In this article, we profile the top 20 most affordable online MSN in clinical nurse leader programs for 2020.

A clinical nurse leader’s primary role is to improve overall patient care within a healthcare or medical setting. As an advanced clinician, specific training and certification are required. Clinical nurse leaders receive advanced training and pass qualifying exams in order to practice. Through research and data collection, we were able to locate the 20 most affordable MSN in clinical nurse leader online programs that offer this unique kind of training.

Top 20 Most Affordable Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Programs Methodology

We looked at 63 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered MSN in clinical nurse leader online programs. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying particular criteria, including accreditation (CCNE or ACEN), full-time or part-time online completion options, school and/or program rankings with major publications like U.S. News and World Report, and affordable graduate tuition and fees less than $30,000 per year. We then listed the top 20 programs according to raw affordability.

Below is our list of the most affordable online MSN in clinical nurse leader programs for 2020.

#20 – West Coast University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Los Angeles, California

Website

West Coast University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
The MSN in clinical nurse leader online program at West Coast University offers RN to MSN pathways.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $28,000

West Coast University’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online degree program provides professional nurses with leadership skills necessary to assist patients and clients toward optimal health. The program offers a seamless transition from an RN to MSN. Courses are delivered online and include topics like community practice experience, ethics in healthcare, health promotion and disease prevention, leadership models for health care managers, and theoretical foundations of nursing practice. A total of 51 credits are required for the CNL program. West Coast University is accredited and recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News lists WCU’s nursing school as among the top unranked programs.

#19 – Sacred Heart University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Fairfield, Connecticut

Website

Sacred Heart University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Ranked and accredited – Sacred Heart University’s online CNL programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $26,524

Sacred Hearth University’s online CNL programs consist of 348 hours of role immersion dedicated to preparing nurses for roles as clinical nurse leaders. The online MSN offers a clinical nurse leader specialization designed to elevate you to leadership positions within the health care industry. Courses may be completed online and cover topics such as evidence-based practice for quality care, health care policy and ethics for contemporary nursing practice, principles of health care research for contemporary nursing practice, and theory and professional roles for nursing practice. Through the clinical courses, students are prepared to sit for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing CNL Certification Exam. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Sacred Heart. In fact, the school ranks #35 in best regional universities in the North, #64 in best value institutions, and #97 in best online graduate nursing programs.

#18 – University of Pittsburgh

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Website

University of Pittsburgh - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report – University of Pittsburgh – MSN in clinical nurse leader.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $23,696

University of Pittsburgh’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online degree and concentration prepares professional nurses to secure leadership positions as clinical nurse leaders following graduation. Courses are available online or face-to-face, and are taught by the same faculty. Courses include applied statistics for evidence-based practice, finance and economics for healthcare leaders, leadership development, and the diagnostic physical exam across the life span. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Clinical Nurse Leader Certification Examination administered by the Commission on Nurse Certification. University of Pittsburgh, a public research institution, ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 70th best national university. Also, the online graduate nursing programs rank #35 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#17 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
No GRE or GMAT required! Southern New Hampshire University’s online MSN in clinical nurse leader.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,810

The CCNE-accredited online MSN in clinical nurse leader program at Southern New Hampshire University is based on the competencies and practices set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses. Graduates of the program become eligible to sit for the national CNL exam offered by the Commission on Nurse Certification. The program is one of the few of its kind to waive GRE or GMAT scores for admission. Classes are delivered online and are suitable for busy, working professional nurses. These courses include advanced health assessment, healthcare quality and improvement, leadership in clinical microsystems, and transition to graduate nursing practice. SNHU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 112th best regional university in the North and the #1 most innovative school.

#16 – Creighton University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Omaha, Nebraska

Website

Creighton University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Admission requires a BSN – Creighton University’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,376

Creighton University offers online CNL programs designed for working professional nurses. Applicants must hold a BSN degree upon enrolling in the MSN CNL program. While many of the courses are delivered online, the program is considered to be hybrid, as minimal campus visits are required. To earn the CNL specialization, students must complete the required 37 credit hours and 600 supervised clinical hours. Courses cover topics like financial organization of U.S. healthcare, practical ethics in health care settings, and statistics and data analysis for evidence-based nursing practice. Creighton is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the #1 best regional university in the Midwest.

