Course strategies for clinical nurse leader development

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The scope of the clinical nurse leader (CNL) is evolving in practice across the country. The preparation of this pivotal role in a complex healthcare environment has prompted the collaboration of nurse academics, nurse administrators, and clinicians to design unique educational experiences to maximize best practice. Knowledge attained regarding healthcare improvement and patient safety must not only be theoretical, but personal and application focused. Utilizing the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's CNL white paper and published resources faculty developed a clinical leadership course focused on active learning and reflection. Students explore concepts of improvement and quality related to business models of high functioning organizations including healthcare. Three key components of the course are described in detail; “quality is personal”, executive interviews and the “5P” clinical microsystems assessment. Evaluation outcomes are discussed. Course content and innovative teaching/learning strategies for CNL are shared which may support the growth of CNL program development nationally.


Copyright 2012 W.B. Saunders

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Publication Title

Journal of Professional Nursing

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Gerard, S., Grossman, S., & Godfrey, M. (2012). Course strategies for clinical nurse leader development. Journal of Professional Nursing, 28(3), 147-155. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2011.11.012.



Peer Reviewed