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Rural and Underserved Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Program


Established in 2021 in partnership with the UW Premera Rural Nursing Health Initiative (RNHI), the VVHC Transition to Practice Fellowship is a 13-month educational program that combines clinical practicum experiences, specialty rotations and didactic education to provide a well-rounded experience for newly graduated Nurse Practitioners. Our program offers an opportunity to work alongside experienced health care providers from a variety of disciplines including nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and behavioral health. In the first year of our Transition to Practice Program, we had 2 Fellows that together served over 1,600 patients.

Program Mission

The mission of the UW Premera RNHI fellowship is to build upon the formal education of newly licensed Nurse Practitioners and cultivate autonomous, confident, and competent nurse practitioners. These providers will be fully equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to provide integrated evidence-based high-quality health care to patients in rural and underserved settings.

For more information, please visit:

UW Premera RNHI 2022-2023 Cohort pictured from left to right (top row): Matthew Johnson (Republic Medical Clinic), Greg Lucas (Harbor Regional Health), Britney Allison (VVHC), Melissa Mitchell (Republic Medical Clinic), Pratima Shrestha (VVHC), Lourdes Benitez (Odessa Rural Health Clinic) and (bottom row): Elaine Olbertz (Mattawa Community Medical Clinic), Hannah Heinonen (Harbor Regional Health).

VVHC Primary Care HPSA Score - 18

This attribute represents the Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Score developed by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in determining priorities for the assignment of clinicians. The scores range from 0-25 where the higher the score, the greater the priority.

As a NHSC S2S LRP participant, you must work at an NSC-approved site with a HPSA score of 14 or higher. VVHC has a Primary Care HPSA Score of 18 as of May 2023.

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Our Application Process

Applications are coordinated through UW Premera RNHI.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Accepting graduates who have obtained an MSN or DNP degree from an accredited Nurse Practitioner Program.
  • Family or Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners licensed within the last 18 months who desire to work with Rural and Underserved populations.
  • Have an active Washington State License or be able to obtain one prior to July of the year their cohort begins.
  • Be a willing and active learner. This program includes ongoing feedback for growth and development of skills.
  • Be interested in working with patients in rural, migrant, and homeless populations.
  • Able to start in September 2024 and commit to completing the 13-month program.
  • Submit a complete application before the closing date.

Important Dates

  • Applications open 12/1/2023
  • Closing date 2/12/2024 
  • Offers for the 2024-2025 cohort will go out on 4/8/2024.
  • The program starts the Tuesday after Labor Day every September.
  • As an active member of the NWCAPE, our program follows a quasi-match system unique to the Pacific Northwest. This means that our application opening and closing dates as well as offer date aligns with other participating programs.

Resident Wellness

  • Fellows will meet twice monthly with a UW Premera RNHI provided PMHNP facilitator to support resiliency and help fellows feel less isolated as they navigate the provider role in the primary care environment.
  • Weekly journal entries will be submitted to the Fellowship program director.
  • There will be weekly meetings with the Faculty Director and regular opportunities to touch base with preceptors.

Program Structure

  • Two to three applicants are selected yearly.
  • Three days per week working with experienced Advance Practice Providers or Physicians in a clinical area within the clinic dedicated to the NP Fellowship program. Here you will have the opportunity to manage a variety of acute and chronic conditions commonly encountered in community health.
  • The clinical curriculum is designed to build on the existing knowledge and skills of the new graduate and provides an intensive but progressive ramp-up of clinical experiences and professional responsibilities.
  • There are internal rotations with Pediatrics, Walk-In/Urgent Care, as well ass exposure to homeless populations and medication assisted treatment.
  • External rotations occur with multiple partners including neurosurgery, podiatry, orthopedics, gastroenterology, ENT, and more. There are no elective rotations.
  • There are weekly virtual didactic sessions with the UW Premera RNHI cohort.
  • Instead of small group learning sessions, our Transition to Practice includes weekly case discussions as part of our meetings.
  • There are no monthly meetings with an assigned mentor. Instead, there are weekly meetings with the Program Director to provide structured feedback.
  • Maven project access for all Fellows, providing additional learning opportunities and specialty consultation.
  • All Fellows complete a Quality Improvement Project aimed at meeting organizational and community needs.
  • In the beginning of the fellowship, there will be a 3-day Skills Workshop at the UW School of Nursing Simulation Center, followed by a one-day skills workshop at the midpoint of the program.


