Leading Initiatives

Use of CNL Logo, Credential, and Term

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The CNL logo as depicted above (the “Logo”), the initials “CNL®,” and the name “Clinical Nurse Leader” (collectively the “Trademarks”) are all the exclusive intellectual property of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and its Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC).  An explanation of the Trademarks is provided below:

  • “CNL®” is registered by AACN with the Patent and Trademark Office.
  • AACN and CNC hold service marks for both “Clinical Nurse Leader” and “Clinical Nurse Leader Certification Examination.”
  • Only certified CNLs may use the initials “CNL” in their credentials.
  • The “CNL” acronym may be used to describe programs that reflect the AACN Competencies and Curricular Expectations for Clinical Nurse LeaderSM Education and Practice white paper on The Education and Role of the Clinical Nurse Leader- http://www.aacn.nche.edu/publications/white-papers/cnl.

Use of any of the Trademarks is subject to the following terms and conditions:

  • The Trademarks do not indicate endorsement or recommendation of products, services, or policies/issues beyond those produced by CNC or AACN.
  • AACN grants a limited, revocable, royalty-free license to CNL® certificants to use the Logo, the initials “CNL®” and/or the name “Clinical Nurse Leader” solely for professional purposes.
  • Use of the Logo is encouraged by those persons and entities who have been authorized to conduct CNL programs and other professional initiatives to advance the CNL role.
  • The CNL logo can only be used for educational purposes and not for revenue generating activities such as t-shirts and other paraphernalia.
  • CNC is the sole provider of official merchandise with the CNL logo.
  • Alteration of any part of the logo is not allowed – the Logo may only be used in the format as depicted above. 
  • You must immediately cease and desist from any and all uses of any of the Trademarks upon receipt of notice to do so from AACN or CNC.

For more information, contact Shantal Hall, CNC Director, at shall@aacn.nche.edu.