Clinical Nurse Leader Brochure - American Association of Colleges ...

Clinical Nurse Leader Brochure - American Association of Colleges ...

Clinical Nurse Leader Brochure - American Association of Colleges ...


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The Clinical Nurse Leader SM or CNL ® is a fast emerging nursingrole developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing(AACN) in collaboration with leaders from the education and practicearenas. The national movement to advance the CNL is fueled bythe critical need to improve the quality of patient care and betterprepare nurses to thrive across the health care system. The CNL rolewas developed following research and discussion with stakeholdergroups as a way to engage highly skilled clinicians as leaders inoutcomes-based practice.Clinical Nurse Leaders provide lateral integration at the point of careand combine evidence-based practice with ...•••Microsystems-LevelAdvocacyCentralized CareCoordinationOutcomes Measurement•••Risk AssessmentQuality ImprovementInterprofessionalCommunicationIn practice, the CNL oversees the carecoordination of a distinct group of patientsand actively provides direct patient care incomplex situations. This master’s degreeprepared,advanced generalist evaluatespatient outcomes, assesses risks, and has thedecision-making authority to changecare plans when necessary. The CNLis a leader in the health care deliverysystem, and the implementation ofthis role will vary across settings.

Connecting NursingPractice and EducationTo support the creation of this newnursing role, AACN launched a nationalinitiative involving more than 100education-practice partnerships acrossthe nation. Partners from schools ofnursing and practice sites are workingtogether to transform care delivery byeducating new CNLs and integrating thisclinical role into the health delivery system.“This new role continuesto engage VA nurses in thevisionary redesign of nursingpractice with a focus on safe andefficient quality care outcomesfor our nation’s veterans. Iam fully committed to theimplementation of the ClinicalNurse Leader role in all VAmedical centers, across all caresettings by the year 2016.”Cathy Rick, RN, CNAA, FACHEChief Nursing OfficerOffice of Nursing ServicesU.S. Department of Veterans AffairsMore than 70 schools of nursing are nowpreparing CNLs in advanced generalistprograms offered at the graduate level.Students may choose from traditionalpost-baccalaureate master’s programs,degree completion programs forRegistered Nurses (RNs), and acceleratedprograms for those seeking to transitioninto nursing. Most CNL programs aredirectly connected with a practice siteinterested in utilizing graduates toenhance care delivery, patient safety,and quality outcomes.The Veterans Health Administration, thenation’s largest employer of RNs, hasembraced the CNL role and is moving tointroduce this clinician into all VA hospitalsnationwide. Support for the role is gainingmomentum as more and more practicesites are reporting positive outcomesattributed to the CNL pioneers on the staff.

The Key to Positive Patient OutcomesClinical Nurse Leaders provide efficient and cost-effective patient careservices as well as the leadership needed to repair fragmented caredelivery across settings. CNLs are having a measurable impact on thequality of nursing services with practice settings reporting that CNLs …• Are quickly making significant progress on raising patient,nurse, and physician satisfaction; improving care outcomes;and realizing sizable cost-savings.• Elevate the level of practice for all nurses on the unit by promotingcritical thinking and innovation in nursing care.• Constructively manage change and promote a team-basedapproach to care.• Understand the bigger picture, including outcomes and patientsatisfaction, when considering next steps, needed changes, andimprovements to the setting.

The CNL Mark of ExcellenceClinical Nurse Leader certification is aunique credential that recognizesgraduates of master’s and post-master’sClinical Nurse Leader programs who havedemonstrated accepted standards ofpractice. The CNL mark of excellencepromotes safe, quality practice throughits ongoing requirements for personaland professional growth. In 2007, AACNestablished a new certification entity –the Commission on Nurse Certification(CNC) – to oversee all aspects of the CNLCertification Program.Becoming a CNLThose interested in becoming a ClinicalNurse Leader are encouraged to visit theAACN Web site to find out more about thisnursing career option. Detailed informationis available online including FrequentlyAsked Questions, the white paper on theCNL role, and a directory of Web links toprograms enrolling students. Accessthe online CNL Resource at www.aacn.nche.edu/CNL.“To me, a clinical nurseleader is a bedside, clinic orcommunity nurse who alsoworks as a leader to improvea hospital or larger healthcaresystem. CNLs are needed tocare for patients in crisis andadvocate for better care forthose whose voices are notbeing heard.”Susan Goins-Eplee, MSN, RN, recent CNLgraduate from the University of Virginia

Establishing a CNL Practice-Education PartnershipIf you are considering, planning, or have aCNL or advanced generalist master’s-degreeprogram, AACN invites you to becomepart of the network of schools that areimplementing this new curricular model.Being part of this network providesopportunities to learn what others are doing,share strategies, and gain access to the latestinformation and materials to support yourprogram. Practice sites interested in findingout more about the CNL and establishing apartnership with a local school of nursing areencouraged to make contact with AACN.Please direct all inquiries to Dr. Joan Stanley,AACN Senior Director of Education Policy, atjstanley@aacn.nche.edu.“I have been a CNO at HCAfor 14 years, and I believe theadoption of the CNL programand all the best practices it setsin motion will be an importantcontribution to our profession.I am truly passionate about thismodel of care.”Nancy Hilton, MN, RN, Chief Nurse Officer,St. Lucie Medical CenterUpdates on theClinical Nurse LeaderRegular updates on the CNL initiative arefeatured in AACN News Watch, a monthlyemail newsletter. To subscribe, send an emailrequest to newswatch@aacn.nche.edu.One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530Washington, DC 20036Phone: (202) 463-6930www.aacn.nche.eduCert no. COC-00518

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