MS in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader

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Online Master's Degree in Nursing: Clinical Nurse Leader Concentration

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) concentration is based on the competencies and practice standards defined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Graduates of SNHU’s online master’s degree in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader track are eligible to sit for the national CNL exam offered by Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC).

The online master's degree in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader degree provides the essential skills required by nurse leaders to act as providers and managers of care and assume accountability for patient care needs within the current health delivery environments. It covers how CNLs design, implement and evaluate care by coordinating, delegating and supervising the care provided by the health care team, including licensed nurses, technicians and other health professionals.

Online Nursing Master's Degree - Clinical Nurse Leader Concentration Required Courses

NUR-601: Advanced Pathophysiology
This course in organ systems physiology is designed to teach the fundamentals of normal function that are essential to understanding clinical problems. It will integrate advanced concepts of health assessment, including anticipatory guidance, prevention, and detection of risk factors and disease. Students will continue to develop critical thinking skills to make effective, patient-centered, clinical decisions through case studies. Examples from pathophysiology are used to illustrate physiological concepts that will be analyzed, interpreted, and evaluated. This course includes all major organ systems. It assumes previous academic preparation in anatomy and physiology, an understanding of basic algebra and simple physiology, as well as experience in conducting a health history and physical assessment. Discussion sessions and problem-set case studies provide opportunities to synthesize content and discuss clinical problems.
NUR-602: Advanced Pharmacology Across the Life Span
Content focuses on current concepts in the pharmacologic therapies of common health care problems seen in primary and acute care health care. Basic pathophysiology, clinical pharmacology, modes of therapy, and monitoring parametrics are explored. Diagnosis and management of health care problems and their treatment regimens are discussed. Case studies are utilized to clarify, reinforce, and correlate therapeutics with specific health care problems.
NUR-607: Advanced Health Assessment
In this course, students will build on previous clinical experience as well as undergraduate course work to master health assessment skills and communication strategies. Students conduct comprehensive evidence-based health assessments encompassing environmental, genetic, multicultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic factors. Students also explore ways of adapting their communication style to meet the specific needs of their audience. The course also focuses on mastering the physical and mental health exam and formulating plan to ensure effective patient centered care.

MSN Core

HIM-500: Healthcare Informatics
Students will learn the history and current state of healthcare and how the industry uses information systems. Throughout the course students will discuss types of information systems, such as the electronic medical record (EMR), laboratory and radiology systems and more. Students will also study trends in new practices, such as telemedicine and home healthcare, and how they function in various healthcare settings. Finally, students will explore how these and other industry trends, with the use of technology, can improve patient care.
IHP-501: Global Health and Diversity
Global Health and Diversity is a problem-based course designed to give students an overview of health promotion issues, explore selected current topics in health and health policy from a national and global perspective, and investigate the consequences these issues have for the health status of international populations and society. This course will provide the theoretical foundation to allow the practitioner to design interventions that promote health and behavior change in a target population. The concepts of health literacy, consumer advocacy, and their impact of health promotion will be explored.
IHP-504: Healthcare Policy and Financing
Developed for the health care administrator and providers, this course prepares students with a full understanding of financial planning, control measures and financial management to effectively examine and address the complex financial challenges within the healthcare sector. Analysis and identification of healthcare financial trends, finance sources and reimbursement models will be addressed.
Must be enrolled in MSN program
IHP-505: Leadership in Clinical Microsystems
This course covers clinical microsystem concepts, tools, techniques, and processes within the context of a clinical or supporting microsystem. This course will use current theories to approach issues related to the redesign of healthcare services to improve quality, add value, reduce variation and improve morale, by empowering frontline caregivers. This course builds upon the Dartmouth Hitchcock Microsystem Improvement Curriculum and the QSEN Graduate Nursing Competencies.
Must be enrolled in MSN or MSM program
NUR-500: Advanced Nursing Concepts
In this course students analyze historical and evaluate current nursing concepts and theories. Students will examine the linkages of empirical, aesthetic, ethical, personal, and sociopolitical patterns on knowing with the conceptual models and paradigms of nursing. Students will explore the components of conceptual-theoretical-empirical structures for theory-generating and theory-testing research.
NUR-506: Evidence-Based Practice
Graduate students will build upon previous learning of nursing research and evidence-based practice in order to become proficient in critiquing, generating, and translating research evidence into nursing practice. Emphasis will be placed on identifying researchable clinical questions, analysis of research findings for evidence-based practice, ethical issues in nursing research, and the selection of methods that may be used to generate research evidence for practice.
Take NUR-515 and HCM-525 or MBA-501
NUR-635: Teaching and Learning in Nursing
This course covers instructional frameworks, learning environments, and classroom and student management and motivation techniques. Learners explore theories associated with optimizing the teaching experience and student outcomes and gain an understanding of the teaching, learning, communication, and motivation strategies used for specific learning situations and student populations. Learners identify various learning barriers and formulate appropriate teaching strategies to address them, including acknowledging and using emotional intelligence. As part of this course, learners are required to teach in an online course room. Must be enrolled in MSN program.
Must be enrolled in MSN program
QSO-640: Project Management
This course includes the study of concepts, tools, and practices of project management. The course adopts a managerial process approach to Project Management, which consists of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing the project. Major topics will include project scope, project time, project cost, project quality, project risk, project resources, project communications and how to be an effective project manager. Cases are utilized to integrate the learning in the course and provide decision- making experience for the student.

* The MBA 501 pre-requisite course is waived.

Capstone Courses

NUR-680: Nursing Capstone Seminar
Students critical analyze proposals for healthcare quality and safety plans, or clinical problems as developed by student participants. To be taken concurrently with NUR-681
Senior standing (30 credits or more)
NUR-681: Nursing Capstone Project
Students design and analyze a healthcare issue, proposal of policy options, recommendations for action or an evaluation strategy for a selected healthcare setting. Students are evaluated according to criteria, negotiated in advance, that demonstrate current industry best practices. To be taken concurrently with NUR-680.
Senior standing (30 credits or more)

Online Nursing Master's Degree – Clinical Nurse Leader Concentration Outcomes

Through your online master's degree in Nursing-Clinical Nurse Leader course work, you will:

  • Synthesize and apply theories and conceptual models from nursing and other related disciplines to facilitate clinical practice decision-making
  • Integrate the use of communication skills, information systems, and standardized language in relation to clinical outcomes and continuous performance measures
  • Develop collaborative interdisciplinary relationships and partnerships to improve the health care of the cohort population
  • Interpret and apply evidenced-based data to assess cohort risk, implement interventional strategies, and evaluate outcomes as part of an interdisciplinary health care team.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate innovative, population-based programs of care to achieve quality outcomes
  • Pursue continuous quality improvement through the clinical nurse leader role
  • Serve as an advanced practice generalist for a cohort population within the selected health care subsystem
  • Create a capstone research project for oral and written presentation on a nursing practice topic.

MSN students must have:

  • An active unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse.
  • An earned bachelor's degree from an accredited nursing program and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Daily access to the Internet.

Students with a GPA below 3.0 but higher than 2.67 are eligible for provisional acceptance. These students must achieve a grade of B+ or better in their first graduate nursing course to be fully accepted into the MSN program.

MSN CNL Approved States:
This program is currently offered only in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Wyoming.

    CCNE Accredited Nursing Program


    The Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing programs at Southern New Hampshire University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).