Leading Initiatives

Eligibility Requirements

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CNL Certification Exam Eligibility

To be eligible to sit for the CNL Certification Exam, an individual must be a graduate of a CNL education program or a student in their last term of a CNL education program.

CNL Certification Eligibility

To be considered for full certification, a candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • Registered Nurse licensure (The candidate will be ineligible if currently being disciplined by a state nursing board.)

  • Graduation from a CNL master's or post-master’s program, accredited by a nursing accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, that prepares individuals with the competencies delineated in the AACN white paper on The Education and Role of the Clinical Nurse Leader.

Certification will be awarded by CNC upon documentation and verification of RN licensure and graduation from a CNL education program.

Waiver for CNL Faculty

The CNC is waiving the eligibility requirements for CNL faculty to apply for certification. CNL faculty who meet the following criteria are eligible to sit for the CNL Certification Examination:

  • Registered Nurse licensure

  • Graduate degree in nursing or a related health care discipline (such as health care administration or public health) from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Teach in an existing CNL education program

Note: CNL faculty must submit three forms to apply – CNL Certification Application Form, CNL Standards of Conduct, and the CNL Faculty Eligibility Documentation Form. Waiver expires December 31, 2016.