Graduate MSN Admissions
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At this time we are not accepting applications for this program.


The Capstone College of Nursing offers the distance-based Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with all courses offered online. The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is a master’s prepared generalist who functions within a clinical microsystem, typically a patient care unit. The CNL focuses on quality improvement using evidence-based practice. Interprofessional collaboration, coordination of care, and management of outcomes are additional foci. The CNL is not typically a direct care provider nor is the CNL a manager of staff. The CNL is not an advanced practice nurse, but is a nurse with advanced nursing education. Instead the CNL works with staff to improve quality in patient care outcomes.

The CNL role was created by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in the early 2000s. Only those nurses who have completed the master’s degree and successfully completed the certification exam are eligible to use the title Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). The Capstone College of Nursing prepares graduates to take the certification exam. The curriculum at the Capstone College of Nursing includes 420 clock hours of clinical experience with a preceptor in an approved clinical site.

For further information about the CNL role, please see the AACN website detailing the CNL role ( For further information about the CNL concentration offered in the Capstone College of Nursing, please contact Vickie Samuel, Graduate Recruitment and Retention Liaison at

Note: This program requires a clinical immersion and it is the student’s responsibility to identify a site with an appropriate clinical facilitator. Prior to the clinical immersion the student will start the process of obtaining a CCN Letter of Agreement (LOA) or a Clinical Affiliation Contract with the agency. No clinical practice will take place until the student has been notified by CCN of approval.

Program of Study:

Applies to students accepted prior to Fall 2019

Sample Part-time and Full-time Programs of Study

If you are not already a student, please be aware of our application deadline; March 1st.