Our Fellowship program is currently hosted at our Tenino clinic.

  • Tenino
    • Our Tenino clinic offers preventative and diagnostic medical care for adults and children, and provides integrated care with Valley View’s Dental, Behavioral Health, and Pharmacy services. It provides Behavioral Health services that include counseling for anxiety, depression and trauma as well as offering healthy lifestyle counseling.

Clinics & Locations

Valley View Health Center is a non-profit, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Southwest Washington. We have clinics in 3 counties, Thurston, Lewis and Pacific. We are governed by a board of patients, local community members, and community business leaders to ensure that the needs of our communities are met.

Our organization is committed to providing quality integrated medical, dental, behavioral health, and pharmacy services to families and individuals of all ages, regardless of the ability to pay.

How to Apply

  • Apply by clicking the Fellowship Application button placed on this webpage when the application period is open.
  • Please submit application requirements.
  • After the initial interview, potential residents will be selected for a second interview and then a final interview will be conducted by VVHC leadership.
  • After this interview process offers will be extended.
  • Potential Fellows will be required to pass a complete background check prior to hire.
  • Applicants who are offered one of the Fellowship slots are expected to commit to the full appointment length of 13-months.

Application Requirements

  • Completed UW Premera RNHI application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover letter
  • Unofficial transcript


Our Current Fellows

Danielle de le Pena, DNP


2023-2024 Cohort

Amy DuPuis, FNP


2023-2024 Cohort

Britney Allison, DNP


2022-2023 Cohort

Pratima Shrestha, DNP, ARNP


2022-2023 Cohort

Our Fellowship Faculty

Heather Novak, DNP

Medical Education Program Director, Primary Care Provider

Fellowship Program Director Olympia, Tenino

Dr. David Little, DO

Assistant Medical Director, Primary Care Provider

Faculty - Chehalis

Dr. Charlotte Clark-Neitzel, MD

Assistant Medical Director, Primary Care Provider

Faculty - Olympia

Chanel Patana, PNP

Pediatric Provider

Adjunct Preceptor - Pediatrics - Chehalis

Brittany Ruiz, PA-C

Primary Care Provider

Adjunct Preceptor - MAT/Harvest Home Program, Mental Health Education - Olympia

Bryan Blumer, PA-C

Primary Care Provider

Adjunct Preceptor - Primary Care - Olympia

Kelli Jones, AGNP

Primary Care Provider, Geriatrics

Adjunct Preceptor - Primary Care - Chehalis

Dr. Karima Bassale, ND

Primary Care Provider

Adjunct Preceptor - Homeless Care Education - Olympia, Olympia Community Care Center

Dr. Stephen Hennessey, MD

Walk-In Provider

Adjunct Preceptor - Urgent Care - Centralia Walk-In

Ashley Wheeler, ARNP

Primary Care Provider

Adjunct Preceptor - urgent Care - Centralia Walk-In

Michelle Stover, ARNP

Walk-In Provider

Adjunct Preceptor - Urgent Care - Centralia Walk-In

Our Previous Fellows

2021 - 2022 Cohort

Kristeen Seratt, DNP

Katie Huseby, DNP

2022 - 2023 Cohort

Britney Allison, DNP

Pratima Shrestha, DNP, ARNP

2023 - 2024 Cohort

Danielle de le Pena, DNP

Amy DuPuis, FNP

2024 - 2025 Cohort