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Clinical Nurse Leader Impact on Clinical Microsystems Outcomes

Hix, Carolyn DNP, RN, NEA-BC; McKeon, Leslie PhD, RN, CNL; Walters, Sandra MSN, RN

Journal of Nursing Administration: February 2009 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 71-76
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e318195a612

The clinical nurse leader (CNL) role is being rapidly implemented in healthcare settings. A major component of the CNL role is to provide a leader at the center of the microsystem to promote quality outcomes. To examine the impact of CNLs at the Department of Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, outcomes from 5 diverse microsystems were evaluated before and after CNL implementation using electronic scheduling system reports, patient medical records, and quality improvement reports. Statistically significant improvements were found in all 5 of the indicators evaluated. The authors discuss the implications of improvement for clinical, satisfaction, and financial performance.

Authors' Affiliations: Assistant Professor (Dr Hix), Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro; Assistant Professor (Dr McKeon), University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis; Interim Chief Nurse for Education Affiliation and Research (Ms Walters), Department of Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville.

Corresponding author: Dr Hix, Middle Tennessee State University, PO Box 81, Murfreesboro, TN 37129 (

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.