Clinical Nurse Leader
The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is an advanced education nurse generalist role newly created by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in response to an urgent call for better patient outcomes and improved coordination in the delivery of healthcare services. CNLs will provide leadership in designing unit-level changes to move organizations toward evidence-based systems of care that will produce better outcomes for a specific patient population.
The CLN curriculum was introduced by the Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in response to the complexity of healthcare which can at times harm patients rather than help them. Students thinking about the CNL program should visit AACN to read the position paper that describes the role and its origins.
Fairfield University's CNL program is based on the assumptions and competencies of the AACN and the development of healthcare leaders. One of the issues driving the creation of the CNL curriculum is to equip nurses to advocate for change and have the skills to make change happen. The national nursing shortage further emphasizes the need for highly qualified nurses who stay in clinical roles.
As a graduate of Fairfield's Master of Science in Nursing, Clinical Nurse Leader Track, you'll be prepared to address the predominant healthcare dilemmas of the future, including:
Needs of an aging population
Chronic illness management
Health disparities associated with socioeconomic dislocation
Health promotion and disease prevention
CNL graduates will:
Provide leadership in designing evidence-based systems that more effectively manage care for a specific patient population
Bring a high level of clinical competence and knowledge to the point of care
Design, implement, and evaluate the care needs of complex patients
Serve as a resource for the clinical nursing team
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Facts & Figures
Classification: Master's College or University I
Locale: Large Suburb
Size & Settings: 3,000-5,999