Clinical Nurse Leader

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is a new role in nursing. The CNL program prepares professional nurses as advanced generalists who are experts at the point of care.

Program Information

The Clinical Nurse Leader has multiple roles in healthcare including:

  • Clinical Practice
  • Outcomes Manager
  • Patient Advocate
  • Educator
  • Information Manager
  • Systems Analyst/Risk Anticipator
  • Team Leader

The Clinical Nurse Leader curriculum can be completed in three semesters post-baccalaureate and consists of course work that address each of the areas cited above as well as immersion clinical experiences to assist learners in adapting to the role. All courses are online and clinical can be arranged in your own community (in most cases). The interactive online classroom provides opportunities for active learning, discussion, problem solving, debating, critical thinking, research, networking, and community building.

Clinical Nurse Leader Curriculum

BSN-MSN students complete MSN core and MSN specialty courses for a total of 36 credit hours.  The MSN degree must be completed within five years of matriculation.

Support Courses

NU 518 - Advanced Nursing Assessment 3 credits

NU 545 - Physio-pathological Basis of Advanced Nursing 3 credits

NU 578 - Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nurses 3 credits

MSN Core Courses

NU 607 - Scientific Underpinnings of Advanced Nursing Practice 3 credits

NU 608 - Evidence-Based Practice and Quality Improvement in Health Care 3 credits

NU 610 - Healthcare Policy and Finance 3 credits

NU 613 - Organizational & Systems Leadership 3 credits

Clinical Nurse Leader Specialty Courses

NU 535 - Clinical Nurse Leader Role & Competencies 3 credits

NU 536 - Clinical Nurse Leader Practicum I - 300 Clinical Hours 5 credits

NU 537 - Clinical Nurse Leader Synthesis 3 credits

NU 538 - Clinical Nurse Leader Practicum II - 240 Clinical Hours 4 credits

RN to MSN students who are registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in a non-nursing discipline must also complete the following courses.

RN-MSN Courses

CMN 411 - Nursing in Community Systems 4 credits

NU 404 - Evidence Based Practice & Informatics 3 credits

NU 410 - Concepts of Professional Nursing 6 credits

NU 425 – Health Assessment Across the Lifespan 3 credits


NU 530 – Accelerated MSN Advanced Health Assessment 4 credits


Please feel free to contact Dr. James Harris for more information about this specialty: