In 2007, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing introduced the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)

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 In 2007, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing introduced the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role as a response to the increasing concerns regarding the safety and quality of nursing care. The educational preparation of the CNL requires a Master’s Degree that encompasses both clinical and theoretical experiences and results in competencies that develop strong clinical leadership traits (Stavrianopoulos, 2012).

The CNL influences and enhances patient care both at inpatient and outpatient healthcare environments. CNLs’ duties involve assuming a leadership role among team members, evaluating how the present system is working, and identifying changes that need to take place (University of San Francisco). In general, CNLs affect patient care in the following ways: as an interdisciplinary care team leader, as outcomes manager, as patient educator and advocate, as information manager, and as an advanced clinician (Stavrianopoulos, 2012).

Strategies for Nurse Managers (2017) reports that currently there are an estimated 900 CNLs in the USA. Statistics show that hospitals who employ CNLs have fewer readmission rates, shorter “length of stays”, decreased infection rates, fewer falls, and less RN turnover. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) not only applauds CNLs, but initiated a plan to have at least three CNLs employed at each of its hospitals by 2016. Many organizations have offered scholarships to advance this much-needed nursing career.


Stavrianopoulos, T. (2012). The clinical nurse leader. Health Science Journal,6(3). Retrieved from

Strategies For Nurse Managers. (2017). Clinical nurse leaders improve patient care

and quality. Retrieved from

University of San Francisco. The evolution of clinical nurse leaders.

Retrieved from


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