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Nursing, M.S. (Clinical Nurse Leader)

Saint Louis University's Master of Science in Nursing (Clinical Nurse Leader) degree program prepares nurses for leadership roles in a variety of health care settings, focusing on quality improvement, clinical coordination and accountability for health outcomes as a provider and manager of care. The MSN-CNL prepares nurses to work in a broad range of positions across the health care system.

The Valentine School of Nursing is renowned for excellence in nursing education. In 2021, Niche ranked Saint Louis University’s Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing as the No. 8 best college in the country for nursing. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks our MSN-NP program as a top 50 program in their Best Graduate Schools survey.

We offer:

  • Faculty who are nationally recognized for teaching excellence, nursing leadership, scholarly research and student mentorship
  • State-of-the-art teaching facilities including online library and writing center resources
  • Location on a major health sciences campus
  • An innovative curriculum which offers students updated 21st-century nursing graduate competencies

Curriculum Overview

The MSN-CNL program at Saint Louis University is a non-advanced practice option that will prepare you to function as a master's prepared clinical nurse leader. The program is offered online in a part-time format and may be completed in as few as five semesters.  Please see the roadmap for our MSN-CNL curriculum plan.

Careers

In addition, upon completion of the program, graduates from SLU's Master of Science in Nursing (Clinical Nurse Leader) program will be eligible to sit for the clinical nurse leader exam offered by American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Nurse Certification.

Admission Requirements

The Saint Louis University Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing adheres to the principles of a holistic admission process in which selection criteria are broad-based and linked to our University’s and school’s mission and goals. While we do consider academic metrics we also look at applicant experiences, attributes, potential for success, and how applicants may contribute to the school’s learning environment and to the profession.

  • 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.

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.”

Application Requirements

Please follow the six steps outlined below to apply:

  • Step 1 - Application: Submit the graduate application and fee through either SLU or NursingCASNote: Students only need to submit one application option. There is no preference by the School of Nursing between the SLU or NursingCAS application.
  • Step 2 - Transcripts
    • Option A: If you are completing the application through SLU, please submit your official e-transcripts from all colleges/universities attended to graduate@slu.edu.

    • Option B: If you are completing the application through NursingCAS please submit your official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended directly to NursingCAS. They will provide instructions when the application is initiated. 

  • ​Step 3 - Recommendation FormsSubmit two recommendation forms.

    • Option A: If you are completing the application through SLU you will enter your references email address within the online application. Your references will receive an email with a recommendation form to complete and email back to Saint Louis University. 

    • Option B: If you are completing the application through NursingCAS they will provide instructions when the application is initiated.

  • Step 4 - ResumeAttach your professional resume within the SLU or NursingCAS application. 

  • Step 5 - Professional Goal Statement: Attach your professional goal statement within the SLU or NursingCAS application. The goal statement should outline your anticipated nursing career trajectory for five years after graduating and include an explanation of why you've decided on that path. The statement should be one-to-two pages and double-spaced.

  • Step 6 - RN License: Attach a copy of your unencumbered registered nurse license in the state in which clinical experience will be done within the SLU or NursingCAS application.

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Deadlines

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

Fall: Students should apply for the fall semester by June 1.

If the application deadline has passed for your semester of interest, please contact slunurse@slu.edu to determine if the application deadline has been extended.

Review Process

Applicants for admission to this program are considered individually.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans. 

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at Saint Louis University offers scholarship and graduate research assistantship opportunities to eligible graduate students. Additionally, most nursing students will participate in a tuition assistance program provided through their employer.

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

Accreditation

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing is fully approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice at the Valentine School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. To achieve its educational objectives, the school uses the hospitals within SSM Health and many health care organizations of greater St. Louis.

  1. Graduates will be able to implement collaborative strategies to provide ethical, high quality, safe, effective, patient-centered care.

  2. Graduates will be able to use scholarly inquiry including evidence-based practice and research application to improve decision-making and health outcomes.

  3. Graduates will be able to integrate advanced competencies, skills, theories, and cultural sensitivity in relationships with patients and professionals.

  4. Graduates will be able to design culturally sensitive patient care that includes health promotion and disease prevention.

  5. Graduates will be able to facilitate the improvement of health care through leadership within health care systems and communities.

  6. Graduates will be able to demonstrate competence in a specialized area of advanced practice nursing that builds on foundational nursing knowledge.

  7. Graduates will be able to utilize health care informatics and technologies to support practice.

  8. Graduates will be able to advocate for policies that improve the health of the public and the profession of nursing.

NURS 5170Advanced Pathophysiology3
NURS 5140Health Promotion3
NURS 5020Health Care Systems & Policy3
NURS 5110Advanced Assessment and Clinical Decision Making3
NURS 5200Gen Research Methods3
NURS 5000Epidemiology3
NURS 5025Informatics and Quality Improvement3
HCE 5500Ethics in Nursing& Health Care2
NURS 5080Advanced Pharmacology3
NURS 5604Advanced Clinical Studies3
NURS 5605Practicum in Clinical Leadership3
Total Credits32

Nurse Educator Option

Nurse educator courses provide an opportunity for course work and practicum experience in nursing education. NURS 5560 Evidence-Based Approaches for the Nurse Educator (2 cr) may be added to earn the Nurse Educator Certificate.

NURS 5570Curriculum Development in Nurse Education2
NURS 5580Instructional Strategies and Evaluation in Nurse Education2
NURS 5590Practicum in Nursing Education2
Total Credits6

Non-Course Requirements

Students will complete 400 clinical hours which includes 75 clinical hours in Advanced Assessment, 150 clinical hours in Advanced Clinical Studies and 175 Hours in Practicum in Clinical Leadership.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
NURS 5170 Advanced Pathophysiology 1 3
NURS 5140 Health Promotion 1 3
 Credits6
Spring
NURS 5200 Gen Research Methods 1 3
NURS 5110 Advanced Assessment and Clinical Decision Making 2 3
 Credits6
Summer
NURS 5000 Epidemiology 3 3
NURS 5020 Health Care Systems & Policy 3 3
 Credits6
Year Two
Fall
NURS 5025 Informatics and Quality Improvement 4 3
HCE 5500 Ethics in Nursing& Health Care 1 2
NURS 5604 Advanced Clinical Studies 2 3
 Credits8
Spring
NURS 5080 Advanced Pharmacology 1 3
NURS 5605 Practicum in Clinical Leadership 5 3
 Credits6
 Total Credits32
1

Fall or Spring

2

Fall or Spring. 2 credits theory, 1 credit clinical

3

Summer only

4

Fall only

5

Spring only. Follows NURS 5604 Advanced Clinical Studies (0-4 cr). 3 Credits Clinical.


Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions please contact:
Scott Ragsdale
Recruitment Specialist
SLU Valentine School of Nursing
314-977-8995
slunurse@slu.edu