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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 



2022 CNL Summit!

CNL Summit | A Contemporary Look at the CNL: Leadership and Versatility | February 17-19, 2022 | Orlando, FL

Register now for the CNL Summit!
A Contemporary Look at the CNL: Leadership and Versatility

February 17-19, 2020 | Orlando, FL

Register Now

View Call for Abstracts

Earn Continuing Education Credit with AACN's CNL Certification Exam Review Modules

The modules are designed for:

  • Individuals seeking to prepare for the CNL Certification Examination
  • Practicing CNLs renewing certification through continuing education units (CEUs)
  • Nursing students and professionals seeking continuing professional development opportunities

The CNL Certification Exam Review Course features 17 chapters across 6 separate modules. By completing all 6 modules, you are eligible to receive 18 continuing education credits.

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News & Announcements

Congratulations to the 2021 CNL Educator & Vanguard Award Winners

Rosemary Hoffmann, PhD, RN, CNL
Associate Professor
University of Pittsburgh


Latasha Kast, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNL
Advanced Clinical Education Specialist for Critical Care
UPMC Passavant 

Learn more about the award winners

Value of the CNL

Login to the CNC Web Portal!

To access the CNC web portal, click the button below.

MyCNC Portal

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