In Today's Healthcare Environment Are Educators the Key to Sustaining the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Role?


American Assoication of Colleges of Nursing


Buena Vista Palace in Orlando, FL.

Publication Date / Copyright Date



With the impact of the Affordable Care Act on nursing, the aging RN population, and an improving economy, can educators make an impact on steering BSN nurses toward the CNL career path? The State of Florida is once again headed toward a crippling nursing shortage by the year 2025 (Florida Center for Nursing, 2013). With the improving economy many of the RN’s that returned to the profession are again moving away from the workforce. This coupled with the aging of the workforce is heading Florida toward a severe shortage related to the decline in young people choosing nursing as a career. In addition, the literature suggests the BSN nurses of today are moving toward the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) also known as the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) role with fewer numbers moving into the CNL or educational tracks. Since 2007 MSN degree programs overall have seen an increase in enrollment, which is promising, but those tracks as reported in the evidence from 25 schools are mainly in the APN and Nurse Anesthetist (NA) programs. These programs reported they turned away 65% of qualified applicants for AY 2012-13. The CNL programs had much fewer students and thus did not turn away students (Florida Center for Nursing, 2014). However, did those schools offer additional choices for educational advancement? By 2013 these programs graduated 758 APN’s and 140 Nurse Anesthetists compared to only 27 CNL’s, which greatly impacts the number of nurses at the bedside coordinating care to patients and families This presentation will look at the evidence as to whether we are making strides in recruiting and retaining RN’s in the CNL versus the APN and NA tracks and strategies to increase enrollment and thus ensure the profession sustains the clinical nurse leader role. Florida Center for Nursing. (2013). Strategies to successfully provide Floridians an adequate, qualified nurse workforce. Retrieved from http://www.florida center for nursing. Florida Center for Nursing (2014). Florida post-licensure Registered Nurse education: AY 2012-2013. Retrieved from http://www.florida center for nursing.



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