Become your patients’ best advocate.
Focus on patient safety and advocate for superior care as a Clinical Nurse Leader. You’ll learn to lead a holistic team that might include nurses, physicians, social workers and pharmacists.
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Greater Responsibilities and Expanded Influence
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) created the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role to help nurses “develop the competencies needed to thrive in the current and future healthcare system.”
Upon completion of the MSN Clinical Nurse Leader degree track, you will be eligible to sit for the CNL certification. You’ll learn to act as an expert resource to fellow nurses, inform your patients about diagnoses and care options, work as part of an interdisciplinary team and make evidence-based recommendations to improve health care policy.
This specialization is the perfect way to reinvest in what you love about patient care while taking your nursing career — as well as your responsibilities and influence — to the next level.
CNL Career Outlook: Roles Across Health Care Settings
Build yourself a career ensuring patients receive safe, high-quality care with the newest health care technologies and techniques.
In 2016, 62 percent of CNLs surveyed were employed at Acute Care Inpatient Facilities. Other top employers included Outpatient Clinics or Surgery Centers (11.5 percent), Schools of Nursing (8.4 percent) and Long-Term Care Facilities (3.8 percent).1
Upon completing your CNL program and certification, you can qualify for a variety of roles in addition to Clinical Nurse Leader, including Nurse Manager, Nurse Administrator, Nurse Educator, Risk Management, Quality Care Coordinator, Patient Navigator, CNL Academic Faculty, Community Health, and other roles utilized in the facility in which you choose to work.
Clinical Nurse Leader:
As a Clinical Nurse Leader, your responsibilities would include leading collaborative patient care, as well as mentoring other nurses, educating patients and their families, and analyzing data and assessing patient risks and outcomes. This role and estimated CNL salary requires the CNL certification from the AACN.2
Nurse Case Manager:
As a Nurse Case Manager, you’d lead and coordinate all aspects of a patient’s care, from admission and discharge to insurance reimbursement. You’d be your patient’s advocate, ensuring they receive proper procedures and care that meets their physical and emotional needs.3Careers and Salaries
Curriculum: Immerse Yourself in Clinical Leadership
Through nine courses, comprising 27 specialization credit hours, you will gain skills in pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, communications, information management and more.
The MSN CNL specialization includes 348 hours of role immersion to ensure you meet the requirements to sit for the AACN’s CNL Certification Exam.
Course Spotlight: NU 550 – Family and Community Context for Health Care
Gain a better understanding of family, primary care and community theories in the context of advanced practice nursing and clinical leadership roles.Preview Courses
Course Spotlight: NU 575 – Health Care Information Systems
Manage patient data to improve care delivery, quality and safety in health care systems. This course combines knowledge in nursing, computer, information and cognitive sciences.
More Options for Your MSN
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question we don’t cover here, request more information or call 877-791-7181.
You can take as long as six years to complete the program.
- Current, unencumbered RN license
- Bachelor’s degree in any field with a 3.0 GPA
- Official transcripts of all prior nursing and academic work
- Statement of professional goals: Why do you wish to pursue the MSN at SHU? Describe a significant accomplishment in your career or as a student that has prepared you to pursue graduate studies in nursing. In addition, please describe 2–3 professional goals.
- Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a direct supervisor): Must be from an employer, professor or a member of the medical/nursing profession and be written within the last two years.
- Proof of malpractice insurance ($1,000,000/$3,000,000)
- Prerequisite courses in statistics, health assessment and research
- The Nursing Education specialization requires 180 clinical hours
- The Nursing Management and Executive Leadership specialization requires 120 clinical hours
- The Clinical Nurse Leader specialization requires 348 clinical hours
- Commission on Nurse Certification (2016). Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) 2016 Job Analysis (Rep.). Retrieved October 7, 2019, from https://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/CNL/2016-CNL-Job-Analysis-Final-Report.pdf.
- Payscale (2019 September 13). Average Clinical Nurse Leader Salary. Retrieved October 7, 2019, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Clinical_Nurse_Leader/Salary.
- Payscale (2019 September 18). Average Nurse Case Manager Salary. Retrieved October 7, 2019, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Nurse_Case_Manager/Salary.