College of Nursing

Program Overview

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program is designed to prepare nurses to be clinical leaders will the skills and competencies needed to thrive in the current and future health care system while striving to improve client outcomes and reduce health care costs. A CNL will oversee the care coordination of a distinct group of patients and actively provide direct patient care in complex settings.  The CNL assesses cohort risk, is accountable for clinical and quality outcomes and uses decision –making authority to change care plans when necessary.  The CNL will function as part of an interdisciplinary team by communicating, planning, and implementing care directly with other health care professionals, including physicians, pharmacists, social workers, and Advanced Practice nurses.  This program will prepare students to work in a variety of nursing environments both inpatient and out-patient.

The CNL is considered to be a generalist (not an Advanced Practice Nurse) and will possess nursing knowledge, comprehension of the infrastructure of the health care system, clinical decision-making skills, human management strategies, and the ability to manage complex information.  This program prepares nurses to become leaders who will facilitate and assure individualized, evidence-based, and highly effective care to patients and families.

Program Format

Students are required to complete 500 hours of clinical practice which includes a 300 hour residency. The 37 hour masters program can be completed in five semesters of full-time study or may be pursued part-time. 

The clinical nurse leader (CNL) role option prepares nurses to be advanced generalists who oversee the care coordination of a distinct cohort of patients and actively provide direct patient care in complex situations.  The CNL provides horizontal leadership at the unit level in the health care delivery system.

Clinical Nurse Leader Program of Study

Admission Requirements

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. As soon as an application is complete, it will be forwarded on to members of the Graduate Admissions and Promotions Committee and will be reviewed at the next scheduled committee meeting.  An admission decision will be made and applicants will be notified promptly.

Creighton University College of Nursing • 2500 California Plaza • Omaha NE • 68178 • 402-280-2000 • 800-544-5071
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