Become a leader in your health care organization by earning your master’s degree as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). As system thinkers and change agents, CNLs influence the way health care and patient care is delivered.
The University of Rochester School of Nursing was one of the first institutions to offer a master’s degree aligned with the CNL certification, and we are the only CNL program in Upstate NY. We also offer a unique CNL-DNP program curriculum to expand the number of doctorally prepared nurses in scholarly clinical and leadership practice working to transform health care delivery.
While CNLs can continue to work directly with individual patients, they also gain a big picture understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by the broader patient base and health care system.
At the UR School of Nursing, you’ll collaborate with nurses and other health professionals who work at the complex intersection of clinical care, population health, and health care management to focus on safety and quality.
Learn how to expand your current role or take on a new role to improve patient care in a rapidly evolving health care system. Our graduates, equipped to put evidence-based practice into action, lead the way as care coordinators, clinical informaticists, unit educators, program coordinators, nurse managers, and nurse executives.
Opportunities for CNLs are limitless!
How to Apply
Review the eligibility and application requirements for the Clinical Nurse Leader program before starting your online application.
Program eligibility requirements include:
a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited school
RN licensure within the United States or a U.S. territory
one year of clinical experience preferred
CPR certification (professional course must be taken with the American Heart Association)
statistics course with a grade of C or above. (For those who do not currently meet the requirement, we offer an online, self-paced statistics course which can be completed in as little as four weeks)
Admission to matriculated programs, and transfer credit approval, requires previously earned coursework to have been earned from an institution accredited by a USDE (U.S. Department of Education) or CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) approved accrediting agency. Transfer credit from institutions meeting accreditation requirements shall be approved upon review of course content and alignment with learning outcomes. Nursing degrees must also be accredited through an approved professional agency, such as Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
The program can be completed in as few as 2.5 years of part-time study including all clinical fieldwork experiences.
The part-time CNL program is 36 credits, and students can take one or two courses per semester, depending on their schedule.
Now, I can see much more clearly how my CNL education relates to my current job. I oversee the quality of care of pediatric trauma patients transitioning from prevention to emergency medical services to the hospital to rehabilitation, and I think that's what defines what a CNL should be doing.
Robert Dorman, MS, RN-BC, CCRN, C-NPT, CNL, pediatric trauma program manager
Completing my graduate education allowed me to return to a clinical role as a nurse manager, which I don’t think I would have done without the new knowledge and confidence I gained... I’m thankful for the chance to help others grow and develop.
Linda Schmitt, MS, RN-BC, CNL, senior nursing manager at Strong Memorial Hospital, '12