• Nursing

The Accelerated Master of Science – Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) degree program offers select UVM undergraduate nursing students the opportunity to obtain both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in six years of study.

The program prepares nurses to combine innovations in health care delivery with evidence-based practice to manage coordination of care. Whether providing acute care or assisting with decision-making in the transition to community or home care settings, clinical nurse leaders provide vital support to patients, their families, and providers.

The Accelerated Master of Science – Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program fulfills the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) requirements to sit for the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC) Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) certification examination.

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Students apply to the program in the spring of their junior year and may take up to six credits of graduate-level courses during the senior year. Students are encouraged to complete 3 credits of graduate study the summer after graduation from the undergraduate nursing program. Custom curriculum tracks combine hands-on clinical experience with courses in advanced evidence-based practice, health care management and delivery of care.

Students complete their practicum hours at hospitals, clinics and other affiliate sites and agencies that provide experience in the variety of roles fulfilled by a clinical nurse leader, and implement a culminating, evidence-based capstone project.

A feature of the Master of Science – Clinical Nurse Leader program is UVM’s relationship with academic practice partners that include Appletree Bay Primary Care, the University of Vermont Medical Center, and other clinical agencies. Learn what faculty, staff, and students have to say about Nursing at UVM >>

Degree Requirements (36 Credits)

Semester 1 (Undergraduate Senior Fall)

  • GRNS 327: Advanced Topics in Healthcare Informatics

Semester 2 (Undergraduate Senior Spring)

  • NH 399: Fundamentals of Natural Inquiry

Semester 3 (Undergraduate Summer)

  • GRNS 326: Health Care Ethics, Policy, and Politics

Semester 4

  • GRNS 335: Advanced Pathophysiology
  • STAT 200: Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Semester 5

  • GRNS 328: Quality in Health Care
  • GRNS 339: CNL Seminar

Semester 6

  • GRNS 396: Advanced Pharmacology for the CNL
  • GRNS 340: CNL Practicum I

Semester 7

  • GRNS 406: Advanced Health Assessment
  • GRNS 321: Professional Role Development
  • GRNS 322: Organization, Delivery, and Financing of Health Care
  • GRNS 341: CNL Seminar II
  • GRNS 342: CNL Practicum II

Semester 8

  • GRNS 343: CNL Seminar III
  • GRNS 344: Immersion Practicum

Total Credits: 36

Total Clinical Hours: 420

NOTES: The UVM Course Catalogue details specific requirements as designated by catalogue year. Academic standards are outlined in the CNHS Nursing Graduate Student Handbook.

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  • Enrollment and good standing in the UVM undergraduate nursing program
  • Completion of the Graduate College Application Form with three letters of recommendation, including one from a UVM nursing clinical instructor highlighting the candidate’s clinical performance.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will courses be online, hybrid, or on campus?

Some courses are offered live on campus at scheduled times; others are offered in hybrid format with remote synchronous delivery or asynchronous delivery online. A car is needed for travel to rural sites.

Where do clinical nurse leaders work?

The CNL is prepared for nursing leadership in a variety of roles, including post-acute clinical navigator/coordinator, outcomes manager, patient advocate, educator, information manager, systems analyst/risk anticipator, and clinical nurse manager.

What about financial aid and tuition costs for the program?

For current information about financial aid, tuition, and fees, refer to the Student Financial Services website.

How can I find out if UVM has received my transcripts (or any other materials)?

UVM will notify you when application materials have been received.

When will I learn whether I have been admitted to the program?

Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions within approximately two weeks of the application deadline.


Accreditation: The Master of Science in Nursing degree program at the University of Vermont is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).