#15 – Saint Xavier University

Online MSN in Clinical Leadership

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Saint Xavier University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Ranked and affordable – Saint Xavier University – MSN in clinical nurse leader online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,450

Saint Xavier University’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online program is designed to prepare nurses for advanced patient care and leadership within the medical and healthcare industry. Coursework for the MSN in clinical leadership emphasizes health assessment, research, and skills necessary in population-based healthcare. Nursing curriculum covers core nursing classes and clinical leader role specialty courses. Some of the topics explored include advanced health assessment, health care systems and financing, information technology and health care outcomes, and nursing inquiry. Saint Xavier is accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the publication ranks Saint Xavier #72 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #46 in best value schools. In addition to school rankings, the online graduate nursing programs rank #3 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs, making it one of the top online nursing programs on our list.

#14 – Jacksonville University

Online MSN in Leadership in Healthcare Systems

Jacksonville, Florida

Website

Jacksonville University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Only 24 months! Jacksonville University’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,274

Jacksonville University’s online MSN in clinical nurse leader program consists of 24 months of full-time study and can be completed in convenient eight-week sessions. Full-time and part-time options are available to accommodate the schedules of working nurses. In fact, upon enrollment, nurses may interrupt their sessions by taking one or two off during the degree completion time. Jacksonville’s nursing programs are structured to fit the needs of busy nurses. Admission to the program requires official GRE scores of 290 or higher. A GRE waiver is in effect for applicants with a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA. Some of the required leadership courses offered by the program include financial management of nursing systems, human resource management in healthcare, nursing leadership and the healthcare systems, and quality and safety in healthcare. Jacksonville University ranks for performance by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, Jacksonville ranks #56 in best regional universities in the South and #48 in best value schools.

#13 – Chamberlain University

Online MSN in Clinical Nursing Leadership

Downers Grove, Illinois

Website

Chamberlain University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
100% online! MSN in clinical nurse leader online program at Chamberlain University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,940

Interested in an accelerated track toward an online MSN in clinical nurse leader? If so, Chamberlain University offers such a program designed with flexibility and 100% online coursework. The MSN program can be completed in just two years by taking one class each eight-week session. By adding the clinical nursing leadership specialization, you may finish your program requirements in as few as 2.5 semesters. Transfer students will not be able to transfer credits if enrolled in the accelerated MSN option, however, other completion options are available. Chamberlain is accredited and recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#12 – Mount Saint Joseph University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

Mount Saint Joseph University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
CCNE-accredited – Mount Saint Joseph University’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,680

Mount Saint Joseph University’s online CNL programs include the MSN in clinical nurse leader. Designed to work around working schedules, the program offers a part-time, blended learning option. Students may enroll in two 10-week courses simultaneously every semester. Class sizes are kept small and follow a cohort model. This model allows students to forge lasting relationships with their professors and fellow colleagues. CCNE-accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report draw students to the nursing programs at Mount Saint Joseph. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #84 in best regional universities in the Midwest.

#11 – Queens University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Charlotte, North Carolina

Website

Queens University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Queens University – MSN in clinical nurse leader online program – Ranked and accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,158

Queens University’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online degree program prepares professional nurses for leadership roles in the healthcare industry. Graduate students focus on assessing patient risk, creating and implementing patient care plans, and maximizing technological resources. Coursework leads to CNL certification. While certification is a voluntary process managed by the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC), the program prepares students to sit for the certification exam. Some of the courses you will find in the MSN program at Queens include data interpretations, health policy, informatics in health care, and theoretical foundations. Queens is a highly ranked institution. U.S. News and World Report ranks Queens #18 in best regional universities in the South, #32 in best value schools, and #12 in best colleges for veterans.

