AbstractRural healthcare organizations face significant challenges when implementing quality and safety initiatives due to limited human and financial resources. The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), a new nursing role developed to address the quality and safety concerns of healthcare organizations and providers, may prove to be an exceptionally valuable member of the rural nursing leadership team. Educationally prepared to assume nine roles (expert generalist clinician, outcomes manager, advocate, healthcare team leader, information manager, educator, member of a profession, and life-long learner) the CNL is well prepared to function as a valuable member of the rural health care team. Through the use of the microsystem assessment process, the CNL can lead quality and safety initiatives specific to meet the unique needs of rural health care organizations, providers, and patients.
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