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About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 850 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. 



CNC Announces Second Annual Certified Clinical Nurse Leader Day

Published March 13, 2015

CNC Announces Second Annual 
Certified Clinical Nurse Leader Day of Recognition

National Day of Observance Set for March 19; Social Media Campaign Planned


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13, 2015 – Today, the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC) announced the second annual celebration of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) certification. Certified CNL® Day —which will be observed on March 19— recognizes nurse professionals around the country who have advanced their careers by earning the CNL credential.  Certified CNL® Day coincides with Certified Nurses Day™ a day set aside to honor certified nurses worldwide who make significant contributions to improving patient outcomes. 

“We are excited to celebrate the impactful role of the CNL and recognize those nurses who have stepped forward to demonstrate their expertise by becoming fully certified,” said Shantal Hall, director of CNC. “Because of the high level of clinical competence and knowledge that these professionals bring to the point of care, certified CNLs are enhancing patient care across practice settings wherever they are deployed.”

Educated at the master’s degree level, Clinical Nurse Leaders oversee the care coordination and integration of care for a distinct group of patients. These professionals put evidence-based practices into action to ensure that patients benefit from the latest innovations in care delivery. Although the CNL role varies across heath care settings, in general, the CNL evaluates patient outcomes, assesses cohort risk, and has the decision-making authority to change care plans when necessary.  In 2007, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing created the CNC as an autonomous certifying body to oversee the policies and procedures for the CNL Certification Program. Nurse professionals who earn this credential serve as a resource and an active member of the interdisciplinary healthcare team.

On Certified CNL Day, the CNC encourages Clinical Nurse Leaders to promote their credential by educating peers on the value of the CNL and the role the certification has played in advancing their career. Employers with CNLs on their healthcare teams are asked to recognize the contributions of these professionals. For employers who want to learn more about the credential and how to recruit CNLs, CNC has developed an online CNL Employer Toolkit and will host online discussions on its social media sites. 

“There are thousands of examples of how certified CNLs bring value to the healthcare delivery system and improve patience outcomes,” said Rose L. Hoffmann, PhD, RN, CNL, Chair of the CNC Board of Commissioners. “CNLs not only impact patient care but they have a significant influence on the nursing profession. Certified CNL Day gives us the opportunity to honor these individuals and recognize the body of knowledge that enables them to make a critical and impactful difference,” Hoffmann added.