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Nursing (M.S.N. - Clinical Nurse Leader)

Saint Louis University’s Master of Science in Nursing prepares you to function as a clinical nurse leader (CNL), a role developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in collaboration with leaders from nursing practice and nursing education.

About the Program

The M.S.N.-C.N.L. program at Saint Louis University is a non-advanced practice option that will prepare you to function as a clinical nurse leader. The program is offered online in a part-time format and is completed in two years.

About Clinical Nurse Leaders

Clinical nurse leaders provide leadership at the point of care. They focus on outcomes measurement, risk assessment, quality improvement, interprofessional communication and evidence-based practice. The CNL coordinates the care of a distinct group of patients and actively provides or oversees direct patient care in complex situations.

Program Highlights

Highlights of the program include:

  • Faculty who are nationally recognized for teaching excellence, nursing leadership, scholarly research and student mentorship.
  • State-of-the-art teaching facilities.
  • Part of a major health sciences campus.
Curriculum and Program Details

Students in SLU’s M.S.N.-C.N.L. program are required to complete 32 hours of coursework, including:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology (3)
  • Advanced Pharmacology (3)
  • Health Promotion (3)
  • Health Care Ethics (2)
  • Research methods (3)
  • Epidemiology (3)
  • Health Care Systems and Policy (3)
  • Informatics and Quality Improvement (3)

You will also complete 400 clinical hours:

  • Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Decision Making (3 credit hours total — 2 credits theory and 1 credit clinical with 75 clinical hours)
  • Advanced Clinical Studies (3 credit hours total — 1 credit theory and 2 credits clinical with 150 clinical hours)
  • Practicum in clinical leadership (3 credit hours total — 3 credits clinical with 175 clinical hours)

Saint Louis University's nursing faculty is nationally recognized for its teaching expertise, nursing leadership, scholarly research and student mentorship. Faculty members from the School of Nursing have won numerous prestigious awards, honors and fellowships.

Students learn from faculty who are expert teachers and clinicians who excel in their nursing specialty areas and in nursing education. For six out of the last seven years, a Saint Louis University faculty member has been named the top nursing educator in the region in St. Louis Magazine’s Excellence in Nursing awards.

All nursing faculty are master's-prepared; the majority are doctorally prepared.

Graduates will be prepared to sit for certification as a clinical nurse leader.

Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
Cost Calculator
Financial Aid

Scholarships and Financial Aid
SLU’s School of Nursing provides some tuition assistance scholarships to eligible graduate students enrolled in the MSN-CNL program. Most students get some funding, including from their employers. Traineeships and graduate assistantships available.

Applicant Criteria

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited college or university.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or greater on a 4.0 scale.
  • Two letters of recommendation attesting to your character and to your ability to complete a graduate program.
  • A personal statement outlining your background, leadership potential, and nursing experience. Please include why you have decided upon the CNL trajectory.
  • Copy of current unencumbered Registered Nurse license.

Prerequisite Courses:

  • Completion of an undergraduate-level descriptive and inferential statistics course prior to enrollment in “Research Methods.”
  • Completion of a beginning-level health assessment course or the equivalent thereof prior to enrollment in “Advanced Health Assessment.”

To apply, you’ll need:

Application Requirements
Application form and fee
Two letters of recommendation
Personal statement

Requirements for International Students

Application Deadlines

Spring: Students should apply for the spring semester by January 1.

Fall: Students should apply for the fall semester by June 30.

Review Process

Applicants for admission to this program are considered individually.