Master of Nursing Graduate Degree

Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)


The focus of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) masters degrees is to prepare graduates with advanced leadership skills to be applied in the healthcare delivery system across a wide range of settings. Functions of the CNL include client advocacy, team manager, information manager, outcomes manager, systems analyst/risk anticipator, educator, and active professional.

Educational Objectives for the Clinical Nurse Leader

  1. Effect change through advocacy for the client, interdisciplinary health care team and the profession.
  2. Communicate effectively to achieve quality client outcomes and lateral integration of care for a cohort of clients.
  3. Pursue knowledge and skills as the CNL role, needs of clients, and the health care delivery system evolve.
  4. Delegate and utilize the nursing team resources (human and fiscal) and serve as a leader and partner in the interdisciplinary health care team.
  5. Identify clinical and cost outcomes that improve safety, effectiveness, timeliness, efficiency, quality, and the degree to which they are client-centered.
  6. Use information systems and technology at the point of care to improve health care outcomes.
  7. Participate in systems review to critically evaluate and anticipate risks to client safety to improve quality of client care delivery.
  8. Assume accountability for healthcare outcomes for a specific group of clients within a unit or setting recognizing the influence of the meso-system and macro-system on the microsystem.
  9. Assimilate and apply research-based information to design, implement and evaluate clients’ plans of care.
  10. Synthesize data, information and knowledge to evaluate and achieve optimal client and care environment outcomes.
  11. Use appropriate teaching learning principles and strategies as well as current information, materials and technologies to facilitate the learning for clients, groups, and other health care professionals.

MN Degree Program of Study

For More Information

For more information about the College of Nursing Master of Nursing (MN) degree please complete the online form.

To Apply: Complete the online application available on the Graduate School’s website at (application deadline February 15th).

This project is supported in part by funds from the Division of Nursing (DN), Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under grant number D09HP08335, Advanced Education Nursing Grants for $1,600,468.  The information or content and conclusions are those of Montana State University and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by the Division of Nursing, BHPr, DHHS or the U.S. Government.