Clinical Nurse Leader

A Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is a new nursing concept started by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and must not be confused with the Clinical Nurse Specialists. The role of the Clinical Nurse Leader is to implement the latest and innovative medical technologies in their practice to provide the best possible cares and outcomes to the patients.

Clinical Nurse Leader Overview

CNL are vested with the decision making authorities to oversee the patient care and treatments through assessment of the risk and evaluating the collected outcome sof patient cares. It is the primary responsibility of these nurses to prepare evidence based care plans for particular group of the patients and implement innovations in the cares. They also participate in these care plans and periodically reviews and evaluate the outcome of the plans and document them.

In order to offer best possible cares to the patient, they work in a multidisciplinary medical team, which include other nurses, pharmacists, health care professionals, physicians, NP and Clinical nurse specialists and also social workers and jointly they plan the strategies for the outcome of best patient results. They work in various types of health care setting with a motto of advancing the nursing practice to a higher level to achieve desired outcome and in the process they implement the latest nursing practice, innovative health care technologies and latest medical procedures.

You must remember that Clinical Nurse Leaders are termed as advance generalists, whereas Clinical Nurse Specialists are specialist through specialty or doctoral studies. Their education is more concentrated toward gaining the advanced knowledge in general medicine, instead of pursuing studies in a specific specialty as done by the CNS.

Clinical Nurse Leader Education

In order to become a Clinical Nurse Leader, you must pursue Master Degree level education that prepares you for the generalists, which is advised by the AACN but it is also been found many clinical leaders even working with the bachelor level degrees. In addition, the study of courses such as clinical assessment, pharmacology, pathophysiology and others are essential. The successful completion of the program makes the candidate eligible to sit for the clinical leader certification exam. The examination is administered by the Commission on Nurse Certifications.

The basic qualities that a Clinical Leader Nurse possesses include leadership role, management skill, zeal to learn and use innovative and latest medical techniques and technologies for best patient care outcome.

Though, they are not advance practice nurse, still their qualification and practice complement the specialty nurses by evaluating the advance care plans for the best possible outcomes, which are the result of implementation of the advance and latest medical technologies for best cares. The outcome also facilitates replicating future care with the results of past cares.

Clinical Nurse Leader Salary

The average earning of the clinical nurse leader comes to around$55,500 –$75,000 depending upon the job location, education and experience. CNL are not as specialized as NP or CNS but still their higher level education and knowledge earn them better salary than a registered nurse.

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