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Online MSN — Clinical Nurse Leader Specialization

Unite Critical Practices in Healthcare at Queens

Nursing roles and responsibilities are rapidly expanding, and highly skilled clinical nurse leaders, or CNLs, are needed to enhance patient care outcomes, safety, and quality of care. CNL nursing professionals are master’s-prepared, generalist clinicians who practice an integrated approach to nursing, working directly with interdisciplinary teams and patients. You can impact healthcare, and advance to a CNL nursing role through the Clinical Nurse Leader specialization in the online Master of Science in Nursing from Queens University of Charlotte.

CNL Program Outcomes

In this CNL program, you’ll develop proficiencies that allow you to stand out as a clinical nurse leader who can improve the health and safety of patients.

  • Create, implement, and evaluate patient care plans
  • Collaborate with professionals within the entire plan of care
  • Analyze and apply new data from evidence-based research
  • Maximize technological resources
  • Assess patient risk

CNL Program Faculty

The CNL nursing faculty in the online MSN program at Queens are experienced professionals who are passionately dedicated to patient-care quality and outcomes. Dr. Grace Buttriss, assistant professor, is the Clinical Nurse Leader Coordinator for the Graduate Nursing Program and the current Clinical Nurse Leader Association (CNLA) president. She, and the rest of the faculty in the Clinical Nurse Leader specialization at Queens, are continuously motivated to help their students pave their own careers to excellence in CNL nursing service.

The CNL Nursing Career
Coordinate Care for Optimal Outcomes

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing introduced the Clinical Nurse Leader role in 2003 to help nurses succeed and improve the quality of patient care in a changing healthcare system. Since the role was introduced, the presence of a CNL has been proven to reduce the occurrence of infections, falls, pressure ulcers, and readmissions, and to improve medication adherence.

CNLs work with doctors, physical/occupational therapists, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals to create comprehensive, detailed, patient care plans. CNLs also seek out and share new research, technology, and practices with fellow nurses.

The need for highly skilled Clinical Nurse Leaders is paramount to the health of patients and the efficiency of hospitals. Discover how you can become an influential force in the healthcare system with our infographic below.

Clinical Nurse Leader Curriculum

Through the coursework offered in the Clinical Nurse Leader specialization, you’ll develop into a strong leader who possesses advanced knowledge and skills. A CNL nursing professional with excellent decision-making capabilities — someone who can create and implement processes and professional development plans to improve healthcare for patients and the organization.

CNL nursing topics include management of the care environment and clinical outcomes, ethics in clinical leadership, risk analysis and pharmacotherapeutics, and complementary therapies.

Clinical Nurse Leader Certification

CNL certification is a voluntary process managed nationally by the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC). CNL nursing certification recognizes the unique body of knowledge for graduates of master's and post-master's CNL programs and validates a high level of achievement. The exam is based on the CNL Job Analysis study and permits the individual to use the credential of "CNL.”

For more information please visit http://www.aacn.nche.edu/cnl-certification.

Take charge of the health of your patients and the wellness of your organization with the Queens online Master of Science in Nursing program. Learn more about our CNL MSN specialization. Call us at 866-313-2356 to speak with an admissions representative, or request more information.

Read the MSN Video Transcript (Click to Expand)

Amy Lane, MSN student: The benefit of the online program at Queens is the fact that I can be a full-time mother, a full-time wife, a full-time nurse, and continue my education.

Dr. Annette Hines: We were the first Clinical Nurse Leader program here in North Carolina and also the first to offer it in an online format.

Dr. Grace Buttriss: The MSN program at Queens University at Charlotte focuses on individualized and personalized attention for the students. We're all doctoral-prepared faculty. We're all Clinical Nurse Leader certified, and we expect that when our students graduate they will also become CNL certified.

Hines: When a clinical nurse leader is involved in the patient's care, there have been improved patient outcomes. For example: the length of stay is decreased, patients experience less infection, and overall patients are more satisfied with their experience in the hospital.

Buttriss: There's one person on the unit who knows everything there is to know about this patient. They are the point person for this patient in all aspects of their care.

Lane: The MyCourses platform is just exceptional and it’s really easy to use.

Buttriss: We typically have six to eight students in the clinical area and no more than 15 in the classroom setting. The students have 525 clinical hours at the bedside. They’re involved in direct patient care, typically in acute care facilities but they can be in any facility. There’s no difference between the online and the seated Clinical Nurse Leader program because the students receive a lot of individualized attention from the faculty.

Lane: They give us very good constructive feedback in terms of how we’re doing, what can we work on.

Hines: We’re available to them for regular office hours each week. They can reach us by email, Skype…

Lane: I feel like my relationships with my classmates are just wonderful because my classmates are all over the place, such as Texas, New York, Virginia, Dubai. On a weekly basis we do have discussions that we post to one another, and that gives me the opportunity to ask them questions and learn through their experiences.

Hines: From my interactions with students, they do feel very connected to Queens and feel that they are Queens students and a part of our community.

Lane: Queens has given me a future. It has given me the opportunity to be the nurse educator that I want to be. It has given me the opportunity to advocate for my patients when they’re not able to.

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