Clinical Nurse Leaders

Clinical Nurse Leaders




Clinical Nurse Leaders

Leaders are the heartbeat of each and every organization. An organization requires leaders, and departments within the organization often have leaders to command the staff and drive them towards realizing the set goals and objectives of a particular company. The question begs, who is a clinical nurse leader? This paper seeks to address the main concern of the question by looking at various dimensions in all that takes place in clinical nurse leadership.

Educational preparation and roles of the clinical nurse leader (CNL)

A clinical nurse manager refers to an all-around nurse. In that, the CNL is a community, bedside, and above all a clinical nurse who works as a manager to improve care rendered to patients and maximize on better caregiving (School of Nursing, 2016). The education for a CNL role is comprehensive as it has been fashioned to meet various elements. Liberal education that acts as the foundation of a CNL`s education. Liberal education capitalizes on helping a CNL to develop his or her judgment fully, and acquire effective critical thinking skills. The second element involves facilitation of professional values and makes value-based behaviors the basis of executing duties. Professional values include altruism, accountability, dignity, integrity, and social justice. More so, a CNL needs to develop high competency in areas of but not limited to communication, critical thinking, assessment, nursing technology and resource management, disease management, diversity, and global health care (Stanley, 2006).

From the education competencies that each and every CNL needs to undertake, it is clear that this is a more modernized and hard line of nursing profession. As such, a CNL needs to serve different roles. Some of the roles include managing care offered to individuals, clinical populations and communities as a whole. Secondly, risk anticipation and possible reduction in all as appertains to the safety of a patient. More so, customization of possible patterns designed to meet needs of individuals, clinical setting, and or communities. Advocate for delivery of high quality cares for their clients. More so, a CNL is both a member and a leader of care teams in caregiving. Lastly, a CNL is both an educator and information manager in a bid to ensure delivery of high-quality services (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2007).

How the CNL Influences Direct Patient Care

Through the CNL`s role as an advocator, a CNL communicates effectively and efficiently with care teams to achieve high-quality care for all patients. As a caregiver, a CNL directly is involved with bedside observation of patients in a bid to help the patients recover. A CNL personal participation in caregiving serves as a direct influence a CNL has on a patient in a hospital setting (Stavrianopoulos, 2012).


A CNL strives to achieve justified social justice in the course of providing health care to individual, clinical populations, and the community setting at large. Therefore, it is important for the clinical nurse leaders to acquire relevant education in order to enhance their leadership competence and promote organization’s success.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2007). White Paper on the Education and Role of the Clinical Nurse Leader. American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

School of Nursing. (2016). Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) (onsite & online). Retrieved from University of Pittsburg:

Stanley, D. (2006). Recognizing and defining clinical nurse leaders. British Journal of Nursing, 15(2), 108-111.

Stavrianopoulos, T. (2012, July-September). The clinical nurse leader. HEALTH SCIENCE JOURNAL, 6(3), 392-401.