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Congratulations to the 2020 CNL Educator & Vanguard Award Winners

Kris L'Ecuyer, PhD, RN, CNL
Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing
Saint Louis University

Veronica Rankin, DNP, RN-BC, CNL, NP-C
Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center       

Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)

The Clinical Nurse LeaderSM or CNL® is a master’s educated nurse, prepared for practice across the continuum of care within any healthcare setting. The CNL was developed by AACN in collaboration with leaders from healthcare practice and education to address the critical need to improve the quality of patient care outcomes.

The CNL is a clinical leader - at the point of care – who focuses on:

  • Care Coordination
  • Outcomes Measurement
  • Transitions of Care
  • Interprofessional Communication & Team Leadership
  • Risk Assessment
  • Implementation of Best Practices Based on Evidence
  • Quality Improvement

Learn more about the CNL 



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News & Announcements
  • New CNL Innovative Project Award

    July 1, 2020

    The Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC) is now accepting applications for the 2021 CNL Innovative Project Award. The award application process is open to CNLs, faculty, and practice partners. The submission deadline is October 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET. Applicants will be notified on February 28th. The award will be disbursed on March 31st. Learn more and download the application.

  • Celebrate Certified CNL Day

    March 3, 2020

    Join the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC) in celebrating Certified CNL Day on Thursday, March 19, 2020! Certified CNL Day spreads awareness to recognize our certified Clinical Nurse Leaders and provide employers with an opportunity to extend their appreciation to their certified CNL staff. CNC will also host a Free Webinar. Learn more and download resources available.

  • CNC Call for Volunteers is Now Open

    December 2, 2019

    The Commission on Nurse Certification is now accepting applications for two available positions on the CNC Board of Commissioners (CNCBOC), one position on the Marketing Committee and thirteen positions on the Item Writers Committee. CNCBOC and Item Writer positions require a three-year commitment. Marketing Committee positions require a two-year commitment. Download the guidelines and application.

Clinical Nurse Leaders Class of 2019 Academy Fellows

Join the Commission on Nurse Certification in congratulating three certified Clinical Nurse Leaders recognized as 2019 New Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing:        


Annette Bourgault, PhD, RN, CNL
Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida College of Nursing
Nurse Scientist, Orlando Health               

Lauran J. Hardin, MSN, RN-BC, CNL, FNAP
Senior Advisor, Camden Coalition National Center for Complex and Social Needs, American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner     

Meg Zomorodi, PhD, RN, CNL 
Assistant Provost, Director for the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill