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How to Choose a Clinical Nurse Leader Program

The expanding world of healthcare has opened the door to many new career opportunities including the emergence of some new roles. Among these roles is the clinical nurse leader, a position that was first proposed by the Association of Colleges of Nursing in 2007 to decrease the number of medical errors leading to patient injury and death.1

Since then, it has become an increasingly popular career, with CNLs earning a median salary of $89,300, with the top 10 percent bringing home more than $130,000 each year. The outlook for this position is projected to grow by 19 percent over the next decade, which is more rapid than other occupations. But to gain the skills needed for a CNL, you will first have to find the program that is right for you.

Know what you are looking for in a program.

A Clinical Nurse Leader program can now be found in many schools, so how do you find the right fit? Here are some key attributes to consider:

  • Affordability. The price of education can vary greatly, so look for a program that is both affordable and has high educational quality.
  • Accreditation. Make sure that the program you are considering is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • Accessibility. Whether you are continuing to work full-time and want to further your education part-time, or if you are also juggling a family with your studies, it is important to find a program that is available to you when you need it. An online CNL program is an excellent way to be able to complete your coursework in a way that fits with your busy life.

Advance your education and your career.

Becoming a clinical nurse leader elevates both your responsibilities and your earning potential. Prepare for the next level of your career as you delve deeper into such important topics as care coordination, risk assessment, quality improvement, outcome evaluation, communication and leadership, and much more.

Saint Xavier University’s (SXU) online Master of Science in Nursing program has been ranked by U.S News & World Report four years in a row for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs, twice landing at number one. This highly recognized program includes a Clinical Leadership track, which prepares you to sit for the CNL exam. SXU also offers a Clinical Leadership certificate for registered nurses who already have a master’s degree in another nursing specialization.

If you are ready to take the next steps in your nursing career, contact us to find out how our online nursing degree programs can help you reach those new goals. Call us at (866) 319-8966 or fill out our online information form today.


1http://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Position-Statements-White-Papers/CNL