Direct entry MSN/CNL without nursing experience

  1. 1
    Hello,

    I've been poking around the site for a couple months and can only find old posts relating to CNL certification. Have attitudes towards it changed yet?

    I'm in the middle of a MSN, CNL program for non-BSN students. I don't have a BSN. I fully expect and plan on workin for a couple of years as an RN to gain practical clinical knowledge. However, I do realize the need for evidenced-based practice, and a significant portion of my education is focusing on not only what nurses do, but why nurses do them. This is something that I know is lacking from the majority of ADN programs in the area.

    How have people been utilizing the CNL lately? Some of my local hospitals seek out and hire CNL's, but the majority do not. Do people look down on a direct-entry nurse with an MSN? I expect to have to prove my skills and knowledge as an RN, but I want to know if there will be additional difficulties because I'm coming out of a master's program.

    Thanks!
    RS
    lindarn likes this.
  2. 20 Comments so far...

  3. 4
    No facility in my entire region is using CNLs. It appears that this is a role that was developed by academia rather than in response to any outcry from the "real world" of healthcare for MSN-prepared nurses at the bedside. I think it still remains to be seen how well the role is going to catch on outside of academia.
    salvadordolly, B52-H, DNS on the go, and 1 other like this.
  4. 2
    Short answer: Yes.

    Around my area, managers will exhaust other options before hiring one. This is because direct entry MSN programs are typically viewed as crash courses for RNs due to the length of the program.
    DNS on the go and lindarn like this.
  5. 1
    "however, i do realize the need for evidenced-based practice, and a significant portion of my education is focusing on not only what nurses do, but why nurses do them. this is something that i know is lacking from the majority of adn programs in the area."

    can you give examples of the "why" that is being taught in your program and not in the "majority" of adn programs in the area? have you previously attended an adn program in your area?

    i am an adn nurse and would like to pursue my master's someday and i am interested to know what kind of new things i will learn.
    lindarn likes this.
  6. 2
    I am also curious what you find. I have a Master's that is deemed worthless. I feel I am the "pretty girl that does not get asked to prom" because hiring managers think I want too much money, or I have more education then they have, experience, etc when in reality I just want a job!!! No one is giving me an opportunity to interview!!! Good luck.
    VivaRN and lindarn like this.
  7. 1
    I am a (recent) graduate from a direct entry MSN-CNL program. I have gone on a few interviews and most unit directors that I interviewed with were very interested in the role and have plans to implement it, though the timelines are not nailed down just yet as there a lot of logistics involved. I do know this is true of a few hospitals in my area (even those where I have not interviewed) from RN friends employed on units are actively trying to implement the role. So it is becoming more known and the appeal is definitely there. My cohort was the 6th at our school (and the only CNL program in our region), so its taken awhile for local hospitals to warm up to the idea and actively look to employ CNLs.

    I too plan on just working as a staff nurse for a couple years before I matriculate into the role (after all, I need practical experience outside of school clinicals and externships), and have said so while interviewing-which was well received and appreciated. Though my background and certification as a CNL has also gone over well while interviewing as well. I am currently waiting for call backs.
    lindarn likes this.
  8. 1
    I was looking into the CNL option, but it seems like hospitals are slow to implement the program. It's a shame since I know it takes a lot of dedication to go through an EL-M. I think the safest route for me would be the ABSN route, work for a bit and then, ultimately go for a Master's. Good luck to those still looking for work as a CNL.
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 5
    I completed a DEMSN/CNL program and I think the education was excellent. That said, I see little demand in most sectors of the market for the CNL, especially from the inexperienced nurses.

    I do perceive a real bias against the DEMSN graduates though I can say that my own trajectory on the job has been excellent (one of our most highly regarded nurses - a diploma "dinosaur," even - has been uniformly positive about me, something which another "dinosaur" said I should be very, very proud of). Many of my fellow graduates have been very well received as new grads - once they found jobs, that is.

    As a DEMSN grad, you're going to face an uphill battle in finding work. Nursing is one of the only fields in which I've found a significant percentage of people stating that less formal education is better than more.

    If you are good, you will do fine once you are able to secure your first position.

    Regarding the CNL: I know that the VA hires them and that a few of the major medical centers around here have a few of them. Personally, I wouldn't touch it as a formal role.
  10. 6
    I work in an area that considers experience the ultimate need. I have seen "advanced" nurses almost kill (and by that I mean because they don't have the clinical abilities that come with time to STOP issues/problems) patients.

    We do not and will never hire anyone without the proper background. I can't stand the stress anymore of dealing with, and maneuvering around cohorts who require additional (more than the usual length of time) mentoring.

    It is exhausting, and the stress is too much.
    OCNRN63, Fiona59, DNS on the go, and 3 others like this.
  11. 5
    just a few comments on your post...

    "i fully expect and plan on workin for a couple of years as an rn to gain practical clinical knowledge."

    in this position, experience is a must!!! the staff will not take you seriously if you do not have an understanding of clinical practice and what affects it. furthermore, i work for the va, and they require at least 5 years of bedside experience in order to be a candidate for a cnl position. remember, you are going to be considered an expert and leader - which most often occurs after several years of practice!

    "however, i do realize the need for evidenced-based practice, and a significant portion of my education is focusing on not only what nurses do, but why nurses do them. this is something that i know is lacking from the majority of adn programs in the area."

    just an fyi, do not judge someone before you have walked in their shoes. i can personally tell you that my hospital-based diploma program heavily emphasized ebp and rationales for things. in addition, ebp is not simply the rationale for performing a task but rather questioning if it is best practice.
    BahoRN, salvadordolly, NRSKarenRN, and 2 others like this.


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