CNL Certification
Copyright © 2008 by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. All rights reserved.

Tool Kit for the Implementation of the Clinical Nurse Leader
Guide for Practice and Academic Partners
originally posted May 2006


This Tool Kit is to serve as a resource for practice and educational institutions/organizations implementing the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) into their care delivery systems. Elements of the Tool Kit are organized around Kotter's (1996) eight stages of change: 1) establishing a sense of urgency; 2) creating the guiding coalition; 3) developing a vision and strategy; 4) communicating the change vision; 5) empowering broad-based action; 6) generating short-term wins; 7) consolidating gains and producing more change; and 8) anchoring new approaches in the culture.

Using the Tool Kit

Under each of Kotter's stages of change are listed articles, presentations, media, references, and other tools to be of assistance in incorporating this new role in practice settings. Many of the suggested aids are available at AACN's web site: Consider the Tool Kit a work in progress. New materials will be added to the Tool Kit as new documents and information becomes available. These new materials will be marked on the toolkit as new or updated so that when revisiting, toolkit users need only to quickly browse for the new, flagged resources. Your feedback on the usefulness of these materials as well as suggestions for other assistive information is welcomed.

Kotter, J.P. (1996). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.