The Master of Science in Nursing

Program Director: Dr. Ola Fox

Responding to a national initiative by nurse leaders, Spring Hill College Division of Nursing has joined with health care partners to offer an  online master’s degree program that prepares nurses to be leaders in the health care delivery system. A combination of an online format, site visits by Spring Hill faculty, and clinical integration with local preceptors allows students to complete coursework in their local communities and work settings. A Post Master's Certificate for Clinical Nurse Leader is also available.

What is a CNL?

The CNL is the newest nursing role developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in collaboration with leaders from the education and practice arenas. CNL's are graduate educated generalist clinicians who must bring a high level of clinical competence and knowledge to the point of care and serve as a resource for the nursing team.

What does a CNL do?

The CNL oversees the care coordination of a distinct group of patients and actively provides direct patient care in complex situations. This clinical nurse leader puts evidence-based practice into action to ensure that patients benefit from the latest innovations in care delivery. The implementation of the CNL role will vary across settings and facilities.

How is a CNL different from a Clinical Nurse Specialist or other advanced practice nurse?

The CNL is a generalist in contrast with the specialized focus of advanced practice nurses (APN) such as clinical nurse specialists (CNS) and nurse practitioners. The CNL and APN roles complement one another. For example, the CNL may request the specialized skills of the CNS to provide consultation when a patient does not respond to nursing care as expected.

How do I get into the program?

Admission to the Division of Nursing is competitive and based on evaluation of all portions of the application. Decision for admission takes into account your educational, career, and life experiences as well as your critical thinking ability and maturity as you prepare to become a leader in nursing and healthcare. The CNL program is open to registered nurses who hold a bachelor's degree, associate degree or diploma in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university and who have at least one year of clinical experience.

To be considered for the Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader Program, applicants must submit a completed application and all required information 4 weeks before the starting date.

How much does it cost?

Undergraduate courses, for those who are moving from an associates degree or diploma nursing program are currently $360 per credit hour.  Graduate courses are currently $490 per credit hour. Financial aid may be available.  Applicants should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

How will I get the Spring Hill Experience from an online curriculum?

The Division of Nursing places great emphasis on its role in developing a community of nursing leaders through mentoring and fostering relationships. The Faculty consists of dedicated nursing professionals and health care administrators representing a wide range of expertise. Our faculty members are student focused and make themselves readily available and approachable. The program is a combination of an online format, site visits by Spring Hill faculty, and clinical integration with local preceptors, allowing our faculty to nurture students and provide personalized education.

Will I get practical experience with my degree?

The CNL program requires a total of 460 hours of clinical experience in different settings within the healthcare system in order to prepare graduates to assume clinical leadership positions. Clinical experiences are incorporated into the student’s current work setting.

How do I complete my degree...

Spring Hill College's CNL program is designed to accommodate students with varying levels of education and backgrounds. We recognize that students have other responsibilities and busy lifestyles. Coursework is offered in convenient 8-week online programs. The CNL is an exciting opportunity for nurses to have an impact on the future of healthcare.

I have more questions. Can I talk to someone?

Call Spring Hill College’s Division of Nursing at (251) 380-4490 or the Graduate Studies Office at (251) 380-3094.