I'm will be starting in a CNL program next year. From what I'm reading here the CNL is being used as entry into nursing were you're at. Here you have to be an experienced RN to get accepted. The CNLs are supposed to be coordinating care laterally for a select group of patients needing either extensive aftercare or having complex care needs as an inpatient. Patient loads should be between 15-20 patients because you are not the patients primary care nurse. The idea is to make sure their care is coordinated so they get the care they when they need it, inpatient and outpatient. They are also suppose to help meet CMS protocols, assist with Magnet status and incorporate EBN to name a few The CNL is not management. This position is help RNs that want to stay at bedside stay there. The VA is using them in this way and are reportedly very pleased with the results, as are the patients. There is a CNL association website at http://www.cnlassociation.org/index.php It doesn't have a lot of info, but its a start. You might also try http://www.aacn.nche.edu/CNLHome.htm for more info. Hope this helps.