Clinical Nurse Leader Program
The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program at the University of Northern Colorado leading to a master’s degree prepares nurses in advanced generalist nursing practice. This program prepares them to oversee the care coordination for patients, assess risks, develop quality improvement strategies, facilitate team communication, and implement evidence-based solutions at the unit level. The role prepares nurses to provide direct care services while exercising clinical judgment, systems improvement, patient advocacy. CNLs are leaders by definition and this leadership occurs at the point of care. It does not focus on nursing administration or management.
CNLs are typically found at the beside or providing direct patient care in other settings where they work with other members of the healthcare team to provide a safe environment for patients through a focus on needs and individualized care. Completing the program prepares participants to sit for the Clinical Nurse Leader Certification exam, a mark of excellence that signifies that the CNL possesses the requisite knowledge and skills to practice in this capacity.
The UNC School of Nursing CNL program is designed for nurses with a BSN degree who are interested in expanding their skills at the bedside. The course of study focuses on competencies of Master’s nursing education including advanced pharmacology, health assessment and pathophysiology. Additional course include theory, health policy, leadership, quality and safety, and environment of health care delivery. Clinical practicum experiences are also threaded through the program. Courses are offered to accommodate the working nurse and will take 3 years to complete on a part time basis. Participants have the opportunity to take additional education courses as part of the program, leading to a certificate in nursing education. This will prepare them as clinical instructors and/or nurse educators, as well as CNLs. The CNL program consists of 36 credit hours including 450 clinical practicum hours and the education certificate includes 9 credit hours for a total of 45 credits. It is offered as a hybrid program with some courses offered in the classroom and some online.
Kathleen Dunemn, PhD, APRN, CNM-BC
Associate Professor, CNL Coordinator
Campus Box 125, Gunter Hall
School of Nursing
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639
Office: Gunter Hall, Rm 2400
Phone: 970-351-2293 or 970-351-3081