Clinical Nurse Leader

Master of Nursing (MN) Graduate Degree


The focus of the MN degree (Clinical Nurse Leader, CNL) is to prepare graduates with advanced leadership skills to be applied in the healthcare delivery system across a wide range of settings. Functions of the CNL include client advocacy, team manager, information manager, outcomes manager, systems analyst/risk anticipator, educator, and active professional.

Program Educational Objectives

  1. Effect change through advocacy for the client, interdisciplinary health care team and the profession.
  2. Communicate effectively to achieve quality client outcomes and lateral integration of care for a cohort of clients.
  3. Pursue knowledge and skills as the CNL role, needs of clients, and the health care delivery system evolve.
  4. Delegate and utilize the nursing team resources (human and fiscal) and serve as a leader and partner in the interdisciplinary health care team.
  5. Identify clinical and cost outcomes that improve safety, effectiveness, timeliness, efficiency, quality, and the degree to which they are client-centered.
  6. Use information systems and technology at the point of care to improve health care outcomes.
  7. Participate in systems review to critically evaluate and anticipate risks to client safety to improve quality of client care delivery.
  8. Assume accountability for healthcare outcomes for a specific group of clients within a unit or setting recognizing the influence of the meso-system and macro-system on the microsystem.
  9. Assimilate and apply research-based information to design, implement and evaluate clients’ plans of care.
  10. Synthesize data, information and knowledge to evaluate and achieve optimal client and care environment outcomes.
  11. Use appropriate teaching learning principles and strategies as well as current information, materials and technologies to facilitate the learning for clients, groups, and other health care professionals.
  12. Complete and successfully defend a professional project appropriate to the role and scope of the Clinical Nurse Leader.

MN Degree 5 Semester Program of Study

Year 1Credits
NRSG 601 - Advanced Health Assessment3  
NRSG 604 - Evidence Based Practice I4  
NRSG 606 - Statistical Applications (recommended)2  
NRSG 608 - Design H C Delivery Systems  3
NRSG 612 - Ethics, Law, and Policy for Advocacy in Healthcare  3
NRSG 613 - Finance & Budget H C Systems  2
Year Total: 9 8
Year 2Credits
NRSG 509 - Clinical Nurse Leader Lab I2  
NRSG 511 - Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for the Clinical Nurse Leader3  
NRSG 575 - Professional Paper and Project1  
NRSG 575 - Professional Paper and Project  3
NRSG 611 - Program Planning & Evaluation, Outcomes, & Quality Improvement  3
Year Total: 6 6
Year 3Credits
NRSG 508 - Clinical Leadership Practicum7  
Year Total: 7  
Total Program Credits: 36
  • MN Degree (CNL): 34 credits (required)


Each student completes a professional project developed in collaboration with a faculty advisor and committee. Examples of exciting and innovative student projects include: development of mental health outreach programs to the rural elderly; examination of alternative health practices for healing; establishment of pediatric cancer support groups for the rural client; and development of a school based clinic. A comprehensive exam and an oral defense of the professional project is required for MN students.