How to become a Clinical Nurse Leader?

Published by Sofia Blanzaco
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system. Their role makes a difference in the lives of patients, every day. Yet, a 2015 study has predicted that over one million registered nurses will have retired by 2030¹. This means a critical nursing shortage and demand of nurses for different specialties and leadership positions is expected. As RNs leave, they take with them their invaluable knowledge and nursing experience. In this context, retiring nurses are leaving a gap in nursing leadership positions

Nurses interested in pursuing these leadership positions should be well-educated about gaining these advanced skills to positively contribute to the profession and health care system.   

At Nexus University, we have prepared a Clinical Nurse Leader program to accommodate the rising demand for skilled nurses and nurse leaders. Read the following article to explore Nexus University’s Clinical Nurse Leader program. 

What exactly is a Clinical Nurse Leader? 

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is an emerging nursing role developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in collaboration with an array of leaders from the practice environment. The Clinical Nurse Leader role emerged following several years of research and discussion with stakeholders to engage highly skilled clinicians in outcome-based practice and quality improvement strategies. The CNL certification is a unique credential that recognizes certified Clinical Nurse Leaders². 

Nexus University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Clinical Nurse Leader program prepares nurses to undertake specialized leadership roles. Through a combination of theory, practice, and clinical experience, graduates emerge ready to become Clinical Nurse Leaders or to go through a transition to a higher-level leadership position. 

What are the key factors of the program?

  • Leadership: dive in-depth into what it means to be a nurse leader and to promote good healthcare. 
  • Economics: learn the complexities of healthcare economics and its impact on decision-making and regulation. 
  • Research: advance your skills and help innovate the practice of nursing by evaluating research findings. 

The role of Clinical Nurse Leaders in Healthcare Systems

What CNLs do? 

The role of CNLs is to promote the best plan of care for patients and families. CNLs then coordinate that plan with physicians, physical therapists, nutritionists, and other team members. They streamline care between the various health disciplines and are responsible for quality patient care and improved patient outcomes. The CNL puts evidence-based practice into action to ensure that patients benefit from the latest innovations in care delivery. 

How Can I Become a Clinical Nurse Leader? 

Nexus University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program prepares nurses to undertake specialized leadership roles. Through a combination of theory, practice, and clinical experience, graduates emerge prepared to become clinical nurse leaders or to go through a transition to a higher-level leadership position. 

Nexus University provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the Clinical Nurse Leader role within a small classroom size with knowledgeable professors. 

The MSN focuses on the Clinical Nurse Leader role in either executive leadership or healthcare informatics. Graduates are prepared to combine their clinical decision-making knowledge with their applied skills to improve quality of care, health care outcomes, and interprofessional communication to meet our community’s needs. 

Conclusion: Thoughts on Becoming a CNL

Leadership is about being thoughtful, fair, and keeping the ultimate objective of successfully treating patients -front and center- for everyone on the team.  

Getting a Master of Science in Nursing says you are ready to lead. 

Are other nurses already looking to you for counsel and guidance?  

Do you make some strategic decisions outside of your role? 

If that’s the case, it’s time to go after that leadership position, and a Clinical Nurse Leader degree might be the way to raise your hand and be formally recognized for your leadership skills. 

 

References

  1. David Auerbach et al., “Will the RN Workforce Weather the Retirement of the Baby Boomers?” Medical Care, Oct. 2015: https://journals.lww.com/lww-medicalcare/Abstract/2015/10000/Will_the_RN_Workforce_Weather_the_Retirement_of.3.aspx [↩]
  2. https://www.aacnnursing.org/cnl-certification
How to avoid burnout in nursing

How to avoid burnout in nursing

The rise in stress and the various causes of exhaustion have been much discussed in recent years. As a result, tips for preventing burnout in nursing are becoming more valuable. Undoubtedly, the current situation has shown that as stress increases, burnout increases,...

read more
Accredited Online MSN Program in Florida

Accredited Online MSN Program in Florida

Getting a Master's degree adds a new chapter to your career. And the medical field is not different. The Master's degree in nursing allows access to opportunities that wouldn't be available without this additional educational degree.  However, as a nurse, you probably...

read more
A Brief Talk with Nurse Amanda

A Brief Talk with Nurse Amanda

If you are a nurse and you still do not know Amanda, then you must read this interview:  Amanda Guarniere is the founder of The Résumé Rx, The NP Society, and the Nurse Becoming Podcast!  Whether you are a first-year nursing student or seasoned nurse practitioner, the...

read more