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Online Master of Science in Nursing

Clinical Nurse Leader

  • One Year and Seven Months, Part-Time
  • No Campus Visits – 100% Online
  • Competitive Tuition Rates

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  • Admission Requirements
  • Enrollment Support
  • Engaged Learning
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Influence Care Delivery on a Larger Scale

Cleveland State University’s online Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN-CNL) program prepares you to become an effective leader in clinical settings. The CNL role was developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to address the critical need to improve the quality of patient care outcomes. As a master’s-prepared CNL, you will oversee the integration of care for diverse patient populations and will actively provide direct patient care in complex situations.

Accredited by the CCNE

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Higher Learning Commission

#1 Part-time Law School in Ohio - Cleveland State University

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No Application Fee!

In honor of nurses everywhere, there is NO application fee for our Clinical Nursing Leader program. Apply now for free!




Earning your MSN as a Clinical Nurse Leader positions you to lead and ensure that patients benefit from the latest innovations in care delivery. As a functioning part of an interprofessional team, you will develop competencies to practice across the continuum of care within any healthcare setting and connect evidence-based practice to organizational improvements. Coursework focuses on developing advanced skills in advocacy, education, policy, organization, supervision, delegation and interdisciplinary teamwork.

  • 100% online didactic coursework is asynchronous.
  • There are no on-campus residencies to attend.
  • You will complete 500 experiential learning hours in your community.
  • You can earn this degree in 1 year and 7 months part-time.
  • You will be fully prepared for the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) certification exam.

MSN Clinical Nurse Leader

Curriculum Sample

This course focuses on the critical analysis of scientific knowledge related to clinical problems identified from the perspective of the advanced practice nurse. Students investigate evidence-based practice culminating in application to identified clinical problems. (3 credits)

This course is designed to acquaint the student with information systems used in a variety of healthcare situations. It is an introduction to the use of computers and mobile devices in healthcare and electronic health literacy. The legal and ethical considerations of electronic social and professional communications and web-accessed educational materials are discussed. (3 credits)

The course focuses on strategic thinking for planning and managing in healthcare settings. Economics, reimbursement, budget planning, business planning and marketing are explored in relation to healthcare and nursing services. Issues such as healthcare financing practices, reimbursement for nursing care, cost accounting and nursing services, billing, resource allocation, managed care and insurance coverage are explored. The effect of such practices on nursing workforce/manpower issues is explored. Access to care is analyzed as a contributing factor to population health. The student will develop analytic skills and examine the ethical impact of economic decisions. (3 credits)

This course examines psychosocial, behavioral, educational, cultural, political and ethical factors that frame nursing interventions at the population level. In the laboratory component, students design and implement evidence-based nursing interventions and evaluate the outcomes of these interventions on populations. Requirements: 200 clinical hours over an average of 12-15 weeks. (4 credits)

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We’re here for you and ready to help you with enrollment and answer your questions about the program, including tuition, admission requirements, curriculum details and more.



Hands-on practice complements online coursework.

Engaged learning provides real-world opportunities to immerse yourself in your field and apply your growing knowledge to enhance healthcare outcomes. Engaged learning relies heavily on teamwork skills and provides an arena where you work professionally with community partners, your peers and CSU faculty members. Engaged learning combines civic involvement with academic coursework in a way that benefits you and the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Cleveland State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( Cleveland State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

This five-semester program requires 32 credits of online coursework and 500 practicum hours. It can be completed part-time in 1 year and 7 months.

The MSN Clinical Nurse Leader program costs $614.25* per credit hour for in-state students ($19,656.00 total* + fees) and $615.25* for out-of-state students ($19,688.00 total* + fees). Financial aid may be available to our online students. 

*Tuition rates as of 01/22/2024. Rates are subject to change. Visit for current rates.

Yes. Our faculty members are dedicated, caring and experienced professionals who want you to succeed. Our faculty are full-time professors and/or Certified Nurse Educators. Classes are small you can quickly get the feedback you need.


Dedicated Student Support

A CSU enrollment advisor can answer your questions and guide you through the application process. Click the button below to fill out a form and start the conversation.

  • Admission Requirements
  • Curriculum Details
  • Experiential learning
  • Enrollment Support
  • Financial Aid
  • Tuition Costs