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clinical nurse leader, patient outcomes



  1. Bowcutt, Marilyn MSN, RN
  2. Wall, Jane MSN, RN, CNA
  3. Goolsby, Mary Jo EdD, MSN, NP-C, FAANP


In 2004, a 551-bed nonprofit hospital launched a pilot of the unit-based clinical nurse leader (CNL) role to support staff nurses and their patients. Thus far, the role has demonstrated great promise in promoting individual patient-centered outcomes, although the pilot has identified potential adaptations to enhance aggregate outcomes. These include decreasing the patient-to-CNL ratio, increasing CNL availability to 7 days a week, and reconsidering whether to fill CNL positions with nurses who were prepared as nurse practitioners.