Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN)

Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader
Unit: School of Nursing (GN)
Program Website 
Academic Plan Code(s): NUCLMSNEPN

Program Information

The Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader is designed for individuals with a baccalaureate degree in another area who want to pursue a career in nursing. The program provides the student with a general foundation in nursing and additional skills in the application of evidence based practice and leadership. Upon completion of the program, the student receives both Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing Degrees. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) for registered nursing licensure and the Clinical Nurse Leader Certification Examination offered by the AACN Commission on Nurse Certification.

The University of Louisville School of Nursing is an essential partner of a research intensive academic health science center in a nationally recognized university serving a metropolitan community. The School of Nursing is a community in which faculty, staff and students collaborate to promote excellence in the profession of nursing. This is accomplished through research and scholarship that inform undergraduate and graduate education, support evidence-based practice and foster advances in nursing science.

Students are prepared to demonstrate excellence in nursing science, practice and leadership, in a variety of settings for the benefit of clients across the lifespan and to meet the evolving health care needs of society.

Program-Specific Academic Policies

Academic Progress in the Graduate Program

Satisfactory academic progress in a program involves maintaining the academic and professional standards expected in a particular discipline or program and may include a demonstration of the ability to function as a professional practitioner. Failure to maintain these standards or demonstrate such abilities may result in the termination of the student's admission to the program.

Removal From Clinical

A student who is unsafe in a clinical area or research setting is subject to academic action including dismissal from the program.

Clinical Laboratory Fee

All graduate students enrolled in clinical programs in the School of Nursing will be charged instructional and clinical fees. These fees cover costs associated with clinical laboratory instruction, including clinical laboratory supplies, clinical equipment, support of simulation equipment, preceptor placement coordination and clinical visitations.

Course Offerings

Course offerings are subject to cancellation due to insufficient enrollment. Preceptorship/clinical experiences are scheduled on any day of the week based on availability of clinical sites and preceptors. Limited evening and weekend preceptorship experiences may be available. Preceptorship experiences throughout the state are also possible but not guaranteed. The office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs oversees student placement with preceptors, in collaboration with the Clinical Placement Coordinator and course faculty.

Late Complete Withdrawal after the Deadline

Upon proper documentation of extreme circumstances, decision for approval of late complete withdrawals may be made by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Late complete withdrawals are those requested after the deadline has passed and before the instructor has assigned a grade.

Students may not withdraw from any course after the published deadline in the online Schedule of Courses without the approval of the Associate Dean for  Academic Affairs. This is granted only because of illness or conditions beyond the student's control. The grade report would reflect a grade of W.

Student Health Services Requirements

Each student must comply with the current student health policy of the Health Sciences Center. All costs associated with compliance are the responsibility of the student. Because of contractual agreements with agencies and the changing needs of society, this policy is updated periodically. The current health policies are listed below. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain his/her health in order to ensure safety for other students and clients. If faculty or the agency deems that any student creates a health risk, the student may be excluded from the clinical experience and/or the program.

Note: Health policies are constantly under review by faculty based on CDC changing requirements and community expectations. Students will be notified of any policy changes, and compliance will be required.

Clinical Requirements

Detailed information is provided at student orientations and is provided in the Master's Entry into Professional Nursing Student Handbook.

Repeating Nursing Courses

In accordance with the Graduate Catalog, the student’s academic department may approve six (6) credit hours in which a grade of C+, C, or C-minus is earned and can count toward the completion of degree requirements. Based on the Graduate School policy, the School of Nursing will approve a maximum of six (6) credit hours of 400-level coursework with a grade of C or C+.  A grade of C-minus in a 400-level course will be a failing grade and must be repeated in the MEPN Program. If a student exceeds six (6) credit hours with a grade of C+ or below, the student will be dismissed from the program. For all 500-, 600- and 700-level courses, a grade of B-minus or better is required. A grade below a B-minus in the 500-, 600-, or 700-level courses represents a failing grade and will require the student to repeat the course.

Probation and Dismissal

If the cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation for the next regular semester. If the cumulative grade point average is not raised to a minimum of 3.0 by the end of the probation semester, the student will be dismissed from the program. The dismissal will be reflected on the student's transcript. If a student wishes to continue at the university, he/she must apply and be accepted to another unit in order to continue to enroll in classes.

Permission for Visiting Student Status at Another Institution

Students may apply for visiting student status should they wish to enroll in a nursing course at another institution while a student at the University of Louisville. If the course is being taken to apply toward the University of Louisville degree requirements, it is the student's responsibility to check with OSS to confirm the equivalency of the course before they enroll. Students must provide OSS with the most recent copy of the course syllabus so that University of Louisville faculty can evaluate the course for equivalency. Once the equivalency status of the course has been determined, the applying student will be sent a letter of permission for visiting student status. Students are responsible for requesting that an official transcript be sent to the Graduate School, Graduate Admissions, upon completion of any transfer work.

Admissions Policies—MSN/School of Nursing

Students may be admitted into the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for the Master of Science - Clinical Nurse Leader during a summer term only.  This degree is a graduate program for entry into practice, not advanced practice.

