The healthcare industry is constantly changing, with the advancement in technology there is the need for improvement in the quality care that is rendered by health care staff. The clinical nurse leader (CNL) role was developed to improve the outcome of patient care. The CNL act as the patient advocate by assessing the patients and family members needs. Then through strategic planning and collaboration with the healthcare staff patient care is rendered in a more timely and effective manner. The CNL is also the bridge for communication between the healthcare staff, from nursing assistant to physicians. They take on a role that empowers the healthcare staff to strive for excellence. There are many different types of leadership styles a CNL can acquire, from Democratic to Affiliative with the underlying goal of having the healthcare team working together to bring the best outcome for the patient.
An example of how the CNL influence patient care:
CNL leaders at Baptist Hospital in Miami, Florida had conducted a evidenced based project on fall with injury and pressure ulcer prevalence. After one year of implementation of their intervention, the study reveled a reduction rate of 67% in fall with injury and pressure ulcer ( Sacred Heart University, n.d) . Another way how CNL influences patient care is by implementing alternative strategies for dealing with patients to prevent the use restraints.
In order to become a clinical nurse leader the individual must be good at problem solving and have strong critical thinking skills. This is essential for evaluating patient outcome and making strategic changes to improve the quality of care a patient receive (Registered Nursing.org, n.d). The individual must also be committed to engage in lifelong learning in order to stay abreast of the latest technologies and treatment innovation. In order to function at this high level, an advanced degree in education is needed. So the individual who aspires to become a clinical nurse leader must obtain a master’s degree in the clinical nurse leader program. The course of program varies by institution but the general program includes:
Quality and Safety in Healthcare
Research Methods & Biostatistics
Advanced Health Assessment & Diagnostic Reasoning
Advanced Ethical Issues and Decision Making
The Business of Healthcare
Evaluation of Health Outcomes
Advanced Epidemiology: Tracking Health & Disease (Registered Nursing.org, n.d))
At the end of the course the individual must earn a clinical nurse leader certification from the American College of Colleges of Nursing’s Commission on Nurse Certification (Registered Nursing.org, n.d). After certification the CNL can seek employment in the hospital, private clinic, acute care institution and research facilities (Registered Nursing.org, n.d). CNLs can also work as a faculty member or develop educational programs to improve the outcome of patient care. The CNL salary varies by location, and experience. The pay ranges from $50,975 – $100,094, with an average pay of $75,000 (Registered Nursing.org, n.d).