Anyone graduated from a clinical nurse leader program?

  1. I'm applying to a direct-entry clinical nurse leader program right now and I'm curious to know whether there are any students or graduates of such programs out there that can talk about their experience. I know it's a very new program and the information on it from the AACN seems somewhat vague. I'm wondering what people are actually doing with the degree or plan to do with it. Thanks!
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    About arciedee

    Joined: Nov '04; Posts: 924; Likes: 50
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Maternity, quality

    53 Comments

  3. by   Spacklehead
    I am not in the CNL path at school, but I have had most of my NP courses with them so far and we are all close (as in friendly with each other). As far as I know, the CNL students at my school all have been selected by their current places of employment to enroll in this program. They also are guaranteed jobs as CNL's by their employers upon graduation. The other nice thing is that their institutions are paying for their tuition and books, too.

    At my school, they pretty much follow the same education path as the NP's up until we all have to do our clinicals - they have to do their practicum at their hospital. I believe their program is 2 years of part-time study (since they all work) plus 2 summers (the last summer being their practicum).

    The students in class with me are the first CNL students at our school, so the program is brand new. I think with such a new APRN role, it is important to have an employer who will support the role at their institution so that job opportunities are available.

    ETA: It seems like their role once they graduate will be one of an APRN who remains at the bedside. They will probably also be excellent resources for staff as far as patient care goes. In a way, it seems similar to a CNS role - although they are different. It also seems like they will play a huge part in patient care management.
    Last edit by Spacklehead on Aug 17, '06
  4. by   sunnyjohn
    No, but I've been accepted in the CNL program at Xavier in OH for next year.

    It is very vague. I see it as a generic MSN in "I'm-not-sure what kind of nursing I want to do so treat me as a new graduate, but in a few years I can be an excellent resource and even an asset today with my prior education and experience" nursing
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Very interesting. As a CNS in IL (where there is no difference in priviledges between an NP, CNS, CNM), I know the statement put out by the NCSBN wants to abolish CNS's. I can't imagine that they want MORE APRNs. It will be very interesting for all of us.
  6. by   Spacklehead
    Just wanted to add that after I looked into it further, I found good info at the link below. I guess they are stating that CNL's won't be considered APN's like CNS's are.

    http://www.aacn.nche.edu/CNL/FAQ.htm
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I almost wonder where these jobs are going to be? When I graduated in May 06, there were few jobs for new grad CNS's in my area.
  8. by   Spacklehead
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I almost wonder where these jobs are going to be? When I graduated in May 06, there were few jobs for new grad CNS's in my area.
    Trauma,

    I'm not sure about other schools, but if you saw my earlier post, my school has agreements with a few different hospitals who will create CNL postitions for these students upon graduation. I'm not sure how the students were selected by their employers to go the CNL route; however, I couldn't imagine a specific nursing unit having more than one or two CNL's working for them, depeding on the size, so once all the positions are filled, then what? It seems like it is going to be a position that will need to be highly promoted to hospitals so that more are willing to hire them.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Ooops sorry - I guess I skipped over that part of your original post. I certainly see your point.
  10. by   anc33
    Quote from sunnyjohn
    No, but I've been accepted in the CNL program at Xavier in OH for next year.

    It is very vague. I see it as a generic MSN in "I'm-not-sure what kind of nursing I want to do so treat me as a new graduate, but in a few years I can be an excellent resource and even an asset today with my prior education and experience" nursing
    From what I have heard at my school the CNL will work more as a manager, case coordinator and educator. It would only be generic in the fact that the skill set you are learning could be applied to any population. It is like nursing's version of a clinical MBA.
  11. by   merellis2009
    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.
  12. by   merellis2009
    PS:

    I almost forgot! The current recommendation as far as how many patients per CNL is 20 patients per CNL, but here in GA the 2 CNL's we have worked with both have 40 patients for each of them. The 2 CNLs that we met have one floor each assigned to them, and that hospital is planning on hiring more CNLs because they've had success with these 2.

    I just read back on my notes for a few roles that CNL's are responsible for, so I figured I would share with you all:

    Clinician: designer/coordinator/evaluator of care to patients, families, groups, communities, and populations with a particular focus on health promotion and risk reduction

    Outcomes manager: obtain date/info and knowledge to evaluate and achieve positive client outcomes

    Client advocate: ensuring that the patient, families, and public are well informed and are included in care planning

    Educator: teach patients, families and other health care professionals about current information and new technologies

    Info manager: able to use technologies to improve outcomes

    Systems analyst/risk anticipator: review how things are done in order to improve quality of care and anticipate risks to safety

    Team manager: delegate and manage nursing team resources, serve as a leader and partner in the interdisciplinary team

    Member of a profession: Accountable for lifelong learning to affect changes in health care practice and outcomes in the profession
  13. by   sunnyjohn
    Thanks for the response!
  14. by   arciedee
    OP here... merellis2009, thanks for your post. It's great to hear from someone who's in a CNL program already. I appreciate all the info/experience you were able to provide. I'll be starting my program in January, so hopefully I'll be able to add more to this thread at some point.

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