The clinical nurse leader is a master level educated nurse that works to improve quality care, by collecting and evaluating treatment results, and work to improve out comes by advocating for evidence-based changes (Register Nursing, n.d.). The clinical nurse leader requires a high level of clinical competency and knowledge, and during the master level classes requires advanced courses in pathophysiology, clinical assessment, and pharmacology with a focus on general medicine, opposed to just one primary discipline (Register Nurse, n.d.). The clinical nurse leader works closely with patients and will provide direct clinical leadership to ensure safe care delivery (Reid, & Dennison, 2011).
The role of a clinical nurse leader is to find ways to improve quality patient care, by examining outcomes, risk, along with changing care plans if needed, and advocating for fellow nurses (Register Nursing, n.d.). The clinical nurse leader influences direct patient care by serves that promote shorter hospital stays, lower readmission rates, lower infection rates, fewer falls, less injuries, and even lower nurse turn-over (Register Nurse, n.d.). The clinical nurse leader also achieves lower healthcare cost to the institution with these changes, and ensures cost effective care while addressing barriers to efficiency (Register Nursing, n.d.).
The clinical nurse leader can influence patient care both in the hospital and the community, by a subculture of care with leadership, team-work, evidence-based care, communication, justice, and patient-centeredness (Reid & Dennison, 2011). One example of a clinical nurse leader might be ensuring clients, families and communities are informed about their health while advocating for nursing staff. The clinical nurse leader routinely monitor and intervene based on the units vital signs, or information about the units aggregate safety and quality functioning, are also examples of what role a clinical nurse leader might perform daily (Reid & Dennison, 2011).
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