Clinical Nurse Leader

What is a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)?

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is an innovative nursing role that is a collaboration of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). The CNL is prepared at the master’s level and is a generalist that cultivates quality improvement and care coordination. After the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 1999 report on medical errors, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, the CNL was created to implement evidence –based practice, collect and evaluate patient outcomes, assess cohort risks and guide plans for care as indicated. The AACN’s (2013) fundamental aspects of CNL practice include:

  • Clinical Leadership for patient-care practices and delivery, including the design, coordination, and evaluation of care for individuals , families, groups, and populations;

  • Participation in identification and collection of care outcomes;

  • Accountability for evaluation and improvement of point-of-care outcomes, including the syntheses of data and other evidence to evaluate and achieve optimal outcomes;

  • Risk anticipation for individuals and cohorts of patients;

  • Lateral integration of care for individuals and cohorts of patients

  • Design and implementation of evidence-based practice(s);

  • Team leadership, management and collaboration with other health professional team members;

  • Information management or the use of information systems and technologies to improve healthcare outcomes;

  • Stewardship and leveraging of human, environmental, and material resources; and,

  • Advocacy of patients, communities, and the health professional team.

( )

The CNL program consists of 37 graduate credit hours leading to a master of science in nursing (MSN). The curriculum consists of pathophysiology, clinical assessment, pharmacology, finance management, micro and macro systems, and healthcare systems leadership. Students will be prepared to assume care coordination for individuals and cohorts of patients to meet their care needs in this rapidly changing healthcare environment.

For specific information regarding the Clinical Nurse Leader program please contact:

Dr. Paula Kensler