There are CNL programs all across the country: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/cnl/CNLWebLinks.htm
Over 1/2 of these programs enroll BSN-prepared nurses, about 1/4 are Direct Entry programs, and the other 1/4 are ADN-MSN.
We started our Direct Entry program in 2005, and graduated our first students in 2007 with a 100% NCLEX rate. Unlike most entry-level nursing prorgams (ADN, BSN, or direct entry programs), every one of our clinicals are precepted 1:1 (over 1000 hours of practica). The seasoned RNs at our partner sites (UVA Medical Center and a VA Hospital) were at first skeptical, but now both host sites want to hire everyone. The CNL is not an advanced-practice role, but enables masters-prepared RNs to remain at the beside with more skills and abilities to conduct outcomes-focused care. As part of any CNL program, graduates work on a capstone project. Many of these project ideas have come from other nurses and managers for the CNLs to undertake. Some recent capstone project at UVA have including 'greening the OR' (recycling a ton of plastic every month), better planning to discharge by noon, a project to increase paternal bonding in the NICU, etc. These have been projects that no one had the time to undertake before -- and many have been adopted as part of practice now.
After having our CNL program for 4 years, we have found the RNs who were negative about the project in 2004 and 2005 are now the ones volunteering to be preceptors for new students. We welcome the help from these 'converts' as well. Some of our earlier grads are now precepting the new students too.
Not all hospitals in the country are using the CNL graduate in the way that they have been preapred. Some employers are using them only as regular floor nurses. But more employers (especially those interested in the Magnet venture) are interested in the CNL programs.