Clinical Nurse Leader

The primary goal of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL©) specialty is to prepare M.S. in Nursing graduates to function as advanced generalists providing and managing comprehensive client care in a variety of outcomes bases practice settings.  Clinical Nurse Leaders provide lateral integration at the point of care and combine evidenced based practice in the coordination of care to a distinct group of patients to improve patient outcomes. Graduates of the program are eligible for the Clinical Nurse Leader certification by the Commission on Nursing Certification (CNC).

Core courses

  • Nursing 7403:  Innovation Leadership in Advanced Nursing Practice (3)
  • Nursing 7483:  Quality Improvement and Informatics (3)
  • Nursing 7491:  Health Promotion and Disease Prevention across the Life Span (3)
  • Nursing 7500:  Health Policy and Advocacy (2)
  • Nursing 7780:  Evidence Based Nursing Scholarship (3)


Other required courses

  • Nursing 7410:  Advanced Health Assessment (3)
  • Nursing 7450:  Pathophysiology of Altered Health States (5)
  • Nursing 7230:  CNL Roles and Responsibilities (2)
  • Nursing 7231:  Advanced Pharmacology for the CNL (3)
  • Nursing 7238.01:  Introduction to Clinical Nurse Leader Practice (7 credit hours; 2 credits didactic, 5 credits clinical which equals 187.5* precepted clinical hours)
  • Nursing 7238.02:  Transition to Clinical Nurse Leader Practice (8 credit hours; 2 credits didactic, 6 credits clinical which equals 225* precepted clinical hours)

* These are the minimum hours required

Self-audit checklist

Use the hyperlinked list to ensure you have taken all of the courses required for your specialty.  Your advisor will conduct a final review when you apply to graduate.  Students must have completed these courses or have a Nursing Graduate Studies Committee-approved Course Waiver petition on file.

Clinical Nurse Leader Self Audit Checklistt


Standard curriculum plans

SAMPLE FT MS Clinical Nurse Leader

SAMPLE PT MS Clinical Nurse Leader

SAMPLE GE Clinical Nurse Leader