The School of Nursing recognizes the critical contributions that preceptors make to advance student learning through a Preceptor of the Month Award as well as the annual Helen Martin Preceptor Award.
Preceptor of the Month Award
The Preceptor of the Month Award recognizes an exceptional preceptor who consistently and effectively contributes to UCSF nursing students’ clinical education.
Monica Mafla, MS, RN, PNP-AC, is a graduate of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care (PNP-AC) specialty at UCSF. She joined the Advanced Practice Provider (APP) team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in 2013 and quickly adjusted to the APP role, becoming one of the most respected APPs in the Pediatric Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU). Mafla has been consistently willing to precept PNP-AC students and support presentations for PNP-AC courses. She believes that a good precepting experience can be one of the starting points to a successful career in a specific area.
Her experience in precepting led to her interest in training new providers and she is now responsible for onboarding new APP team members in the CVICU. She has revamped the CVICU onboarding process into one of the most successful onboarding programs in the hospital. This past spring, Mafla developed and led a successful skills day to help train new providers in skills such as intubation, line placement, chest tube placement and suturing. She consistently goes the extra mile to support learning of complex concepts and skills for her colleagues in CVICU and for students in the PNP-AC specialty.
October 2021 Preceptor of the Month: Dena Cuyjet
Dena Cuyjet, DNP, PNP, IBCLC, is a graduate of UCSF’s MS program (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specialty) and DNP program. She was a PNP/IBCLC at Kaiser Permanente in the newborn nursery for 25 years, and transitioned five years ago to the UCSF Benioff Hospital to work in the Birth Center/ICN. She has three college age children, all born by midwives (two at home) and is married to her college love who is also a UCSF NP.
Cuyjet notes: “Teaching is one of the most important aspects of my life. I am committed to creating equitable, inclusive learning environments for students, and have a deep passion for working with birthing families and newborns. I have so much gratitude and energy for the teaching opportunities at UCSF and truly adore the students.”
Former student Katie Woods comments: “Dena is the dream preceptor! It's obvious to me that she loves her job and loves to teach; her enthusiasm and passion for what she does is authentic. She made me feel welcome and supported throughout my clinical rotation with her. At the very beginning, she helped me with my newborn physical exam, then she gradually gave me autonomy to see patients independently and do my own clinical reasoning. She answered all of my questions thoroughly and enthusiastically, and gave me feedback on all of my chart notes. Her communication was clear and I always knew what was expected of me. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work with Dena!”
Cuyjet also precepts for the midwifery specialty, and has shown great dedication to both the PNP and midwifery specialties.
September 2021 Preceptor of the Month: Nana Efua Adabie
Nana Efua Adabie, DNP, MSN, PMHNP-BC, is a UCSF-trained PMHNP and DNP who is a preceptor in the PMHNP specialty. She has worked with underserved populations and the LGBTQ+ community as a PMHNP in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2018. Adabie has clinical experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings, diagnosing and treating and managing adults with psychiatric illnesses. She advocates for whole person-centered care and promotes a healthy lifestyle, in addition to psychopharmacotherapy. Adabie has a passion for working in mental health and is on a mission to de-stigmatize mental illness and advocate for more diversity in mental health care. Born and raised in Ghana, Adabie moved to the United States in 2006. She hopes to continue to translate evidence-based practices into clinical settings and improve health care outcomes.
Her clinical interests include treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, ADHD, perinatal and postpartum mental health, leadership, health policy, and teaching and precepting students.
Cristely Urena, a former preceptee, said: "Dr. Nana is a wonderful preceptor. I am so grateful to have been paired with her. She has a wealth of knowledge and she wasn't shy about pushing me to do my best. I enjoyed every moment of my experience alongside her. She is everything I could've asked for in a preceptor."
August 2021 Preceptor of the Month: Anna Kuo
Anna Kuo, RN, ANP/WHNP, is a leader and exemplar in clinical teaching. Kuo currently precepts at the Curry Senior Center and provides holistic primary care to elders as part of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. She works with all levels of learner and precepts UCSF family nurse practitioner students for a yearlong rotation. At Curry Senior Center, she empowers students to gain competency in care of complex patients.
In her clinical preceptor role, Kuo acts as mentor and advocate. She works with the students to gain confidence and address imposter syndrome. Her former preceptees highlight her incredible clinical and teaching skills: “Anna Kuo, NP is a superb guide, mentor, role model, and teammate. The ability for her to be so comprehensive in charting and managing a patient encounter yet also efficient has given me a solid challenge to match. She integrated me into the clinic very well and offered me behind-the-scenes perspectives on how her whole care team operates. I also feel comfortable asking questions, adding my opinion, and I value her feedback tremendously. Her rapport with her patients is astounding and her demeanor/manner offer a fantastic model. Anna has been an immense and positive impact on myself from which my future patients will constantly benefit.”
Kuo helps to develop clinical knowledge and skills while maintaining a busy, complex clinical practice. She provides support, trusts her students, and provides honest constructive criticism. She creates a welcoming, safe learning environment for students while pushing them to grow and succeed. She is a model of family nurse practitioner care and precepting.
