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Clinical Nurse Leader

The role of a clinical nurse leader (CNL) began in an effort to address the many changing issues of today's healthcare system. Roles included in this position include monitoring patient safety and general quality of care.  Clinical nurse leaders are trained with the knowledge and skills to prevent medical errors for patients. Their general role is to design and evaluate patient care by coordinating directly with the healthcare team.  The idea is to eliminate preventable medical errors that so commonly affect patients every day.

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How to become a Clinical Nurse Leader

The education necessary for a CNL is generally a Masters level nursing degree.  In order to get a Clinical Nurse Leader certification from AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing), graduates must generally have a mastery in the following contents: anatomy and physiology, microbiology, epidemiology, statistics, and healthcare policy.  Graduate work must also include health assessment, pharmacology, and pathophysiology. 

Requirements for the clinical nurse leader certification examination include holding a current RN license in the US, holding a masters degree or higher from an accredited nursing school, completing 400 hours within their CNL program, and a minimum of 300 hours in a clinical setting.

Clinical Nurse Leader Salary

Nursing Salary can vary greatly based on your level of education and experience.  Becoming a registered nurse may not be enough to get those high paying nursing jobs that you so desire.  With a masters degree and the necessary credentials, it is possible to make well over $100,000 per year as a CNL.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics report in 2011 showed that the average income for health services managers was around $96,000 per year.  The top 10% of this industry make an average salary of $147,890 per year.  This is definitely one of the high paying jobs in nursing. 

Nursing Schools with Clinical Nurse Leader Programs

Here are some of the best nursing schools in the country that include Clinical Nurse Leader programs.  CNL Nursing Programs can be found in almost every state and many schools in include online nursing programs

ALABAMA

Spring Hill College (online nursing programs available )
The University of Alabama(online nursing programs available )
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Alabama in Huntsville
University of South Alabama (online nursing programs available )

ARKANSAS

University of Central Arkansas

CALIFORNIA

California State University, Dominguez Hills
California State University, San Marcos
Charles R. Drew University
Dominican University of California
Sonoma State University (online nursing programs available )
University of California Los Angeles
University of San Francisco (online nursing programs available )
University of San Diego
Western University of Health Sciences

COLORADO

University of Northern Colorado

CONNECTICUT

Fairfield University
Sacred Heart University (online nursing programs available )
Southern Connecticut State University
University of Connecticut

FLORIDA

Florida Atlantic University
University of Central Florida
University of Florida (online nursing programs available )
University of North Florida
University of South Florida

GEORGIA

Armstrong Atlantic State University
Georgia Regents University
University of West Georgia
Valdosta State University

ILLINOIS

Elmhurst College
Illinois State University
Millikin University
Rush University
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
Saint Xavier University (online nursing programs available )
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville

INDIANA

Goshen College

IOWA

Grand View College
University of Iowa (online nursing programs available )

KANSAS

University of Kansas
Washburn University

MAINE

University of Southern Maine

MARYLAND

University of Maryland (online nursing programs available )

MASSACHUSETTS

Curry College
University of Massachusetts – Amherst (online nursing programs available )

MICHIGAN

Grand Valley State University (online nursing programs available )
Oakland University
Saginaw Valley State University (online nursing programs available )
University of Detroit Mercy (online nursing programs available )

MINNESOTA

University of Minnesota

MISSOURI

Research College of Nursing
Saint Louis University

MONTANA

Montana State University

NEBRASKA

Creighton University

NEVADA

University of Nevada-Reno

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Southern New Hampshire University
University of New Hampshire (online nursing programs available )

NEW JERSEY

Rutgers, The State University of NJ
Seton Hall University
The College of New Jersey

NEW YORK

Hunter College CUNY
University of Rochester (online nursing programs available )

NORTH CAROLINA

Queens University of Charlotte
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

OHIO

Cleveland State University (online nursing programs available )
Otterbein College (online nursing programs available )
The Ohio State University (online nursing programs available )
University of Toledo
Walsh University (online nursing programs available )
Wright State University (online nursing programs available )
Xavier University

OKLAHOMA

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

OREGON

University of Portland (online nursing programs available )

PENNSYLVANIA

Drexel University
La Salle University
Moravian College
Temple University
University of Pittsburgh (online nursing programs available )

RHODE ISLAND

University of Rhode Island
SOUTH CAROLINA
University of South Carolina Upstate
SOUTH DAKOTA
Augustana College
South Dakota State University (online nursing programs available )

TENNESSEE

East Tennessee State University
Tennessee Technological University (online nursing programs available )
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Vanderbilt University (online nursing programs available )

TEXAS

Texas Christian University
Texas Woman's University
University of the Incarnate Word
University of Texas Medical Branch

UTAH

University of Utah (online nursing programs available )

VERMONT

University of Vermont

VIRGINIA

George Mason University
James Madison University
Lynchburg College
University of Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University

WASHINGTON

Pacific Lutheran University
University of Washington Seattle
University of Washington-Tacoma

WISCONSIN

Columbia College of Nursing
Marquette University
University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh (online nursing programs available )
Viterbo University