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MSN in Clinical Leadership

Lead the Creation and Delivery of Customized Patient Care

Take your passion for patient care to the leadership level.

The Online Master of Science in Nursing in Clinical Leadership from Saint Xavier University is the ideal program for nurses who want to continue to work directly with patients while creating and managing quality improvement projects as a clinical nurse leader.

"The online format allowed me to continue to work full-time as a bedside nurse."
-- Marlena Fisher '16, MSN in Clinical Leadership

U.S. News & World Report Official Badge

Top 5 Online Graduate Nursing Program
U.S. News & World Report (2014-2021)




Program Length

2.5 Years

Credit Hours


Start Date

January 10, 2022


Tuition Per Credit Hour: $750
Credit Hours to Complete: 38
Approximate Cost: $28,500

advocate for Better patient outcomes with evidence-based care

Coursework in the MSN in Clinical Leadership program emphasizes clinical expertise in pathophysiology, pharmacology and health assessment. Applied research, epidemiology, and population-based health are also examined. The advanced expertise you'll gain in this nursing master's degree program is applicable to all clinical settings.

To become a leader, choose a university that is a leader in nursing education. Saint Xavier University, the School of Nursing and Health Sciences Division, and all of its programs are consistently recognized for their educational quality.

  • The master's and baccalaureate degrees in nursing at Saint Xavier University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • The School of Nursing and Health Sciences Division was declared a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education for the fourth consecutive time in 2018 by the National League for Nursing (NLN).
  • SXU is one of the Top 60 Comprehensive Master's Universities in the Midwest. -- U.S. News & World Report, 2017

You can graduate from the program and advance your career in just over two and a half years.

The Clinical Nurse Leader role was developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to help clinicians gain the expertise and skills to improve patient care, quality, and safety. Once the program has been completed, graduates are eligible to take the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) examination for national certification. Pass rates among SXU graduates who have taken the CNL exam after graduation score at or slightly above the national average.

The nursing curriculum for this track covers vital aspects of Clinical Nurse Leadership including:

  • Clinical leadership strategies and how they can improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs
  • Evidence-based quality improvement
  • Advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health assessment
  • Trends, issues, and policies related to the transformation of the American health care system

CNLs can have a significant impact on patient care. Whether you plan to become certified as a CNL or not, these skills will help you provide high-quality care in today's technology-rich and complex health care environment.

If you'd like to use clinical leadership strategies, data, and project management skills to improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs, the MSN in Clinical Leadership is the perfect next step.

During your studies, you can look forward to academic coursework that develops critical reasoning alongside an understanding of ethics, professionalism, and integrity.

You'll refine your leadership skills throughout the program. High-impact learning experiences provide opportunities to collaborate with other students on projects and papers and take writing-intensive courses that help improve your written communication and reporting skills. And you'll build experience in a practicum, where you'll apply new skills and design, implement, and evaluate a capstone project.

By graduation, you will have the leadership experience and clinical skills you need to succeed as a CNL.

A 20% clinical partner tuition discount can be taken advantage of by students enrolled in SXU's graduate program who are employed (40 hours per pay period) in a clinical setting where our undergraduate students participate in clinicals.

Learn more about the online MSN in Clinical Leadership. Call 773-298-3053 or email graduateadmissionFREESXU for more information about the admission process.

Please view our admission requirements for more information on the application process and admission requirements.

Alumni Testimonials

"It was clear to me that SXU stood apart from other online programs; specifically that the class sizes were small and the professors were accessible."
"My academic program as a whole was incredibly valuable. The ability to share and apply the content in my daily professional life made the learning experience meaningful."

Student Testimonials

"The master's curriculum at Saint Xavier University has provided the appropriate tools and resources to become successful throughout the program. Some strengths I found in the MSN program that further enhanced my current role as a registered nurse include the hybrid classes, the flexibility of the faculty and the ease of finding a clinical site to fulfill my practicum requirements."

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