We've had a CNL program for a decade now, and have three entry points (Masters Entry, RN with an Associates Degree, and BSN-prepared).
We instruct our Master's Entry folks that they will be interviewing for the same novice/new grad positions that BSN graduates are seeking. The vast majority of institutions we deal with treat the new grad CNL the same as a new grad BSN --- but there are some institutions that definitely prefer one group over the other. In general, we've seen the CNL grad rise faster up the clinical ladder than the BSN-prepared grad but a CNL grad is not at the full extent of the CNL role until 2 or so years after graduation.
Personally, I am not a big fan of the L-word in the 'CNL' name. They are not "leaders" in the way that nurse managers are leaders or the CNO is a leader. We view the CNL as a bedside clinician with additional training in care coordination, patient safety, error reduction, and outcomes enhancement. But that is too many words to fit neatly on a name badge.
In our own curriculum/program, the Direct Entry CNL grad spends over 500 hours in a single unit over 8 months (the final two semesters of the program). This is much more time than our BSN grad spends in any single unit. With us, there is much more time for the manager and senior unit clinicians to assess the qualities/aptitude of the CNL student since they see them 20 hours a week for those 8 months.