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Clinical Nurse Leader Careers

Clinical Nurse Leader Careers

Be your patients’ best advocate.

Clinical Nurse Leaders are tasked with organizing, delegating and supervising patient care provided by a team of health care professionals, which may include physicians, other nurses, pharmacists, and social workers. As leaders of this interdisciplinary team, they use evidence-based practice and apply new health care technologies and techniques to ensure optimal care and outcomes.

The primary function of the CNL, a role created by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in 2010, is to educate patients and their families and help them understand their diagnosis and healthcare needs, advocate for their care and make informed decisions, and promote a healthy lifestyle. Clinical Nurse Leaders are expected to adapt to emerging technologies and communicate with patients and their team of healthcare professionals using email, video chat and other electronic channels as well as face-to-face interaction. Lastly, the CNL is expected to use critical thinking, leadership and communication skills to observe and make evidence-based recommendations to improve healthcare policy, systems and organizations.

Specific clinical nurse leader responsibilities may include:

  • Educating patients and their families
  • Leading collaborative patient care
  • Mentoring other nurses
  • Analyzing data and assessing patient risks and outcomes
  • Coordinating and planning direct care for patients among the nursing staff
  • Laterally integrating a variety of health care services

Because the role of the CNL has evolved and become more valuable, demand for Clinical Nurse Leaders has grown. CNLs are needed among all health care environments, such as hospitals, clinics, physicians’ practices, schools, public health agencies, and more. They can qualify for a variety of nursing positions, earning average annual salaries ranging from $64,000 to $82,000 depending on the role and location1, including:

  • Case Manager
  • Charge Nurse
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Manager/Administrator
  • Nurse Educator
  • Staff Nurse

Find out how you can help develop the advanced medical, technological and leadership skills needed to ensure that patients receive the best care possible and achieve your professional goals with the Clinical Nurse Leader specialization of Sacred Heart’s Master of Science in Nursing, a leader among accredited online nursing programs.

Request more information or call 877-791-7181 to speak with an Admissions team member.

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