Main Content

Clinical Nurse Leader

The Clinical Nurse Leader is a relatively new advanced practice role with preparation at the graduate level. Its focus is on managing complex cohorts of patients in a wide variety of health care settings. This 42-credit program consists of core courses (24 credits), two clinical courses (12 credits), and a thesis or special project component. Four hundred clinical hours of practice are required to meet practice requirements for certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader. These are spent exploring the structure and functioning of the macrosystem of a healthcare organization and analyzing its impact on the delivery of evidenced based nursing care to a specified group of patients. Prepared as an advanced practice generalist, the CNL is able to practice with any patient population and in most healthcare settings. As a CNL the graduate will:

  •  Analyze the climate and culture of selected healthcare organizations
  •  Use leadership skills to influence change within organizations
  •  Integrate evidenced based practice to support nursing care of complex client cohorts

Full-time and part-time study is available. All classes are offered one day per week on Tuesday. Clinical experiences are at times mutually agreeable to both the student and clinical preceptors. Application is made through the School of Graduate Studies and the Department of Nursing. Applicants must comply with the Department of Nursing's health, CPR, licensure, and  malpractice requirements.

For further information please contact Dr Cynthia O'Sullivan via email or phone at (203) 392-6486. Please review the Program of Study.

To apply for the MSN Clinical Nurse Leader track please complete the Graduate Application located on the Graduate Admissions website. In addition, applicants must complete and submit the MSN Essay and the MSN Recommendation Form. Please use the MSN Checklist to make sure you have completed all the proper steps.

For more information about Gainful Employment, visit our website at