A job is something seen as a basic necessity, while a career is looked at as an achievement. Nursing is a unique career that is also a calling, and nurses embrace their title as a vital part of who they are. Our Careers page is meant to provide information for current and future Clinical Nurse Leaders looking to expand their knowledge of available professional opportunities and gain insight about existing practice areas.

CNL Career Tools and Resources

Clinical Nurse Leaders work in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings. Our practice areas section highlights 10 possible work environments and includes information about the salary for each position, as well as the types of responsibilities and tasks you’ll be expected to perform and the educational background that is commonly required.
The Find a Career tool allows you to search for full-time and part-time CNL positions around the country.

What Can You Expect from Your Career as a CNL?

Created by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in 2003, the position of Clinical Nurse Leader was designed to be a leadership role. Though CNLs still perform bedside tasks, they also work closely with physicians and other clinicians to ensure that a patient’s medical team is operating as successfully and efficiently as possible. While this role requires a great deal of managerial and interpersonal skills, it also requires strong analytical thinking. A CNL’s job is to catch inefficiencies in a patient’s model of care, which will improve the quality of the patient’s health and reduce the likelihood of hospital or clinic readmission.

At the moment, the prospects in terms of salary for Clinical Nurse Leaders are very good with a national median annual wage of $84,000 and an expected 20 percent growth by 2022. Furthermore, the nursing field as a whole is expected to grow an estimated 19 percent by 2022.