I'm currently enrolled in a direct-entry MSN-CNL program and planning on working in Atlanta when I graduate. The word on the reception of these graduates in Atlanta has been inconsistent. Some people have said that hospitals in Atlanta aren't very open to RNs from a direct-entry program like mine, but others have said that Atlanta is more receptive than surrounding areas. This won't really change my plans when I graduate; I have a settled family. I just want to know what to anticipate when I start applying for new grad internships, residencies, etc. Anyone out there with some insider knowledge of how graduates like me are being perceived? Perspectives from all types of nurses would help! How are we viewed in the clinical setting?
Most of my cohort just wanted to get our RN license and become really excellent nurses--the CNL program just let us do that in a shorter (albeit very intense) time period for the same amount of money as the BSN program at our school. Some of us eventually want to enter a role focused on care coordination after working for several years, but I don't presume that I'll have any advantage to BSNs or ADNs when it comes to caring for my patients, ESPECIALLY not right out of school when I have no experience. Some of my best clinical experiences have been with really awesome nurse who had ADNs, and I don't think my degree will ever make me as good of a nurse as learning from my preceptors will. However, it seems some CNL students and graduates believe themselves to be or have portrayed themselves as more qualified than other RNs. To me, an RN is an RN, no matter what the degree; the most important thing is quality patient care and safety. The CNL role is one that comes after education and a lot of experience and a certification exam, not just with a degree. Any advice on how to best convey this perspective when entering the job market? I don't plan on touting my CNL status until I actually have experience and the certification to back it up, but my education is on my resume, so I can't downplay it there. (Just FYI--I'm not saying that my program hasn't prepared me well--because it definitely has--just that most of the CNL skills I've learned will be useful in the future rather than right out of school. Right now and in the near future I'm focusing on how to be a skilled and compassionate nurse.)
Sorry to ramble on so long! This has sort of become a soapbox for me when talking with some of my classmates. Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated!