough memory and processing power to handle media-rich content, such as high-resolution video, Java applications, and real-time internet collaboration applications. A computer more than 4 or 5 years old may not be able to run the software used by the Nursing courses.
  • When off-campus, you need to have fast, reliable, network access, and sufficient bandwidth to be able to upload and download large files. If you bring a laptop or mobile device to campus, it should have WiFi and a web browser.
  • Your computer should have current anti-virus software installed, and you should keep current with anti-virus updates.
  • Your computer should have Microsoft Office, or other applications that can open, view and edit files created by Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
  • You will need to have Adobe Acrobat, or some other application that reads PDF files.
  • You will need to keep your computer's operating system and supporting applications (such as Java) updated.
  • The IT Help Desk provides some technical support to SSU students.