June 2021 Preceptor of the Month: David Gordon
David Gordon, DNP, ACNP-BC, ANP-BC, is a nurse practitioner with the Advanced Lung Disease Service at UCSF, where he manages and cares for patients on the continuum from complex pulmonary diseases through lung transplantation. He holds an appointment as a volunteer assistant clinical professor. Students and faculty alike recognize his skill and excellence as a clinical educator. Gordon believes that the continued advancement of the nurse practitioner role and expansion in our health care system is dependent on the next generation of providers who are reliant on our mentoring and clinical preceptorship.
- “Dave is so smart and professional. He made a point to bring up clinical pearls and boards questions to help prepare me for my future. My favorite thing about working with Dave is that he was so encouraging which made me feel more confident as a student.”
- “Dave Gordon is a wonderful mentor and preceptor. He is so dedicated to the NP profession and brings incredible energy, insight, experience and knowledge to educating his students. Dave’s style of teaching is direct with high expectations, but he always gives you a safe place to land, make mistakes and ask questions. He is an example of an NP that is insanely smart, fights endlessly for his patients, and his passion comes through each day. Having a mentor like Dave during my clinicals showed me the intense fulfillment and purpose one can have in a career as an NP.”
- “David Gordon is simply exceptional. He is a consummate teacher, preparing students to be exemplary clinicians caring for complex patients in an ever-changing environment.”
May 2021 Preceptor of the Month: Jerry Saliman
Jerry Saliman, MD, retired from Kaiser South San Francisco after a 30-year career and is now a volunteer internist at Samaritan House Medical Clinic in San Mateo. He has precepted UCSF AGPCNP students for many years and has made a huge impact on students, who have remarked on his generosity, kindness, patience, compassion, wealth of knowledge, expertise, commitment and thoughtfulness.
Some quotes from students:
- "He is a thoughtful and committed mentor -- always taking the time to assess my knowledge base and ensure that I am providing the best care that I can."
- "I find him approachable and can discuss any topic with him at ease."
- "He is an excellent practitioner and educator whose extensive medical experience and community service efforts encouraged the practice of meaningful health care."
- "He constantly shares his knowledge and experience with me and with other clinical staff. And he uses evidence base approach to care for his patients."
- "He inspires me to learn more and to become a competent NP in the future. He is well respected by his peers and loved by all of his patients."
April 2021 Preceptor of the Month: Gabrielle Westergren
Gabrielle (Gabby) Westergren, MS, CNM, graduated from the UCSF Nurse-Midwifery Education program in 1998. She is a volunteer clinical faculty member at the School and works at Zuckerberg San Francisco General where she has been precepting students for over a decade. She has contributed to mentoring a generation of midwives who continue to hear her calm and steady voice in their clinical practice. Her evaluations from students have been consistently outstanding.
Comments from some of her students:
- “Gabby has taught me so much on how to best serve our patients.”
- “I appreciate her kindness and patience.”
- “I love her positivity and her ability to control the stress of busy days in clinic without it affecting me as a student or my performance.”
- “I appreciate all of the knowledge, attention to detail, and thoroughness she brings to her work and imparts upon those around her in the clinic setting!”
- “I really hope every student has an experience to be paired with a preceptor like Gabby.”
March 2021 Preceptor of the Month: Lynn Martin
Lynn Martin, MS, PMH, CNS, volunteer assistant clinical professor at the School, has served as a clinical preceptor for numerous learners in UCSF's adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist specialty over the past decades. She has consistently left a lasting, positive impression on each learner she has worked with. Her practice in the Community Living Center of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center provides the ideal setting for close mentorship and CNS skill development. She is a strong APRN role model in practice and leadership. Her enthusiasm for the work she does and the population she serves is absolutely infectious. Her mentorship has inspired many CNS careers. She consistently goes out of her way to assure the learner has the best possible experience. Learner evaluations of her performance as a clinical preceptor have been consistently outstanding.
"Lynn Martin inspires future nurse leaders in geriatric mental health," a leader wrote. "She offers learners a safe environment to explore their interests and nurtures an excitement for systems innovation, education, research, and the care of vulnerable populations."
Helen Martin Preceptor Award
The Helen Martin Award for Excellence in Clinical Precepting is presented annually to honor preceptors for the valuable role they play in developing master's and post-master's students' clinical skills. The award is given in memory of Helen Martin, MS, RN, FNP (pictured above), who was an assistant professor at the School of Nursing and clinical director of the UCSF-supported Valencia Health Services.
Nominations are now being accepted through May 1 from School of Nursing students for the 2021 Helen Martin Award. Students may submit through this nomination form.
- Mark Thomas, MS, RN, PNP and Christine Kelly, FNP-BC (2021)
- Karen Sprague, MS, FNP (2020)
- Adam Leonard, MS, MPH, CPNP-PC (2019)
- Michelle Buchholz, MS, BSN, FNP (2018)
- Maureen Sheehan, RN, MSN, CPNP (2017)
- Shirley Banks, RN, MS, FNP (2016)
- Ann Reppun, MS, RN, ANP, WHNP (2015)
- Kathleen Ryan, RN, FNP (2014)
- Steve Leiner, MS, RN, FNP (2013)
- Laurie Galaty, MS, RN, CNM, NP (2013)