Enhance your career with the Clinical Nurse Leader Program Online
Southern New Hampshire University's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program is based on the competencies and practice standards defined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Graduates of the Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Nurse leader program meet the educational requirements to sit for the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) exam offered by offered by the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC).
See Yourself Succeed in Nursing
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) online program at SNHU prepares today's nurses with the key competencies necessary for continuous improvement of the safety and quality of healthcare systems. The Clinical Nurse Leader program online focuses on 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 will provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge in the areas of advanced nursing practice, leadership, research, evidence-based practice, care coordination and transition management. At the end of the program, students will complete a capstone course that includes a 300 hour clinical immersion experience under the guidance of a CNL preceptor.
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission - to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your MSN online at SNHU include:
- Accredited. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and the master’s degree program in nursing at Southern New Hampshire University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202.887.6791.
- Affordability. Take advantage of some of the most affordable tuition rates in the nation
- Convenience. Attend class when it's convenient for you - online education means 24/7 access
- Efficiency and flexibility. With five terms per year, you can complete your MSN degree in 20 months
- Expert instruction. Learn from instructors with relevant, real-world experience
- Minimal requirements. No GMAT or GRE required for admission
- Networking. Tap into our nationwide network of alumni for tips and career opportunities
- Student support. Count on the ongoing support of dedicated academic and career advisors specialized in your area of study
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 5 graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options. Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application and providing undergraduate transcripts.
MSN Admission Requirements:
- Must maintain an active unencumbered Registered Nurse license. Licensure exam must be equivalent to NCLEX-RN examination. (If a student holds active licenses in more than one state/jurisdiction all licenses must be unencumbered.)
- Must have an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited nursing program (ACEN, CCNE, and CNEA) with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Provisional acceptance may be extended to applicants with an undergraduate GPA between 2.67 and 2.99
No BSN? No problem! SNHU also offers a RN to MSN Accelerated Pathway for registered nurses who know they want to continue their education onto an MSN. The Accelerated Pathway saves eligible students up to $3,700 in tuition and 20 weeks of time.
SNHU nursing programs are not authorized in the state of Washington or US territories and we are not accepting students residing in Washington state or US territories into Nursing programs at this time. Currently enrolled students who move into the state of Washington or a US territory will not be able to continue in nursing courses until they move out of the state of Washington or the US territory. Prospective students are encouraged to contact Admission, and current students should contact their Advisor, for more information.
A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled ''The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health'' identifies a growing demand for qualified nurses who are prepared to meet the complex and changing needs of the 21st-century healthcare workforce. The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice has recommended that at least two-thirds of the workforce hold baccalaureate or higher degrees in nursing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of clinical nurse leaders and other medical and health services managers is projected to grow 20% through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.*
Top treatment centers - including ANCC Magnet hospitals - are actively looking for nurses with advanced degrees to take their patient care to the next level. An MSN degree can expand your nursing career employment and leadership opportunities.
Upon completion of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Clinical Nurse Leader degree online program, you'll be able to:
- Propose informatics systems initiatives and technologies that facilitate effective decision-making in delivering upon and enhancing patient care
- Employ research practices, methodologies and a spirit of scholarly inquiry to motivate change and drive real-world improvement in healthcare
- Create client-centered, culturally appropriate health prevention and promotion initiatives that improve the health, safety and quality of life for people and their communities
- Generate data-driven solutions for operational challenges that navigate the intersection of quality and cost in ensuring excellence in healthcare across diverse settings
- Advocate for ethically responsible policies and effective systems that empower practitioners and meet the needs of healthcare consumers
- Model leadership and professional practices in healthcare by building effective working relationships and facilitating ethical and strategic decision-making across organizations
- Design, implement and evaluate population-based programs of care to achieve quality outcomes through the Clinical Nurse Leader role
The curriculum for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Clinical Nurse Leader online program follows the competencies and practice standards defined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing specific to this role within the field.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|MSN Clinical Nurse Leader|
|Courses May Include|
|MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader|
|IHP 501||Global Health and Diversity||This course provides students with broad foundation in the structure of healthcare delivery systems; the political, financial and social constructs affecting the healthcare systems; and how policy and social determinants of health influence access, equity and outcomes in health. Utilizing this foundation and authentic real world scenarios, students will evaluate the efficacy of existing policy and interventions as well as lead interdisciplinary teams in the design of culturally relevant strategies to prepare students to advance the health for a specific population.|
