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  1. Drake, Emily E. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. DeGennaro, Gina DNP, RN, CNL
  3. Kuhn, Dillon MEd


Background: Because the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role is relatively new, little is known about the success of CNL graduates. Our aim was to describe the career path of CNL graduates and to measure satisfaction 2 to 10 years after graduation.


Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used to assess career trajectory and self-reported satisfaction with work, life, and educational preparation in a sample of 109 CNL graduates from one university. Online data collection was used, resulting in participants from across the United States.


Results: Respondents were primarily Direct Entry CNL graduates. The majority (95%) were still working full- or part-time in nursing. Most (over 90%) were satisfied or extremely satisfied with their decision to become a nurse. Life satisfaction was high: the Satisfaction with Life Scale mean score was 24.9 (SD = 5.67).


Conclusion: These results help describe CNL career trajectories and provide useful suggestions for education and practice. This information can help build the business case for the CNL.