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Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Graduate Program

Prepare to become an advanced nurse who will have a significant impact on the profession while remaining in direct patient care. TCNJ offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) especially for Clinical Nurse Leaders. The CNL is a leadership role for nurses in the clinical environment, and a position dedicated to improving quality of care by identifying and delivering evidence-based practice.

About the CNL Program

This fully accredited program builds on the nursing and scientific knowledge base of the baccalaureate-prepared nurse and focuses on advanced clinical decision-making and critical thinking skills. Graduates are prepared to accurately and critically assess the health and illness experiences of school age children. Faculty advisors work closely with each student to plan an appropriate course of study and to ensure progress through the program.

Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)

RN’s with a BSN who wish to enter advanced practice in a leadership role may complete this MSN program in two academic years of full-time study plus two summers. Students choosing to attend classes on a part-time basis must complete the MSN within six years of being accepted into the program.

34.5 Credit Degree Program / 410 Practicum Hours

RN Bridge to the MSN for Nurses

There is also a bridge sequence of courses to the MSN for RNs with a non-nursing baccalaureate.

Program Info

Course Format, Locations, and Times

We currently do not offer distance learning options. The School of Nursing at The College of New Jersey places great emphasis on its role in developing a community of nursing professionals through intensive mentoring and fostering of collegial relationships. We have found that the interactions necessary to achieve these goals occur best in an interactive classroom setting.

All lecture and seminar classes are held on TCNJ’s campus, except for the Neonatal NP specialty courses. The NNP program is a consortium based program and NNP specialty courses are offered on the Thomas Jefferson University campus in Philadelphia.

Most classes are offered during the evenings, although some required classes and activities may be offered during the day.

Clinical Practicum Experiences

All MSN and certificate options include clinical practicum experiences. Clinical practicum

hours are during the day, usually on weekdays. Clinical experiences take place under the guidance of experienced advanced practice nurses, school nurses, clinical nurse leaders, physicians, or other advanced nursing practitioners as appropriate to the area of specialization and to the program. Required practicum hours for each course are listed in the course descriptions.

Nursing 634, 635, 636, 637, 638, and 690 require up to two days per week for daytime clinical hours. NURS 633 requires one day per week for daytime clinical hours. Clinical experiences take place under the guidance of experienced advanced practice nurse or physician preceptors.

Health Assessment Clinical

Each NP student also completes an additional 35 hours of health assessment clinical.  Practicum hours for each specialty take place in various settings as appropriate to the specialty and population.

Application Requirements

  • Application
  • Essay
  • Official transcripts including addendum
  • Application fee
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • National standardized admission test requirement (waived for post-master’s certificate program)
  • Resume/CV
  • Preadmission interview
  • Additional documents needed from international applicants seeking to study in the U.S.

» View Application Details for Nursing MSN Programs

Application Deadlines

Applicants need to make sure all materials are completed by either the Priority Consideration Deadline or the Final Deadline in order for an application to be considered complete.

 TermPriority ConsiderationFinal Deadline
Fall Matriculation for Nursing MSN ProgramsFebruary 1August 1*
Spring Matriculation for Nursing MSN – School Nurse; All other Nursing
Certificate and Post-Master’s Programs
October 1December 1*

*Applications will be considered on a space available basis up to and including the first day of the semester.

» View Application Deadline Details

Tuition & Costs

The College of New Jersey provides a high quality education at a lower than average cost than other schools of similar quality.

Tuition TypeRate
In-State$949.91 per credit
Out-of-State Tuition$949.91 per credit

» View Tuition & Fees Details

The College Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing tuition, fees, housing and board plan rates. Tuition and fees schedules are subject to change without notice and upon action of the Board of Trustees.

Assistantships & Aid

Graduate Assistantships

TCNJ offers graduate assistantships that provide meaningful learning experiences while also supporting TCNJ’s educational mission. These assistantships require 15 hours of work per week during the fall and spring semesters while the college is in session. Only those full-time (minimum 9 credits/semester), matriculated graduate students in good academic standing with a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 are eligible for selection.

Graduate Assistants are awarded a tuition waiver of $10,000.00 per academic year ($5,000 per semester for fall and spring only) and are hired on an annual basis for a maximum of two years.

» Learn more about Graduate Assistantships

Financial Aid
Students pursuing a graduate degree at TCNJ may be eligible for some types of student financial assistance, including but not limited to student loans and assistantships. Graduate students must follow the same steps as undergraduates in applying for federal loan assistance.

Graduate students must be enrolled in at least five credit hours at the 500 level or above in order to be eligible for student loan assistance and for TCNJ to certify enrollment for a loan repayment deferment.

Semester Enrollment Requirements for Graduate Students
Full-time status = 9 or more credit hours
Half-time status = 5 credit hours
The enrollment requirements pertain to individual summer session enrollment as well.

» Learn more about Financial Aid at TCNJ

Save the NEW date of Friday, November 13th, 2020 for the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science 50th Anniversary GalaLearn More