Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)

U.S. News and World Report - Best Grad Schools - Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader 2018‌Have a degree in another field?

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) option offers you the opportunity to become a professional nurse, obtain the tools needed to thrive in an ever-changing health care system, and reshape the quality of patient care.

Intended for students who have already earned a baccalaureate or higher degree in a field other than nursing, the CNL option prepares graduates to provide direct patient care and clinical nursing leadership in hospitals, the community, long-term care facilities, the home, and other settings.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) developed the CNL role in collaboration with nurse leaders in academic and health care settings. 

Upon completion of the program, you’ll earn the Master of Science degree and will be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for licensure as a registered nurse. You are also eligible to sit for the CNL Certification Examination offered by the AACN Commission on Nurse Certification.

Fall Admission Plan of Study

Students admitted in the fall semester enroll in classes for four semesters and one summer session.

This plan of study is for students entering the CNL option in fall 2016 and subsequent fall semesters. 

Semester and Course Number/Title Credit/Clinical Hours
Fall Year 1
NURS 501: Pathophysiological and Pharmacological Bases for Nursing Practice 5 Credits 
NURS 503: Health Assessment Across the Lifespan 3 Credits
NURS 505: Introduction to Professional Nursing Practice (45 Clinical Hours) 4 Credits
NURS 507: Introduction to Nursing and the Clinical Nursing Leadership Role 3 Credits 
Total: 15 Credits 
Spring Year 1 
NURS 514: Adult Health Nursing (135 Clinical Hours) 6 Credits
NURS 625: Introduction to Gerontological Nursing 2 Credits 
NRSG 736: Technology Solutions for Generating Knowledge in Health Care 3 Credits 
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-Based Practice 3 Credits
Total: 14 Credits
Summer Year 1 
NURS 509: Maternal and Newborn Nursing (90 Clinical Hours) 5 Credits
NURS 517: Pediatric Nursing (90 Clinical Hours) 5 Credits
Total: 10 Credits
Fall Year 2 
NURS 508: Community/Public Health Nursing (90 Clinical Hours) 4 Credits 
NURS 511: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (90 Clinical Hours) 5 Credits
NRSG 780: Health Promotion and Population Health 3 Credits
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
Total: 15 Credits
Spring Year 2 
NURS 523: Clinical Nurse Leader Emphasis Practicum 8 Credits
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy:  Leadership & Quality Improvement 3 Credits
Total: 11 Credits
TOTAL 65 CREDITS (4 Semesters/1 Summer Session) 

Spring Admission Plan of Study

Students admitted in the spring semester may enroll in classes for:

  • four semesters and one summer
    or
  • four semesters and two summers.

Students choosing to enroll in both summer courses (509 and 517) in the first summer may have the opportunity to apply for a residency or certified nursing assistant position at a health care facility for their second summer in the program.

This plan of study is for students entering the CNL program in spring 2017 and subsequent spring semesters. This option is four semesters and one summer session.

Semester and Course Number/Title Credit/Clinical Hours
Spring Year 1
NURS 501: Pathophysiological and Pharmacological Bases for Nursing Practice 5 Credits 
NURS 503: Health Assessment Across the Lifespan 3 Credits
NURS 505: Introduction to Professional Nursing Practice (45 Clinical Hours) 4 Credits
NURS 507: Introduction to Nursing and the Clinical Nursing Leadership Role 3 Credits 
Total: 15 Credits 
Summer Year 1 
NURS 517: Pediatric Nursing (90 Clinical Hours) 5 Credits
NURS 509: Maternal and Newborn Nursing (90 Clinical Hours) 5 Credits
 Total: 10 Credits
Fall Year 1 
NURS 514: Adult Health Nursing (135 Clinical Hours) 6 Credits
NURS 625: Introduction to Gerontological Nursing 2 Credits
NRSG 736: Technology Solutions for Generating Knowledge in Health Care 3 Credits
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-Based Practice 3 Credits
Total: 14 Credits
Spring Year 2 
NURS 508: Community/Public Health Nursing (90 Clinical Hours) 4 Credits
NURS 511: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (90 Clinical Hours) 5 Credits
NRSG 780: Health Promotion and Population Health 3 Credits
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
Total: 15 Credits
Summer Year 2
Residency or Course Work
Fall Year 2 
NURS 523: Clinical Nurse Leader Emphasis Practicum 8 Credits
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy:  Leadership & Quality Improvement 3 Credits
Total: 11 Credits
TOTAL 65 CREDITS (4 Semesters/1 Summer Session) 

