Online MSN Degrees in Clinical Nurse Leadership (CNL) - Programs & Admission Requirements


In order to meet the demands of an ever-evolving field such as healthcare, there is a need for qualified nurse leaders who can mitigate problems and deliver quality patient care. Thus, many universities offer an online master’s program in clinical nurse leadership (CNL). These programs are meant for training practicing nurses in advanced nursing practice, transition management, and leadership.

A master’s program in clinical nurse leadership generally comprises of 35 to 40 credit-hours and can be completed in two years. Students explore topics such as biostatistics, care management and resources, finance for healthcare leaders, and healthcare informatics. These programs provide nurses with a holistic view of leadership in nursing and evidence-based practice.

Nurses who wish to take their career to the next level in management can opt for a degree in nurse leadership. At the end of the program, graduates can also sit for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) CNL Certification Exam.

The following guide explores six exceptional online master’s programs in clinical nurse leadership and three notable faculty members from these programs.

Featured Online CNL Programs
Sacred Heart University MSN - Clinical Nurse Leader
Sacred Heart University RN-BSN-MSN - Clinical Nurse Leader
University of Cincinnati MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP (for RNs)
University of Cincinnati MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner (for RNs)
Queens University of Charlotte Master of Science in Nursing: Clinical Nurse Leader
Queens University of Charlotte Post-Master's Certificate: Clinical Nurse Leader
Misericordia University Online MSN - Adult-Gerontology NP
Misericordia University Online MSN - Family NP
Saint Xavier University Clinical Leadership Certificate
Saint Xavier University Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Leadership

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN Southern New Hampshire University Online MS - Construction Management

Professors to Know in Clinical Nurse Leadership Programs

  • Rebecca Witten Grizzle, PhD Sacred Heart University

    Dr. Rebecca Witten Grizzle is a clinical assistant professor in the online MSN program at Sacred Heart University. She teaches a core online healthcare research course and clinical nurse leader (CNL) specialization and clinical courses. Additionally, she also guides students pursuing the CNL graduate program. She is an active member of the college’s Continuing Education Committee, which is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Northeast Multistate Division. She is also a board-certified CNL and adult nurse practitioner.

    Presently, Dr. Grizzle’s scholarly efforts are focused on developing interactive online research modules as a member of the Wolters Kluwer Editorial Advisory Board. She is a member of professional organizations such as the Central Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association and the Society for Perioperative Assessment and Quality Improvement. Her research has been published in the Texas Public Health Journal and she has published several book chapters on clinical topics. Professor Grizzle has won numerous accolades in recent years, such as the Best Clinical Vignette Poster Presentation at the annual Perioperative Medical Summit. She holds her PhD and MSN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and her BSN from Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • Rebekah J. Hamilton, PhD Rush University

    Dr. Rebekah J. Hamilton is an assistant dean for generalist education at Rush University’s College of Nursing. Her teaching career has spanned the GEM, post-licensure CNL, DNP and PhD programs, and she hopes to continue teaching and mentoring students in her present role. Her research efforts are focused on the role of the clinical nurse leader in healthcare settings and the need for clinical nurse leaders.

    Dr. Hamilton’s work has appeared in influential journals such as the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the Journal of Wound Ostomy & Continence Nursing, and the Journal of Nursing Scholarship. She also has received many awards such as the DAISY Nursing Faculty Award and the Founders’ Award for Research. She earned her PhD from the University of Wisconsin, as well as her MSN and BSN from the University of Texas Medical Branch.

  • Rosemary L. Hoffmann, PhD University of Pittsburgh

    Dr. Rosemary L. Hoffmann is the MSN program director and the program coordinator for the clinical nurse leader degree at the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches courses such as leadership, healthcare policy and finance, education and mentoring in the clinical setting, contemporary issues and the CNL role, and the CNL clinical practical.

    Before joining the University of Pittsburgh, she taught at the West Penn School of Nursing. She is a member of professional organizations such as the Clinical Nurse Leader Association and Sigma Theta Tau. Her research has been published in prominent journals such as the Journal of Clinical Excellence, the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, and the Journal of Professional Nursing. Professor Hoffmann has won many awards throughout her career, such as the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award and Distinguished Clinical Scholar’s Award. She completed her PhD, MSN, and BSN at the University of Pittsburgh.

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