The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL®) area of concentration is a master’s educated nurse prepared to practice across the continuum of care within any healthcare setting. The CNL assumes accountability for patient-care outcomes through the assimilation and application of evidence-based information to design, implement, and evaluate patient-care processes and models of care delivery (AACN, 2013).
In addition to being prepared to assume a Clinical Nurse Leader position upon graduation, Pitt Nursing’s highly ranked CNL program prepares students to a variety of other nursing career options including:
- Managing a clinical unit
- Leading quality improvement efforts
- Being a nurse educator in a clinical or educational setting
- Serving as a case coordinator
The Pitt Nursing Difference
Pitt CNL students have opportunities to apply their new knowledge through hands-on projects and clinical experiences in acute care facilities, quality improvement departments, health plans, non-profit organizations, community settings, and/or schools of nursing.
The Clinical Nurse Leader program gives students a strong foundation in physiology/pathophysiology, health assessment, and pharmacology. CNL coursework covers organizational and management theory, leadership development, finance and economics, healthcare quality, and education and mentoring in the clinical setting. Graduates leave prepared to use evidence-based practice and research outcomes to enhance clinical practice.
The CNL curriculum intentionally reduces duplication between the master’s and doctoral programs. Graduates are prepared to begin a DNP or PhD in the future, with clinical backgrounds to support their success and long-term careers. Upon graduation, candidates are eligible to sit for the Clinical Nurse Leader Certification Examination administered by the Commission on Nurse Certification.
Courses are available both face-to-face and online, and are taught by the same faculty. The interactive online Clinical Nurse Leader classroom provides opportunities for active learning, discussion, problem solving, debate, critical thinking, networking, and community building. Clinical experiences for online students can take place in supervised facilities near their homes.