CNL Admission Requirements and Application Deadlines

Qualifications:

  • Baccalaureate degree in a major other than nursing with an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Science GPA of 3.0 (chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology)
  • Prerequisite Courses:
    • General Chemistry with Lab
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Lab
    • Microbiology with Lab
    • Human Growth and Development
    • Statistics
    • Nutrition
  • The following prerequisite science courses must also have been completed within the last 10 years in order to be eligible for consideration:
    • Chemistry
    • Anatomy & Physiology I
    • Anatomy & Physiology II
    • Microbiology

Application Materials:

Materials

Submission Guidelines

Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee.

Start your application now.
When completing the online application, you must select ”NURS-MS,” and then choose CNL.

Official transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted in a sealed envelope, as prepared by the sending institution. Electronic transcripts from University System of Maryland institutions will be accepted in lieu of official, sealed transcripts.

Submit by mail to:
University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Student and Academic Services
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21201-1579

Essay. You may submit the essay portion with your online application. We recommend that you compose the essay portion using word processing software and copy and paste it into the text box in the online application.

Submit via online application, via email to admissions.nursing@umaryland.edu, or by mail.

Typed résumé or CV. Be sure to include your full name with your résumé submission.

Submit via email to:
admissions.nursing@umaryland.edu

One recommendation. Your recommendation must come from a professor who can attest to your academic performance. Only the first recommendation received will be considered.

Complete this form to generate a request to a recommender you identify. After Feb. 2, 2018 a recommendation form and letter will be required.

Residency classification. Applicants who are claiming in-state (Maryland) residency MUST apply for in-state status. 

Complete a residency application and submit it using the instructions supplied on the application.

Prerequisite Course List. Download, print, and complete the Prerequisite Course List. Prerequisite courses must be taken at regionally or nationally accredited schools. ACE credits are not accepted.

Submit by mail:
University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Student and Academic Services
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21201-1579

Professional Rescuer (without automatic defibrillator) or Professional Health Care Provider-level CPR certification. If you are already certified at the time you apply, you must renew your certification, if necessary, so that it will be active when you start the plan of study. (Certification must remain current throughout the plan of study.)

The certification does not need to be submitted at the same time as your application, but those seeking certification for the first time should take the test no more than three months before the first day of class. 


Applicants to the CNL program who meet minimum standards to be considered for admission will be asked to interview in person as part of the selection process. The interview will also include a proctored writing sample.

Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree in the U.S:

  • If you do not have a degree from a U.S. high school, college, or university, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your transcripts evaluated.

More information.

Deadlines:

Spring 2018 As of October 31, 2017, the Clinical Nurse Leader specialty will not accept any additional applications. 
The deadline to submit required application materials is November 10, 2017.
Fall 2018

Application Opens: Nov. 1
Review Process Begins: Jan. 15, 2018
Priority Deadline*: March 1, 2018
*For best consideration, applicants are encouraged to have all required application materials submitted by the priority deadline.

The Admissions Committee will review completed applications on a rolling basis and release decisions accordingly. Competitive applicants will be offered admission first. Space is limited so applicants are encouraged to apply early. 


If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact the Office of Admissions to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.

What You'll Do

The CNL option prepares graduates to:

  • Design, provide, and oversee the care of individuals, families, groups, and populations
  • Provide direct patient care in complex situations in a variety of settings
  • Evaluate patient outcomes, assess risk, and revise plans of care to improve outcomes
  • Practice nursing based on research evidence to assure that patients benefit from the latest care innovations
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals to plan, implement, and evaluate patient care in a variety of settings
  • Use information systems and technologies to improve health care outcomes
  • Advocate for patients, families, and communities

For more information on the roles, competencies, and responsibilities of the CNL, please read the Competencies and Curricular Expectations for Clinical Nurse Leader Education and Practice.

Find out how your prerequisites transfer.

Before you begin the admissions process, you can submit copies of your unofficial transcripts to us for review, and an admissions counselor will advise you on your requirements for admission.

Watch student Oreen Taylor talk about UMSON's CNL option:

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