Contact Admission: 866-319-8966


MSN in Clinical Leadership

Lead the Creation and Delivery of Customized Patient Care

Take your passion for patient care to the leadership level. The Online Master of Science in Clinical Leadership from Saint Xavier University is the ideal program for nurses who want to continue to work directly with patients while creating and implementing comprehensive care plans.

The online format allowed me to continue to work full-time as a bedside nurse.
– Marlena Fisher '16, MSN in Clinical Leadership

Coursework in the MSN in Clinical Leadership program emphasizes clinical expertise in pathophysiology, pharmacology and health assessment. Applied research, epidemiology and population-based health are also examined. The advanced expertise you’ll gain in this nursing master’s degree program is applicable to all clinical settings.

Clinical Leadership for 21st-Century Health Care

The Clinical Nurse Leader role was developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to help clinicians gain the expertise and skills to improve patient care, quality and safety. Once the program has been completed, graduates are eligible to take the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) examination for national certification. Pass rates among SXU graduates who have taken the exam after graduation exceed the national average.

The nursing curriculum for this track covers vital aspects of Clinical Nurse Leadership including:

  • Clinical leadership strategies and how they can improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs
  • Evidence-based quality improvement
  • Advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology and health assessment
  • Trends, issues and policies related to the transformation of the American health care system

CNLs can have a significant impact on patient care. When the VA incorporated CNLs into its facilities, rates of patient satisfaction rose 12 percent about the national average.1 Whether you plan to become certified as a CNL or not, these skills will help you provide high-quality care in today’s technology-rich and complex health care environment. Learn more about the career applications of clinical leadership expertise.

"It was clear to me that SXU stood apart from other online programs specifically that the class sizes were small and the professors were accessible... The online format allowed for me to continue to work full-time as a bedside nurse."
– Marlena Fisher '16, MSN in Clinical Leadership

An Accredited Program Recognized for Excellence.

To become a leader, choose a university that is a leader in nursing education. Saint Xavier University as well as the School of Nursing and Health Sciences Division and its programs are consistently recognized for their educational quality.

  • The master's and baccalaureate degree programs in nursing at Saint Xavier University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). (
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks the program No. 3 Best Online Master’s in Nursing (2019).
  • In 2018, the National League for Nursing (NLN) designated the School of Nursing and Health Sciences Division as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education for the fourth consecutive time.
  • SXU is one of the Top 60 Comprehensive Master’s Universities in the Midwest (U.S. News & World Report, 2017).

Employer Assistance

Select organizations are eligible for tuition assistance. Speak with a graduate admissions counselor for more information.

Learn more about the online MSN in Clinical Leadership. Call 866-319-8966 or request more information.

1“When Clinicians Lead,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2009, available at