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Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)

Introducing the Clinical Nurse Leader - AACN Brochure (pdf)

The CNL major is offered in response to the profound changes in the increasingly complex healthcare system mandating change to improve quality of care while reducing costs, improving access, eliminating disparities and promoting safe practice. The CNL is an advanced generalist in nursing who is prepared to be a direct care provider accountable for the care outcomes of a clinical population or a specified group of patients/clients in a health care system. The CNL provides for lateral integration at the point of care that promotes quality care outcomes. As an advanced generalist, the CNL incorporates evidenced-based practice, patient safety and quality improvement to optimize health care outcomes. The CNL provides leadership to assure safe, timely, efficient, effective, equitable and patient-centered care. Graduates from the CNL major are eligible for certification through the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC), for the credential, CNL.

Clinical Nurse Leader Outcomes

  1. Actively pursue new knowledge and skills in the CNL role as needs of patients/clients and the health care system evolve. (MSN Program Outcome 1)
  2. Properly delegate and utilize the nursing team’s human and fiscal resources and serve as a partner in the inter-professional health care team. (MSN Program Outcome 2)
  3. Identify clinical and cost outcomes that improve safety, effectiveness, timeliness, efficiency, quality, and patient centered care. (MSN Program Outcome 3)
  4. Use appropriate teaching/learning principles and strategies as well as current information, materials and technologies to facilitate the learning of patients/clients, groups and other health care professionals. (MSN Program Outcome 3)
  5. Communicate effectively to achieve quality patient/client outcomes and lateral integration of care for a cohort of patients/clients. (MSN Program Outcome 3)
  6. Apply research-based information to design, implement and evaluate plans of care. (MSN Program Outcome 4)
  7. Use information systems and technology at the point of care to improve health care outcomes. (MSN Program Outcome 5)
  8. Participate in systems review to critically evaluate and anticipate risks to patient/client safety to improve quality of patient/client care delivery. (MSN Program Outcome 6)
  9. Effect change through advocacy for the profession, inter-professional health care team and the patient/client. (MSN Program Outcome 7)
  10. Synthesize data, information and knowledge to evaluate and achieve optimal patient/client and care environment outcomes. (MSN Program Outcome 8)
  11. Assume accountability for healthcare outcomes for a specific group of patients/clients within a unit or setting recognizing the influence of the meso-and macro-systems on the microsystem at the point of care. (MSN Program Outcome 9)

Admissions Information:

MSN Flyer: Master of Science in Nursing
PhD Flyer: Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing


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