#10 – University of Arizona

Online MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership

Tucson, Arizona

Website

University of Arizona - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Ranked and highly affordable – University of Arizona’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,044

University of Arizona offers an alternative option to the online MSN in clinical nurse leader. The online MSN in clinical systems leadership from one of the nation’s most respected premier nursing programs offers RN to MSN options and a specialization in leadership. The program is delivered entirely online with courses taught by University of Arizona’s full-time faculty. Courses run seven weeks and cover topics such as clinical systems leadership immersion, evidence-based practice improvement, foundations of systems leadership, health promotion and risk reduction, and leadership for patient-centered care. The program is CCNE-accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks University of Arizona’s online graduate nursing programs #47 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#9 – Lander University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Greenwood, South Carolina

Website

Lander University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
CCNE-accredited and affordable! Lander University’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,800

Affordability and accreditation draw students to the MSN in clinical nurse leader online program at Lander University. The school and program are ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Lander’s CNL program is offered online and gives working nurses a convenient way to earn a graduate nursing degree and specialization. All CNL graduates become eligible to sit for the Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam administered by the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC). In addition to accreditation and alignment with premier nursing governing bodies, Lander’s rankings from U.S. News include #21 in best regional colleges in the South and #3 in top public schools. Also, affordable tuition earns Lander a top spot on our list of online CNL programs.

#8 – Ohio State University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Columbus, Ohio

School Profile

Ohio State University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
The online CNL programs at Ohio State University are highly affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,425

Ohio State University’s online CNL programs prepare nurses for practice within any healthcare setting. The CNL program provides curriculum aligning to standards. Upon completion of coursework and study, students become eligible for certification as Clinical Nurse Leaders. The CNL track at Ohio State follows the competencies specified by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Some of the courses found within the program include advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacology in nursing, introduction to CNL practice, pathophysiology of altered health states, and transition to CNL practice. In addition to program alignment with industry standards, school rankings from major publications draw students to the online nursing programs. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Ohio State #56 in best national universities, #126 in best value schools, and #2 in online graduate nursing programs.

#7 – James Madison University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Website

James Madison University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Requires 400 clinical practicum hours – James Madison University’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,640

James Madison University’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online program prepares graduates to improve patient care outcomes at a leadership level. Graduates of the program assume roles as clinical nurse leaders and become influential within the nursing and healthcare industry. Students are required to complete a series of advanced nursing classes and 400 clinical practicum hours. Some of the required courses include advanced health assessment, educational methodologies for nurse leaders, health care policy, leadership development, and research for the advanced health professional. U.S. News and World Report ranks James Madison #6 in best regional universities in the South and #60 in best value schools. Also, U.S. News ranks James Madison’s online graduate nursing programs #30 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#6 – Florida State University

Online MSN in Nurse Leader

Tallahassee, Florida

Website

Florida State University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
32 credit hours and 315 clinical hours required for the MSN in clinical nurse leader online program at Florida State University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,553

Florida State University’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online program is designed to prepare registered nurses to assume leadership roles within a variety of clinical settings. With evidence-based learning and an online format, students may be eligible for certification once 32 semester hours of coursework and 315 clinical hours are completed. Also, completion of the program provides a solid foundation for enrollment in the school’s online DNP program for those interested. FSU is a nationally ranked and accredited institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #70 in national universities. Also, in recent years, the online nursing programs have received recognition.

#5 – Spring Hill College

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Mobile, Alabama

Website

Spring Hill College - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Earn a post-master’s certificate along with the MSN – Spring Hill College – MSN in clinical nurse leader online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,270

Spring Hill College’s online CNL programs include the online MSN with post master’s certificate for clinical nurse leader. The MSN program, designed specifically for working nurses, combines online courses and clinical integration within the student’s geographic location. This means students won’t have to relocate to complete their practicum requirements. Instead, students work within their local communities. Requirements for application include a valid RN license in a state where he or she practices, a minimum of one year of clinical experience, and current employment in a clinical setting. Upon graduation from the program, students are eligible to take the Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam. U.S. News and World Report ranks Spring Hill College #173-#229 in best national liberal arts colleges. The online graduate nursing programs have also been recently recognized.

