The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is an emerging nursing role developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in collaboration with an array of leaders from the practice environment. Two AACN task forces were convened to identify (1) how to improve the quality of patient care and (2) how to best prepare nurses with the competencies needed to thrive in the current and future healthcare system. The CNL role is not one of administration or management. The CNL is a leader in healthcare delivery across all settings, not just in acute care. Implementation of this role will vary across settings.
CNLs are providers and managers of patient care. They design, implement, and evaluate care by coordinating, delegating, and supervising the services provided by their team, which includes licensed nurses, technicians, and other health professionals. Broadly, it is a national initiative in response to patient care needs and the current methods of health care delivery.
The successful CNL emphasizes disease prevention and universal access to high-quality, cost-effective, and culturally competent care for all patients. CNLs are trained to implement evidence-based best practices, evaluate potential risks to patient safety, identify and monitor care outcomes, provide education to various communities, and design health-promotion and risk-reduction services for diverse populations.
Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNL) are typically generalists while Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) are trained specifically for specialty practice. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, "the CNL coordinates and implements client care, while the CNS designs and evaluates patient-specific and population-based programs." Additionally, "The CNL evaluates and implements evidence-based practice while the CNS has the added responsibility of generating new evidence … the roles are distinct and complementary."
The program takes 2 years, or 6 semesters. Courses are held year-round, in the fall, spring, and summer.
For the 2014-2015 academic year, the cost is $1,209 per unit. The program is 69-units, so the total tuition will cost approximately $84,000. You can expect to pay about $3,000 more for books, clinical fees, etc.
Yes! After the 5th semester, you will take the NCLEX exam. At this point, we have a 100% pass rate for the NCLEX at the Master’s level.
You are required to complete the application online. All documents (transcripts, resume, personal statement, and letters) should be uploaded through the online application. You may access the online application at the following website: http://www.usfca.edu/admission/graduate/apply/. Please note, we will not accept any paper application materials.
You may upload official or unofficial copies of your transcripts as long as they are readable and include your name, grades, GPA, and name of the school. Transcripts must also reflect any degree earned at the institution. If you are accepted and decide to attend, we will then require you to mail official transcripts from all schools attended.
The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0.
Do I still have a chance of being accepted if my GPA is less than 3.0?
We take a holistic approach when reviewing applications. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0, but we accept applicants who have less than a 3.0 under certain circumstances. Doing well in prerequisite courses along with relevant work and volunteer experience can improve your application. We do not base acceptance solely on grades or any other single factor. We look at the whole application packet to make a decision.
We look at the cumulative GPA from your undergraduate degree, as well as GPAs from all institutions attended. We look at the prerequisite grades separately. The average GPA for admitted students is 3.4.
We do offer financial aid. US citizens and permanent residents in the non-nurse program are eligible for up to $20,500 per year, in unsubsidized federal loans. You can apply for Graduate PLUS loans to make up the remainder of the cost. Many candidates also look online for appropriate scholarships or grants.
No, we do not require a CNA license, although it will put you at a slight advantage to have one.
No, we do not.
We accept applications two times a year. The deadlines are October 15th for spring (January), and February 1st for summer (May). We do not accept applications on a rolling basis, so please apply within the appropriate deadline window. These are strict deadlines and all of your materials should be in by the designated time. We will begin review on the deadline day.
Please refer to the five year academic calendar to see when each semester starts and ends and when you will have your holiday breaks: http://web.usfca.edu/registration/
No, we do not conduct interviews. The admissions committee carefully reviews each applicant’s personal statement instead.
Letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can speak to either your academic or intellectual readiness for graduate level work, or your professional capacities or experiences. Our online application allows the applicant to supply the names and email addresses of their recommenders. Upon receiving those, USF will contact your recommenders by email with instructions to complete their information and upload their letter. Please note that we will not accept paper letters of recommendation, or any other paper application materials.
You personal statement should be a 1 to 3 page document that describes your reasons for pursuing a master's degree and for choosing the graduate nursing program at the University of San Francisco. The statement should relate your past experiences to a career in nursing, your understanding of the profession and the CNL role at USF, and future career goals. We recommend that any student applying with less than a 3.0 GPA include in their personal statement a brief explanation of their past grades and why they have the ability to be successful in the MSN program at USF.
We typically receive between 250-400 applications per semester, and we admit approximately 40. We keep a waitlist for the relevant application cycle but this waitlist does not roll over the following semester.
No, you may not defer enrollment. Should you be admitted to the program but find yourself unable to attend, you will need to re-apply.
In order to re‐apply, simply go to the online application and fill out a new application. We are not able to provide individual feedback on your application, however we recommend that you submit an updated resume, statement and different letters of recommendation to strengthen your application. Please note that you will need to resubmit all application materials, as we are unable to keep any previous application materials on file.
We try to let you know approximately 6-8 weeks after the deadline.
The sciences (anatomy, physiology, and microbiology lecture and lab) have a seven year limit. There is no time limit on the other prerequisites.
No, you must complete all of the prerequisites. We also cannot accept any substitutions; however, we can accept passing CLEP scores for certain prerequisite courses. To learn more about the CLEP test, please visit www.collegeboard.com.
Yes, we will. We look at the average between both.
Yes, you can be in the process of completing prerequisites when you apply. However, a student cannot matriculate into our program unless all of the prerequisites are completed before our term begins. Please be sure to check the USF academic calendar and the calendar of the institution where you are taking your prerequisites to make sure they do not overlap. http://web.usfca.edu/registration/
You can take the lectures to these sciences online, but you may not take the labs online. Labs must be taken in person.
Similarly to the science labs, the public speaking class must in done in person and cannot be completed online.
No, you cannot. We only accept a Public Speaking and/or Oral Communication course that focuses on developing and delivering public speeches. We cannot accept substitutions, including public speaking experience.