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MSU begins Clinical Nurse Leader graduate option.

Montana State University at Bozeman began the fall semester with a new graduate track. The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) option prepares nurses for clinical leadership in all health care settings, to implement outcomes-based practice and quality improvement strategies, and manage microsystems of care. CNLs are master's prepared nurses with advanced nursing knowledge for setting specific practice at the point of care. Graduates of CNL programs have advanced nursing knowledge but do not meet the criteria for advanced practice nursing (APRN). According to Dr. Marcia Stanhope, consultant to MSU's CNL program, the CNL should be considered a "master's in leadership" Dr. Stanhope met with MSU faculty in early October and provided insight into the development and implementation of the CNL role in health care settings across the U.S. CNL graduates are prepared to function in the roles of clinician, outcomes manager, client advocate, educator, information manager, system analyst/risk anticipator, team manager, and member of a profession. CNLs practice in a wide variety of settings including acute care, long term care, home health care, public health, and critical access hospitals.

MSU received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the CNL program. A graduate student attending MSU can complete all required coursework in one academic year (3 semesters-fall, spring & summer) or longer if the student prefers to attend part time. Courses are taught using distance learning technologies (WebCT) using the Internet with minimal real-time meetings. Students accepted into the first cohort began taking core classes fall semester with the family nurse practitioner (FNP) and clinical nurse specialist (CNS) students. They will begin CNL specific clinical courses spring semester and full time students will complete a clinical immersion experience in the summer. Clinical rotations, supervised by a faculty-preceptor dyad, are completed in the student's home community whenever possible.

Nurses interested in learning more about the CNL option are encouraged to visit the College of Nursing website at academic/mn.htm or contact Ms. Lynn Taylor, the graduate program Administrative Assistant at lynnt@ or (406) 994-3500. Applications for admission for fall 2008 are due February 15, 2008.

Charlene Winters, PhD, APRN, BC, CNL, Project Director

Kate Siegrist, MSN, CNM, CNL Recruiter
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Title Annotation:Parish Nursing
Author:Winters, Charlene; Siegrist, Kate
Publication:The Pulse
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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