Clinical Nurse Leader Exam
In order to be eligible to take the Clinical Nurse Leader Exam, you must have graduated or be in your last term in an accredited CNL master’s or post-master’s program.
This test is computer-based. You will have 3 hours to complete 140 multiple-choice questions. Of the 140 questions, only 130 will be scored.
Special testing accommodations are available for those who have approved conditions. This request must be made in writing, via the Special Accommodations Request Form.
Some testing accommodations include small group setting, Braille test materials, large print test materials, ability to take prescription medications with water, hand-held magnifier, and seat cushion.
What domains and subdomains are covered on this exam?
The domains covered on this exam are:
- Nursing Leadership – 32%
- Clinical Outcomes Management – 23%
- Care Environment Management – 45%
Under the Nursing Leadership domain, the subdomains that will be addressed include horizontal leadership, healthcare advocacy, implementation of the CNL role, lateral integration of care services, patient assessment, and ethics. Under the Clinical Outcomes Management domain, the subdomains that will be addressed, include illness/disease management, health promotion and disease prevention & injury reduction/prevention management, and healthcare policy. Under the Care Environment Management domain, the subdomains that will be addressed, include knowledge management, healthcare systems/organizations, interprofessional communication and collaboration skills, team coordination, quality improvement & safety, evidence-based practice, healthcare finance & economics, and healthcare informatics.
How can I register for this exam?
Register online. Before submitting your application and payment, make sure the date and location at which you’d like to take the exam are available. Once you’ve registered, be sure to ask your CNL Program Director to complete the education documentation form for you.
What is the cost of the exam?
If you are a first-time applicant and are taking the exam at a nursing school, the cost is $350. If you are re-taking this exam at the nursing school, the fee is $250.
If you are a first-time applicant and are taking the exam at a testing center, the cost is $425. If you are re-taking this exam at the testing center, the fee is $325.
What are the testing locations?
This exam can either be taken at a nursing school or approved testing center.
If taking at a nursing school, research the nursing schools that administer this exam. Be sure to look for the date the exam will be given at that school, as well as whether you have to attend that particular school to be eligible to take the exam there.
There are various testing centers throughout the world that offer this exam. Typically, the exam is offered between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, but check with the testing center to confirm this.
What should I do the day of the exam?
Report to the testing site on time. If you are more than 15 minutes late, you will not be allowed to take the exam.
Bring a valid form of identification that includes your name, signature, and photo. Also bring your registration confirmation email.
What happens after I take the exam?
Your test result will be reported as Pass or Fail. If you fail the exam, you will receive a score report. The score scale is 150-500. At a minimum, you must receive a 350 to pass.
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Clinical Nurse Leader Study Guide
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