Frequently Asked Questions
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There is a demand from healthcare leaders to have someone formally trained in the CNL or a similar program. There is a need for changes
to happen in order to improve patient outcomes, and the AACN believes that the creation of the CNL role will contribute to the improvements in the education and care deliveries of healthcare professionals. CNLs are experts in promoting critical thinking and innovation to constructively manage and promote a team-based approach to care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of medical and health leaders is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all other occupations.
While the CNL role is new and direct information is not available, data shows that the CNL role may be a contributing factor. In 2010, there were 597 total candidates to take the CNL exam, while in 2015 there were 1080 total candidates. The number of total candidates nearly doubled in five years, which shows the increase in demand.
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What education level is required to be a CNL?
You will need at least a MSN with a concentration in Clinical Nurse Leadership or a similar program. This is because a CNL needs to be a resource for their nursing team, and the MSN assures that a nurse is clinically competent to do that. There are also Post-Master’s Certificate programs that will prepare any nurse already carrying an MSN degree for the CNL exam.