#4 – Louisiana College

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leadership

Pineville, Louisiana

Website

Louisiana College - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
100% online – Louisiana College’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,275

Louisiana College’s online CNL programs include the MSN in clinical nurse leadership, which is available 100% online. With flexible online coursework, nurses can earn their MSN while working full-time. In fact, the program is designed to accommodate working nurses without disrupting their busy professional and personal lives. Admission to the MSN program and CNL concentration requires an earned BSN from an accredited nursing program, undergraduate GPA of at least 2.6 on the last 30 hours of upper level coursework, official transcripts, and an unencumbered registered nursing license. Courses are delivered online and cover topics like contemporary issues in healthcare delivery, healthcare informatics, and leadership and interprofessional practice. U.S. News and World report ranks Louisiana College #91 in best regional universities in the South.

#3 – Augusta University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Augusta, Georgia

Website

Augusta University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Affordable online CNL programs – Augusta University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,064

Augusta University’s online MSN in clinical nurse leader offers two pathways to the MSN degree. The first pathway is accelerated and designed for individuals with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees. Graduates of this program become eligible to take the NCLEX licensure exam for registered nurses and the CNL certification exam offered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The second completion pathway is a bridge program for individuals holding an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing, such as the BSN. This program is fully online and offers both part-time and full-time completion options. Augusta ranks #230-#301 in best national universities by U.S. News and World Report and makes our list of affordable MSN and CNL online programs.

#2 – Central Methodist University

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Fayette, Missouri

Website

Central Methodist University - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
Ranked by U.S. News! Central Methodist University’s CNL online programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,210

Central Methodist University’s online MSN in clinical nurse leader program prepares nurses to practice in professional roles by providing adequate and specialized clinical study. Admission to the program requires applicants hold a current bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) from a CCNE or ACEN accredited college or university. Applicants must also have a current, unencumbered RN license, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and have completed nurse research and statistics courses with satisfactory performance. U.S. News and World Report ranks Central Methodist University #24 in best regional colleges in the Midwest and #37 in best value schools. Also, in recent years, the online nursing programs have received recognition from major publications like U.S. News.

#1 – Morningside College

Online MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader

Sioux City, Iowa

Website

Morningside College - Top 20 Most Affordable MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader Online Programs 2019
#1 most affordable online CNL program – Morningside College.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,770

Morningside College’s MSN in clinical nurse leader online program ranks #1 on our list for affordable MSN in clinical nurse leader online programs. Full-time and part-time options make the degree convenient for working nurses. Also, students may tailor their degree to meet individual needs by taking electives and courses that further career goals and aspirations. Some of the courses offered by the MSN CNL program include evidence-based research, leadership for advanced nursing, management of care in environment, and statistics in advanced practice. In addition to affordability, Morningside College is ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school ranks #62 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #74 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate nursing programs rank #132-#170 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with an MSN in clinical nurse leader online degree?

A clinical nurse leader is an advanced clinician who works in a variety of healthcare settings, including clinics, home health agencies, hospitals, or medical centers. The role of the clinical nurse leader or CNL is to enhance the facility’s effectiveness and improve the quality of patient care. To work as a CNL, one must hold a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) and CNL certification.

Generally, there are three types of clinical nurse leader. These specialized nursing roles are found in a variety of healthcare facilities, but primarily in hospitals and clinics. Graduates of CNL programs are eligible for the following CNL roles.

Clinical nurse leader: The clinical nurse leader evaluates patient needs, changes and coordinates plans of care, and measures the overall success of patient care. They work closely with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff to coordinate the best possible outcomes for their patients.

Clinical nurse manager: The role of the clinical nurse manager is to oversee nursing staff in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Managers field complaints from staff, create nursing schedules, and facilitate hospital policies.

Clinical nurse specialist: Most clinical nurse specialists work in specialized areas of hospitals or medical centers, such as emergency care, obstetrics, or pediatrics. Similar to managers, they are responsible for other staff. They often teach nurses new techniques and review new methods of care.

How much money do individuals with an MSN in clinical nurse leader online degree make?

Clinical nurse leaders are responsible for overseeing clinical nursing tasks within their organization. With great responsibility of staff and patient care outcomes, clinical nurse leaders earn more money than registered nurses.

According to PayScale, a global compensation research organization that compiles and synthesizes salaries, clinical nurse leaders earn an average salary of $77,958. The lowest ten percent of earners reported an average salary of $53,000, and the highest ten percent of earners reported an average salary of $106,000.

PayScale reports two factors that greatly impact the average salary: Experience and location.

