Evolution of an innovative role: the clinical nurse leader
Article first published online: 17 AUG 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Promoting excellence - Evidence-based Practice at the Bedside and Beyond Issue editors: Kristiina Hyrkas and James P. Rhudy Jr
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 175–181, January 2013
How to Cite
2012) Journal of Nursing Management Evolution of an innovative role: the clinical nurse leader, , , , , & (
- Issue published online: 22 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 17 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 MAY 2012
- changing roles;
- clinical nurse leader;
- evidence-based practice;
- interdisciplinary team leadership;
This study describes the evolution of the clinical nurse leader (CNL®) role and its utility in a tertiary care and community hospital.
In the US, quality and safety metrics are being publically reported and healthcare organizations are just beginning to experience pay-for-performance and its impact. The American Association of the Colleges of Nursing (AACN) developed the role of the CNL to address the complexities and challenges of providing high-quality care in the current environment.
Since 2007, a cohort of CNLs in practice has evaluated the effectiveness of the role with measures of clinical outcomes, financial savings and case studies.
Having CNLs with a strategic perspective acting as facilitators and integrators of care has proven invaluable. Leadership support has been critical and commitment to maintaining the integrity of the role has ensured its success and sustainability.
This role has established its value in risk assessment, strategic quality improvement, interdisciplinary collaboration and the implementation of evidence-based solutions.
Implications for nursing management
The flexibility and broad scope of this role allows for its use across practice settings and represents an exciting opportunity for nursing to drive quality of care to new levels while managing costs.