• Nursing

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

The Master of Science - CNL option 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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Custom curriculum tracks combine hands-on clinical experience with courses in advanced evidence-based practice, health care management, and delivery of care. The program affords flexibility to work part-time while gaining valuable clinical experience.

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

  • GRNS 327: Advanced Topics in Healthcare Informatics
  • GRNS 335: Advanced Pathophysiology
  • STAT 200: Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Semester 2

  • NH 399: Fundamentals of Critical Inquiry
  • GRNS 328: Quality in Health Care
  • GRNS 343: CNL Seminar I

Semester 3

  • GRNS 326: Health Care Ethics, Policy, and Politics
  • GRNS 396: Advanced Pharmacology for the CNL
  • GRNS 344: CNL Practicum I

Semester 4

  • GRNS 406: Advanced Health Assessment
  • GRNS 321: Professional Role Development
  • GRNS 322: Organization, Delivery, and Financing of Health Care
  • GRNS 345: CNL Seminar II
  • GRNS 346: CNL Practicum II

Semester 5

  • GRNS 347: CNL Seminar III
  • GRNS 348: 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. A grade point average of 3.0, successful completion of clinical experiences, and a comprehensive exam are required for graduation.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in nursing OR associates’ degree in nursing with bachelor’s degree in another field
  • RN license and Vermont RN license eligibility
  • College grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Prerequisite courses
    • Anatomy and Physiology I and II
    • Health Assessment
    • Microbiology
    • Nutrition
    • Statistics

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required, but may be included to complement your application.

Students admitted with an associate's degree in nursing and a B.S. /B.A. in another field must undergo a gap analysis to determine if their education demonstrates attainment of the baccalaureate essentials.

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?

Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis (completed applications submitted prior to deadline will be reviewed within 6 weeks of submission).


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

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Application Deadline: April 1

Term Start Date: August

Credits: 36

Duration: 5 semesters

Learning Format: On campus

For tuition information, visit the UVM Student Financial Services website. Scroll down to the Estimated Graduate Programs with Alternate Pricing and click to find CNL tuition.

Admitted Student Checklist