Let’s take a look at location. According to PayScale, clinical nurse leaders working in New York, NY earn an average of 21.9% more than the national average. Also, large cities such as Dallas reported an average of 18% more than the national average for CNL salaries. Smaller cities, such as Rochester, New York, reported the lowest salaries, some falling 15% below the national average. There is a vast difference in pay by location.

The other factor impacting salary is experience. A new graduate from an MSN in clinical nurse leader online program will generally earn less than a CNL with five or ten years of experience.

PayScale broke down the pay by experience numbers. Entry-level CNLs with less than one year of experience can expect to earn $68,052, while a mid-career CNL with five to nine years of experience earns $77,312. Salaries continue to increase with experience.

What is the job outlook for individuals with an MSN in clinical nurse leader online degree?

The overall job outlook for the nursing profession, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 15 percent through 2026. This means that employment of nurses is projected to grow must faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is anticipated for a number of reasons.

One of the biggest factors for employment growth is the increased emphasis placed on preventive care. This emphasis will greatly impact nurses working in clinics and outpatient facilities, but also the clinical nurse leaders and supervisors that oversee nursing staff.

In addition to the emphasis placed on preventive care, employment growth will increase due to the aging population. With baby boomers living longer, an increase in medical problems will impact nursing staff. Individuals with an MSN in clinical nurse leader online degrees will be especially needed to educate nursing staff and provide adequate care for patients in specialized settings. We should see an increase in employment for nurses handling specialized diseases, such as arthritis, dementia, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.

Overall, the job outlook for individuals with specialized training, such as certification and advanced nursing degrees, will be extremely favorable. CNLs will be in high demand, especially in medically underserved areas of the nation. Inner cities and rural areas will require nursing staff at all levels.

What are the admission requirements for MSN in clinical nurse leader online programs?

The admission requirements for MSN in clinical nurse leader online programs vary by program. Top-tier nursing schools and programs have stringent admission requirements that include stellar undergraduate performance and competitive GRE scores. However, most programs, like the ones on our list, require similar admission criteria.

Accredited graduate nursing programs require accredited undergraduate degrees. Nearly all programs on our list require an accredited bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) for admission. Some programs offering bridge options do not require a BSN, though students must have an RN license and have completed certain classes prior to admission.

Typically, prospective nursing students must have an undergraduate nursing degree and unencumbered registered nurse license. Also, accredited programs require a minimum GPA. For example, top programs often require a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, while other programs ask for a minimum of 2.6 GPA.

Applicants who majored in fields other than nursing may still apply to certain schools. However, prerequisite coursework in anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and statistics is needed.

All programs will ask for official transcripts, resumes, and letters of recommendation. Also, many programs require writing samples, essays, or a statement of purpose to help qualify an applicant’s writing ability.

While top-ranked CNL programs may ask for standardized test scores, such as GRE scores, not all programs require them. In fact, with a stellar undergraduate GPA, you may receive a GRE waiver.

How long do MSN in clinical nurse leader online programs take?

Like most online graduate programs, the completion time for MSN in clinical nurse leader online degrees varies by program and school. However, online programs generally take less time to complete than traditional, on-campus counterparts. Part-time and full-time online CNL programs are available to meet the needs of busy, working professional nurses.

Most of the MSN in clinical nurse leader online programs on our list offer an average completion time of two years. Part-time programs, which provide flexible pacing and a limited number of classes taken at one time, generally expand the completion time. If speed is a factor, and you want to earn a graduate degree in the shortest possible time available, full-time options will benefit you. Full-time programs offer rigor and a shortened completion time. You will take more classes at a time than your part-time colleagues. However, MSN in clinical nurse leader online programs offering a full-time course load shorten the completion time by up to six months. This means students may earn their CNL and MSN in sixteen months to a year and a half.

Another factor that impacts completion time is the clinical experience requirement. Some programs require 360 hours of clinical experience, while others require more. The average practicum or residency requires 400 clinical hours. Programs with a shorter practicum will allow you to earn your MSN in clinical nurse leader online degree in less time than a program with a greater practicum requirement.

BCO Staff
August 2019

Related:

This concludes our list of the top 20 most affordable online MSN in clinical nurse leader programs for 2020.