|IHP 505||Leadership in Clinical Microsystems||This course covers clinical microsystem concepts, tools, techniques, and processes. This course uses 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.|
|IHP 525||Biostatistics||This course provides students with a basic foundation of biostatistics and its role in public health and health sciences. The course covers the statistical principles that govern the analysis of data in public health and health sciences. Included in this course are exploratory data analysis, probability theory, confidence interval testing, hypotheses testing, power and sample size determination, and multivariable methods.|
|IHP 604||Healthcare Quality and Improvement||Gain a broad view of US healthcare quality including its evolution and trajectory given the dynamic US healthcare landscape and changing demographics. Explore key concepts including the integration of health information and technologies to promote healthcare quality at the organizational level.|
|NUR 506||Evidence-Based Practice||Graduate nursing students build upon previous learning of nursing research and evidence-based practice in order to become proficient in critiquing, generating, translating research evidence into practice, and disseminating results to advance nursing knowledge. Emphasis is placed on identifying a researchable practice question, analysis of research findings for evidence-based practice, and ethical issues in nursing research. Students demonstrate proficiency in selection of methodologies which may be used to generate research evidence for practice.|
|NUR 507||Transition to Graduate Nursing Practice||This course is designed to assist the registered nurse with a BSN degree to transition to graduate study in order to maximize their performance and opportunities for success. The course will cover such topics as the standards for scholarly writing, using evidence, study habits, and managing a graduate-level workload. The role of the Master's-prepared nurse as a clinical scholar, clinical expert and as leader in evidence-based practice and transformation of health care will be emphasized. The course will introduce the final capstone course and the development of a professional portfolio.|
|NUR 515||Advanced Nursing Concepts||In this course, students will analyze the history and evolution of nursing conceptual models and theories. Students examine the linkages between empirical, aesthetic, ethical, personal, and sociopolitical patterns of knowing with the conceptual models and paradigms of nursing. Students will explore the components of conceptual-theoretical-empirical structures for theory-generating, theory-testing research, and application to practice. Students who successfully complete the course (B- or better, course work & projects) will receive 45 indirect practice hours.|
|NUR 530||Systems Leadership and Collaborative Practice||This course provides students with the strategies and tools necessary for leadership roles in systems management and inter-professional practice. Ethical leadership concepts, analysis of diverse organizational systems across the healthcare continuum, change agency and communication skills are emphasized in the processes of coalition building, negotiating conflict, workforce planning and inter-professional team relationship building to produce quality patient outcomes. The course will enhance student ability to think systematically and develop comprehensive understanding of core competencies required to initiate and sustain change in organizations.|
|NUR 601||Advanced Pathophysiology||Students build upon prior knowledge of physiology and pathophysiological processes to acquire advanced knowledge of the relationships between normal physiology and specific system alterations produced by injury and disease to foster clinical reasoning skills. Focus is placed on etiology, pathogenesis, developmental, genetic, environmental influences, and clinical manifestations of major health problems across the lifespan.|
|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 plans to ensure effective patient-centered care. Periodic hands on simulation assignments will be utilized formatively to practice knowledge and skill acquisition. *This course may incur additional costs for practice simulation software.|
|NUR 650||Care Coordination and Outcomes Management||This course is designed to prepare CNL students to lead and collaborate with members of the healthcare team to deliver high quality, coordinated care to diverse populations of patients as they transition through a variety of healthcare settings. The course will focus on the relationship between care coordination, the patient experience, and the national quality outcomes that hospitals and nursing professionals should be meeting. Students will explore concepts related to transition management, team-based care, and quality improvement measures across healthcare settings, with care coordination as a central element of the patient-centered experience.|
|NUR 684||Clinical Nurse Leader Capstone||Observe and explore the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role under the guidance of a CNL preceptor during a 300 hour clinical immersion experience. Synthesize prior learning by implementing a scholarly project developed during your program of study. Students gain practical experience with a focus on an authentic demonstration of the CNL role and the AACN Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam competencies.|
|Total Credits: 39|
It is a requirement that Clinical Nurse Leader and Nurse Educator students carry their own medical malpractice insurance while enrolled in practicum courses. At least two terms prior to the start of the clinical components, students will be required to demonstrate proof of having an active individual medical malpractice certificate. In addition all students must comply with the requirements of the healthcare organizations where their capstone clinical immersion experience will be completed. These requirements may include (but are not limited to) criminal background checks and verification of licensure, immunization records, and health insurance. Students may incur additional costs to meet the healthcare organization requirements.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Graduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed Annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Students enrolled in MSN programs may be subject to ongoing licensure checks through a third party vendor, additional fees will apply and may vary by state.
SNHU has provided additional information for programs that educationally prepare students for professional licensure or certification. Learn more about what that means for your program on our licensure and certification disclosure page.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.