Would you like to make an extra $16,000 a year?

What if you weren’t only making more money but you were also more driven, fulfilled and happy in your new role? With an average annual salary of about $100,000, CNLs make $16,000 more than registered nurses.

As a clinical nurse leader, your specialized training and experience will guide your team and improve patient care. The role of clinical nurse leaders is unique in its ability to be both far-reaching within and outside of the clinical setting. In this unique position, you can provide hands-on healthcare, while also working to improve the patient care model.

Are you ready to start enjoying a career with limitless possibilities? Read on to learn about finding the right CNL programs.

Finding the Best Online CNL Programs.

CNLs have a lot of different areas they can work in. Let’s look at the different career paths before reviewing CNL programs.

Here’s a short list of the career paths a critical nurse leader (CNL) can qualify for.

  • CNL Industry Sectors:
  • Urgent Care
  • Telemetry
  • Private Practice
  • Military
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Home Health Agencies
  • Government Agencies
  • General Surgical Units
  • Education
  • Community Health Agencies

Job responsibilities of a CNL are different than a standard nursing position. As a CNL you’ll have more people depending on you to help things run smoothly.

Can you imagine yourself leading a team and providing quality patient care? Every day you’ll coordinate with other medical professionals to design patient care plans.

You’ll need to have superb communication skills and be able to prioritize projects effectively. On a daily basis, you’ll be solving problems and delegating responsibilities.

Next, we’ll explain how to choose the right education path to meet your career objectives.

How to Choose Your Education Path

You can only become a CNL if you’re a registered nurse (RN). Ultimately, you’ll need to obtain a Master’s degree to become a CNL.

As a CNL you’ll have a specific educational path to take.

  • Bachelor’s of Science
  • Master degree
  • Post Masters Certifications
  • CNL Exam

Are you looking to advance your already present career? Make a switch to a new area of studies? Or are you brand new to the nursing profession and looking for a place to begin.

Knowing your desired outcome will help you pick the most effective courses. Let’s look at when you should consider getting a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing Degree

Before you can earn your Master’s degree, you’ll be taking classes for your BSN. Do you already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree? You might want to earn a second bachelor’s since your BSN will better prepare you for the master’s course load.

A Bachelor’s degree will provide you with the most comprehensive course load. You’ll be taking courses that focus on subjects such as:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition and Diet
  • Life Span
  • Nursing Research
  • Family

Now, let’s look at what you can expect as you advance in your master’s.

Online Master’s in Nursing

Are you ready to start fulfilling your desire to be a leader? As you take your Master of Science in Nursing programs, you’ll enjoy learning highly specific material that relates to your job role.

If you’re taking your Master of Science in Nursing online you can choose from three different learning tracks. Here are the three different MS degrees in nursing you can choose from:

MSN in Clinical Leadership

Do you want to continue working with patients, while still providing care plans? An MSN in Clinical Leadership is perfect for nurses that want to be hands-on and behind the scenes.

You’ll enjoy taking classes about pharmacology, health assessments, evidence-based improvements and more. The advanced training you complete is applicable to all types of clinical settings.

MSN in Executive Leadership

Can you imagine yourself leading a nursing department or unit? An MSN in Executive Leadership provides you with the managerial and critical thinking skills you need.

There’s a major need for trained administrative leaders who also hold nursing degrees. Your problem-solving skills will help improve current systems. As a result, you’ll be indirectly improving the lives of countless patients.

MSN Nurse Educator

Do you like learning in a hands-on environment? Online MSN Nurse Educator courses give students both in the classroom and in the field experience. Specializing your career as a nurse educator can provide you with more career flexibility.

You’ll be responsible for helping teach the future generation of nurses. Your hard earned knowledge and training will pass on to create effective patient care.

As a nurse, you’ll already be familiar with the areas of study. Yet, these courses will take you more in-depth into the material than ever before. This is why it’s helpful to have a BSN, instead of just a regular bachelor’s degree.

Post-Master’s Certification Program

After earning your Master’s degree, you can opt to enroll in a post-master’s certificate program. You’ll have the chance to combine hands-on learning with your newly acquired knowledge.

Your post-masters certificate program will cover a variety of topics including:

  • Epidemiology
  • Physiology
  • Population-based health care
  • Pharmacotherapeutics
  • Pathophysiology
  • Care environment management
  • Clinical outcomes
  • CNL immersion

After completing your post masters certification, you’re ready to sit in for the CNL certification exam.

CNL Certification Exam

The CNL certification exam is for those who have already met the education requirements. Taking the exam is the final step in securing your role as a CNL.

To qualify for the clinical nurse leader certification exam you must:

  • Have a nursing license in the US
  • Have a Master’s Degree
  • Complete 400 clinical hours
  • 300 of your 400 hours must be as an acting CNL role

After passing your exam, a whole new world of opportunities becomes available to you.

Choose Your Program

Now you know more about how to choose the best online CNL programs. OnlineCNLdegrees.com would love to be your educational guide. We have a wealth of resources available for making your dreams a reality.

It’s our promise to you that we’ll always provide up-to-date content to help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re looking for help with making a career choice or you need advice on what program to choose, we have everything you need.

Feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices you have to make? Eliminate the guesswork with our customized program finder. Take our short quiz and find out what programs are a perfect match for you!