The Master of Science in Nursing, Certificate in Health Professions Education, admits for a fall term only.
This program is currently 

Application Deadlines for Degree-Seeking Students

Summer Semester for MSN/EPN: October 15

Criteria for Admission to the Master of Science in Nursing 

A holistic review process is used when considering applications for admission to the master's program. The holistic review considers multiple criteria for admissions, such as:  the applicant's professional goals, academic capabilities, grade point averages, and quality of interview. The MEPN program also considers the number of completed prerequisite courses.

The University of Louisville School of Nursing participates in Nursing's Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS), which provides you with an online application.  NursingCAS collects and processes your application documents and verifies your transcripts.  The School of Nursing will receive your application information from NursingCAS and use it to make admission decisions. 

Note: The University of Louisville School of Nursing application will be available through the NursingCAS system starting July 1, 2020.

To be considered for admission to Degree Status, the following items must be submitted:

To the Graduate School

       To NursingCAS

  • Official transcripts representing all college coursework with a recommended cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  A bachelor's degree must be earned from a regionally accredited institution. Students in the health professions education concentration must have a bachelor of science in nursing from a regionally and CCNE, ACEN, or NLN accredited institution.
  • Applicants who have attended a college or university outside the United States are also required to submit an evaluation of their transcript through World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). Please note that transcript evaluations can sometimes take several weeks.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Within the NursingCAS application, submit names and email addresses of individuals who can speak to your academic and/or professional capabilities and potential.
  • Goal statement, 500 words or less, explaining your reasons for seeking the program, including short- and long-term professional goals. Describe how past educational, work, and/or life experiences have prepared you for this next step in the career. 
  • Resume. 
  • Proof of English Proficiency: International students for whom English is not their primary language must show English language proficiency by 1) demonstration of a degree awarded from an acceptable English language institution or 2) acceptable examinations: TOEFL; International English Language Testing System (IELTS); successful completion of the exit examination for the advanced level of the intensive English as a Second Language Program.  Recommended test scores are available on the University International Student website.

To the School of Nursing, Office of Student Services

  • Criminal background check submitted through
  • An interview with faculty may be required.

Students who do not meet admission requirements may contact the University of Louisville School of Nursing Office of Student Services for an advising appointment.

Conditional Admission to MSN Degree Program:

Students who do not meet these admission requirements may be considered for admission in conditional status.

Applications will not be considered for Full or Conditional Degree status unless all application materials are available to the review committee by the application deadline.

Criteria for Admission in Visiting Student Status to the Graduate Nursing Program:

Students admitted as visiting students are non-degree. Students admitted in non-degree status may not be eligible for some financial aid sources. Visiting students from other schools may apply each semester for non-degree status by submitting the following:

To the Graduate School

  • Graduate Admissions Application including an application fee.
  • A letter of good standing from student's home school or transcripts from graduate school in which the student is currently enrolled verifying a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Important Note: All applicants, regardless of their application status, are required to submit official transcripts for all college work completed. An application fee is required of all applicants regardless of where previous degrees were earned.

The Master of Science in Nursing Curriculum

Master's Entry into Professional Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader

The Master's Entry into Professional Nursing (EPN) is designed for individuals with a baccalaureate degree in another area who want to pursue a career in nursing. The program provides the student with a general foundation in nursing and additional skills in the application of evidence-based practice and leadership. Upon completion of the program, the student receives both Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing Degrees.

Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) for registered nursing licensure and the Clinical Nurse Certification Examination offered by the AACN Commission on Nurse Certification. This is not an advanced practice registered nursing program. Prerequisites must be completed, or in progress, before being considered for admittance into the graduate program. All prerequisites must be completed prior to starting the program.

To ensure appropriate preparation for the program, the following prerequisites are required: Chemistry, Nutrition, Lifespan Developmental Psychology, Microbiology with lab, two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with lab, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology. A minimum grade of C is required in all prerequisite courses. Students must consult with the program advisor for appropriate equivalencies.

Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader
NURS 401Introduction to Practice and Clinical Nurse Leader Role1
NURS 402Adult Health I5
NURS 403Adult Health II6
NURS 404Childbearing3.5
NURS 405Child Health4
NURS 406Psychiatric/Mental Health4
NURS 407Community Health5
NURS 408Care of the Adult with Complex Health Needs6
NURS 409Capstone2
NURS 503Advanced Health Assessment3
NURS 504Leadership & Health Care Policy2
NURS 507Transitions to Practice and CNL Role2
NURS 510Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology Application I2
NURS 511Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology Application II2
NURS 608Health Care Systems and Microsystem Analysis3
NURS 620Theory for Evidence Based Practice2
NURS 621Research and Evidence Based Practice2
NURS 627Epidemiology and Global Health3
NURS 631Clinical Nurse Leader Immersion: Part I1
NURS 632Clinical Nurse Leader Immersion: Part II3
NURS 652Advanced Statistical Application3
NURS 745Health Information Technology3
Minimum Total Hours67.5