Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)

Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)

You will be prepared for an advanced generalist practitioner to provide clinical leadership at the point of service in a variety of practice settings. This unique program requires formal partnering between universities and health systems to ensure graduates will be provided a practice environment to enact the role of the Clinical Nurse Leader.

Built from the core curriculum in other master’s degree programs, this advanced generalist nurse is differentiated from other advanced practice nurses in their abilities to:

  • manage complex clinical cases and provide leadership at the point of care;
  • scan the practice environment to identify opportunities for quality and process improvements;
  • use technology and informatics to support outcomes measurement; and
  • lead teams in the delivery of health care in multiple settings across the care continuum.

This program will assist nurses in developing advanced clinical knowledge, leadership skills, and systems knowledge to provide clinical leadership in all healthcare settings at the point of service; implement evidence based and outcomes-based practice; develop and implement quality improvement strategies; and create and manage microsystems of care that will be responsive to the needs of individuals and families.

The program is designed to prepare nurse leaders who can address contemporary issues in the evolving health care environment. The program places emphasis on providing services to the medically underserved.  

The MSN degree with the CNL major requires 38 credit hours and completion of a clinical immersion project (designed with the health system partner). The MSON is committed to flexibility in the program and therefore offers full-time and part-time options for degree completion.

The Master of Science in Nursing Degree is conferred at the completion of the program requirements. The program is offered through a cohort model where students attend classes at the sites of health systems partners (in the evening). Courses are web supported, and several courses are available via online delivery.

Graduates of the CNL program are eligible to sit for the Clinical Nurse Leader board certification examination offered by the AACN after meeting post-graduation criteria as stipulated by the AACN.

Application to the Clinical Nurse Leader Master's Program

You can apply to the Clinical Nurse Leader programs through our online application. For questions or assistance regarding the application process, contact: Jenny Duncil at  or (313) 993-2455

View the Admission Criteria (PDF)

MSN Clinical Nurse Leader Program Brochure

Graduate Nursing Program Objectives

Graduates of the Master of Science in Nursing degree program achieve the following terminal objectives:

  1. Demonstrate own professional role practice consistent with the competencies of the unique specialty at the master's level.
  2. Translate theoretical and conceptual knowledge into advanced nursing practice actions that promote optimal health care quality and patient safety outcomes.
  3. Integrate informatics, health care technology, and interpersonal collaboration in the delivery of person-centered nursing practice for individuals and populations.
  4. Engage in systems leadership with a focus on preventive care, policy development, and patient advocacy.
  5. Integrate the Jesuit and Mercy traditions in providing culturally competent, compassionate, holistic, and person-centered care with a commitment to human dignity in the contemporary world.

A Note to Online Students

It is the responsibility of all applicants applying for admission in an online graduate nursing program to confirm if the program meets specific licensure requirements in the applicant’s state of residence. Applicants may contact the applicable licensing board at

For Program Specific Information

For more information about the program, please contact Julia Stocker Schneider, PhD, RN at or (313) 731-2097.