College of Nursing

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Transforming Healthcare Transforming Lives:
Creating the Nursing Leaders of Tomorrow and the Research that Improves Health

Clinical Nurse Leader — Admission on Hold

Be a Leader in Healthcare Delivery!

Are you interested in earning a Master’s Degree in nursing that does not move you further from your patients; where you may continue to do what you love and advance your career? Can you see yourself in a clinical leadership role no matter what healthcare setting, providing patient driven, evidence-based, outcome-oriented nursing care?

Then the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is a role designed just for you! The USF College of Nursing has an innovative CNL master’s program designed for your success. Make a difference with each patient as a USF Clinical Nurse Leader!

Dianne Morrison-Beedy Dianne Morrison-Beedy Dean, College of Nursing


Improve Health as a Clinical Nurse Leader

Why CNL?

  • Bring new knowledge and skills to your patients at the bedside
  • Manage and improve the overall coordination and delivery of care to patients at the microsystem level
  • Advocate for your patients and work within the interdisiplinary team
  • Improve clinical and cost outcomes by identifying evidence to change practice
  • Demonstrate improvements in patient outcomes and identify patients at risk for complications
  • Implement evidence/outcome-based practices to improve efficency and quality of patient care

Why USF?

  • USF is the fastest growing research university in the nation
  • USF is ranked 8th as an 'up and coming' university, in the 2012 edition of the U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges
  • USF ranks among Forbes America's Best Colleges 2011
  • USF is ranked 5th Most Veteran Friendly School in the U.S.

Why USF Nursing?

  • One of the first in the nation to develop a CNL concentration
  • Web-based core and specialty courses allow flexibility and convenience
  • Residency prepares you to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals
  • Competitive national certification pass rates
  • Nationally-renowned faculty with real world experience


I am thrilled to be the Director of the CNL concentration at USF. The CNL role is unlike anything before for nurses; you earn a graduate degree and remain in practice at the bedside! You really can drive evidence-based change in practice, advocate for patients, manage the patient care, and lead clinical teams. I am proud to be credentialed as a Clinical Nurse Leader, and I know you will be too!

Patricia A. O'Donnell Patricia A. O’Donnell, MS, RN, CNL Director of Clinical Nurse Leader Concentration

What People are Saying:

Morton Plant Mease Health Care has been privileged to be one of USF’s first Practice Partners in the Clinical Nurse Leader movement.

We currently employ eleven CNL certified nurses who have contributed to the successful redesign of our Professional Practice Model on all our medical/surgical/telemetry units. Through their leadership, we are experiencing improved customer satisfaction, better patient outcomes and an overall elevation of professional practice which is so crucial to our Magnet designation

Darlene D. Ferenz Darlene D. Ferenz, RN, MA, BSN Director of Nursing Strategy, Development & Practice Morton Plant Mease/Baycare Health System