Clinical nurse leader

Clinical nurse leaders centralize the coordination of patient care and offer direct care in complex circumstances, combining the latest innovations in health care delivery with evidence-based practice.

The Master of Science in Nursing degree provides the academic and clinical experience required to earn national certification for professional practice as a clinical nurse leader. Read "Introducing the Clinical Nurse Leader" by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Curriculum and Program Requirements

The program, designed for the working registered nurse to complete in 3 1/2 years on a part-time basis, includes 38.5 credits and 420 clinical hours over the course of six academic semesters and two summer sessions. The final summer session is a clinical practicum.

Select year of program entry:

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

  • Bachelor's degree in nursing, OR, associate degree in nursing with a baccalaureate degree in another field
  • RN license and Vermont RN license eligibility
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • College grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Prerequisite courses
    • Basic physical assessment
    • Undergraduate statistics

Core Courses

  • Advanced Topics in Health Informatics - 3 credits
  • Biostatistics and Epidemiology - 3 credits
  • Genetics & Genomics for Clinicians - 3 credits
  • Health Care Ethics, Policy & Politics - 3 credits
  • Methods for Evidence Based Practice - 3 credits
  • Nursing Science/Practice Epistemology - 3 credits
  • Organization, Delivery & Financing of Health Care - 3 credits
  • Professional Role Development - 3 credits
  • Quality in Health Care - 3 credits

Track Core Courses

  • Advanced Health Assessment for the Clinical Nurse Leader - 2 credits
  • Advanced Pharmacology for the Clinical Nurse Leader - 2 credits
  • Advanced Neuropharmacology - 2 credits
  • Advanced Pathophysiology - 3 credits

Track Specialty Courses

  • Clinical Nurse Leader Project & Seminar I - 1 credit
  • Clinical Nurse Leader Project & Seminar II - 2 credits
  • Practicum for the Clinical Nurse Leader (180 hours) - 1.5 credits
  • Immersion Practicum for the Clinical Nurse Leader (300 hours) - 2.5 credits
  • Comprehensive Exam - 0 credits
  • Clinical Nurse Leader Project - 3 credits

    Total Credits: 43
    Total Clinical Hours: 480

Application Process

1. Complete the Nursing Common Application through the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS), a division of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Follow instructions on the site. All application materials should be submitted directly to NursingCAS. These include:

  • (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript(s) from all schools attended
  • On the NursingCAS application there is an opportunity for the applicant to self-report when they took the GRE. Official GRE scores should be submitted to UVM on the Graduate College Online Application via code 3920.
  • Essay: Why did you choose nursing as a career? Do you have any additional information that you would like the admissions committee to know about you that has not been previously considered in the application?

2. Complete the UVM Graduate Online Application. Include the following information with the UVM application:

  • The essay submitted with the NursingCAS application
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (UVM Code: 3920. The college will accept both the old and new version of the GRE. Scores must be received by the application deadline.)
  • Application Fee
  • No transcripts or letters of recommendation should be sent to the University of Vermont

Financial Aid

For information about financing your education, contact the UVM Financial Aid Office.


Contact Information

College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Office of Student Services
(802) 656-3858

Nursing CAS Customer Service
(617) 612-2880

Contact Us

College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Office of Student Services
(802) 656-3858

Application Deadline:
April 3

Apply Now