Online MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader Track

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 track in the online Master of Science in Nursing from Queens University of Charlotte.

CNL Program Outcomes

In this CNL program, you will 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. The faculty in the Clinical Nurse Leader track at Queens, are continuously motivated to help their students pave their own careers to excellence in CNL nursing service. Dr. Grace Buttriss, assistant professor and a past International Clinical Nurse Leader Association (CNLA) president along with Dr. Laree Schoolmeesters, the Clinical Nurse Leader Coordinator for the Graduate Nursing Program, are dedicated to the development and advancement of the Clinical Nurse Leader role.

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 track, 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

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 track. Call us at 866-313-2356 to speak with an admissions representative, or request more information.

Preview of infographic

Share this Infographic!

Click on the Button Below