MSN-CNL Going Away?

  1. Hi, I do not know if this is the correct place to post, so if it is not, please move this thread:

    I was speaking with a recruiter at a nursing conference, who informed me that a particular school was getting rid of the MSN-CNL degree and focusing on providing an MSN. The MSN is no longer focused. For example, the degree reads Masters of Science in Nursing rather than Masters of Science in Nursing and Clinical Nurse Leadership. So, my queston is does any one know of Universities getting rid of the MSN-CNL? If so, do you know why?

    My uninformed guess is that it is related to hiring practices of Masters prepared RNs. Plus, the fact that CNL is a generalist certification. Thus, employers can hire any MSN or Non-MSN (RNs with other Masters) for the same roles.
    Last edit by SummerGarden on Aug 7
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    About SummerGarden, ADN, BSN, RN

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    6 Comments

  3. by   not.done.yet
    I am far from an expert, but the CNL classification seems by my admittedly anecdotal experience to have been fading from view for several years now. It isn't sought out by most major hospitals and never really took hold as an advanced practice role. There are still a few hospital systems that hire them, but they grow fewer all the time. I suspect the lack of demand is the reason for the schools beginning to drop this particular specialty and I suspect the lack of demand is driven by the "in between" nature of the role, where if an educator is needed then an APRN is not and if an APRN is needed, an NP fills the role just as well.
  4. by   elkpark
    Quote from not.done.yet
    I am far from an expert, but the CNL classification seems by my admittedly anecdotal experience to have been fading from view for several years now. It isn't sought out by most major hospitals and never really took hold as an advanced practice role. There are still a few hospital systems that hire them, but they grow fewer all the time. I suspect the lack of demand is the reason for the schools beginning to drop this particular specialty and I suspect the lack of demand is driven by the "in between" nature of the role, where if an educator is needed then an APRN is not and if an APRN is needed, an NP fills the role just as well.
    (Just to clarify, the CNL was never intended to be, and has never been considered, an advanced practice specialty.)

    OP, I haven't heard anything about this (yet), but the CNL role was originally developed by academia, not because there was any great outcry from the clinical world for a Master's-prepared generalist RN (I have my own cynical theory about the reasons for that). The role has not yet caught on in a significant way. The VA committed to putting a CNL on every inpatient unit at one point a number of years ago (I don't know if they have continued to pursue that goal over time, or if that has changed); other than that, the employers most interested in CNLs seem to have been academic medical centers affiliated with universities that have CNL programs.
  5. by   SummerGarden
    Quote from elkpark
    (Just to clarify, the CNL was never intended to be, and has never been considered, an advanced practice specialty.)

    OP, I haven't heard anything about this (yet), but the CNL role was originally developed by academia, not because there was any great outcry from the clinical world for a Master's-prepared generalist RN (I have my own cynical theory about the reasons for that). The role has not yet caught on in a significant way.
    This is my thinking too that Academia came up with this role. In fact, within my workplace (I work for a large nationally recognized organization) there are no CNL designated roles and never have been. A RN with a MSN-CNL is treated no different than a RN with any Masters degree, excluding those that are in advance practice roles, such as, CNS and/or NP.
  6. by   meanmaryjean
    CNL seems to be a role in search of a need. That need not being really felt in the marketplace- it is going to fade away in my opinion. The VA (that paragon of bureaucracy) was the driver in the beginning, but support for the degree never made it outside their walls on a major scale.
  7. by   llg
    I agree with most of the previous posters -- the CNL was designed by academia to serve the financial needs of 2nd degree students who wanted to enter nursing at the Master's level instead of the BSN level. Those students had "used up" their eligibility for undergraduate financial aid. By offering "entry" courses at the graduate level, they could qualify for graduate level financial assistance. That is why almost 100% of the first CNL programs were only open to people who had no prior nursing education. Existing nurses were not allowed to enroll.

    As one previous poster wrote: The CNL role was always a "degree in search of a role."

    In the olden days, people got MSN's in the field of their choice (med/surg, peds, Maternity, Community Health, etc.). Those graduates were then eligible for a wide variety of roles within the healthcare field -- and could supplement their knowledge with a few elective courses and/or through continuing education courses. When academia tried to create specific Master's Degrees for specific jobs (CNL) it was a step backward for the nursing profession -- as graduates were considered ineligible for a variety of actual jobs, and qualified for only 1 specific type of job. That situation just doesn't match the realities of the job world.

    If it is true that schools are starting to go back to more generalized MSN's that prepare graduates for a wide variety of jobs -- then I think that is great -- the correction of a mistake. The CNL curriculum has included many valuable components that should be preserved and integrated into the new MSN's. But the role itself has never matched the real world of jobs. I've always liked the content of the CNL curriculum and valued what CNL's have to offer. But the limited imagined job role has never made sense to me. The CNL graduates should be prepared to fill a variety of roles, not just one that rarely exists in the health care system.

    However ... a school near me just opened a CNL program. So I am not sure what the national trend really is.
  8. by   not.done.yet
    Quote from elkpark
    (Just to clarify, the CNL was never intended to be, and has never been considered, an advanced practice specialty.)

    OP, I haven't heard anything about this (yet), but the CNL role was originally developed by academia, not because there was any great outcry from the clinical world for a Master's-prepared generalist RN (I have my own cynical theory about the reasons for that). The role has not yet caught on in a significant way. The VA committed to putting a CNL on every inpatient unit at one point a number of years ago (I don't know if they have continued to pursue that goal over time, or if that has changed); other than that, the employers most interested in CNLs seem to have been academic medical centers affiliated with universities that have CNL programs.
    I think I was confusing CNL with CNS. Thank you for speaking up!

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