I havent graduated yet but I am a CNL student in Georgia. A lot of people are often confused by what a CNL is exactly and what their function is. The CNL is a generalist (ie: no threat to ANP's or CNS's at all!) whose job is to ensure that people from all healthcare disciplines are communicating and that the "ball doesn't get dropped." It's a brand new program, and I think the first graduates will be graduating this month from a school up North. We're not managers. We don't hire/fire people. We aren't the "boss." We are responsible for applying research based information into the already existing plans of care. We will be there to perhaps give a different perspective *all evidence based* on how things could be helped if a new approach were to be tested/modified. We help not only educate the patient and families, but also the other health care disciplines. We will identify the weaknesses and positive points, and devise methods to improve. We will also be involved with the statistics ends of things- like improving core measures (falls, medication errors, etc).
First and foremost though, we are going to be nurses. We will be RN's, but we are going to have just a slightly different view on things.
One thing I have noticed is that a lot of the more experienced nurses don't like the idea of the program, and I really think it's just because they haven't heard too much about it. CNLs are just there to make things run smoother and easier for all people involved. We're not there to step on toes or cause trouble.
The certification exam for CNLs is coming up pretty soon. As of right now, I've been told that there is not a mandatory time between graduatiing/getting work experience and taking the exam. That's why as soon as I get my NCLEX out of the way, I'm going in to take the CNL certification.
From what I understand, CNL programs across the country are all doing things a little differently. For my school, the program is open only to students who already have a NON-NURSING BS or BA degree. MCG saw this as a chance to get those 2nd degree students in that have more life experiences with them. Our program is 16 months in length, 4 semesters back to back to back to back with 15-16 semester hours per semester. It's a pretty tough course load and we're not allowed to make C's. If you make one C, youre on academic probation. 2 or more and you are out. From week one we had patient contact in clinicals, which I think was nice.
ANYWAYS sorry I went off on a tangent but hopefully I answered some questions that you all may have had about CNL's. If I can be of any assistance, please let me know.