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  1. Bender, Miriam PhD
  2. Williams, Marjory PhD
  3. Su, Wei PhD


BACKGROUND: The Clinical Nurse Leader(TM) (CNL) initiative is in its 2nd decade. Despite a growing theoretical and empirical body of CNL knowledge, little is known about CNLs themselves or where and how their competencies are being integrated into care delivery across the country.


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe certified CNL characteristics and roles as part of a larger study validating a model for CNL practice.


METHODS: This study used a descriptive analysis of survey data from a national sample of certified CNLs.


RESULTS: Survey response rate was 19%. Sixty percent have greater than 10 years of RN experience, and 75% have additional specialty certifications. Fifty-eight percent are practicing in a formal CNL role and report a high degree of accountability for all 9 CNL essential competencies.


CONCLUSIONS: Findings help understand the extent of CNL adoption and spread across the country and the level to which the initial vision of CNL practice is being achieved.