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Alumni Spotlight: Jessica Rabell

Jessica Rabell is the first graduate of the online MSN program to earn a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) certification. We asked Jessica to tell us more about her experience at Queens and how the program has helped her in her career.


Why did you choose Queens? Why did you choose this program vs. another program you may have looked at?

The program gave me the opportunity to fit my needs with working full-time and going to school full-time. I wanted a program that would prepare me to be a clinical nurse leader and this program did just that.

You just received your CNL certification. Please tell us how the program prepared you for that step in your career.

Yes, I passed the CNL exam and couldn’t tell you what a relief it was for me to see the PASS score under my name. I felt that Queens prepared us well for this exam both during our class work throughout these past two years as well as the review course held on campus. The test was difficult but it was everything we had reviewed during our course work and in the review course. The instructors at Queens were some of the best teachers I have had. They are more than willing to help out in any way possible. I am pretty sure Dr. Buttriss and Dr. Hines were on speed dial these past two years with any questions or concerns I had. This is a wonderful program that prepared me well as a CNL and taught me how to excel in the profession of nursing.

What were your top three motivations for becoming a clinical nurse leader?

  • Advancement in my nursing career – to push myself to achieve more professionally
  • To improve the quality of patient care within my microsystem
  • To enhance care delivery, patient safety, and quality outcomes

How has receiving your degree and certification helped you deliver improved quality of care?

As a CNL, I am in an advanced generalist role that focuses on “the bigger picture.” We have been taught to think outside of the box for improvements within the microsystem. Receiving my degree as a master’s prepared clinical nurse leader has given me the experience needed to perform as a leader in outcomes-based practice.

Has your employer recognized your experience in the Queens program?

I have been recognized by upper management as well as my co-workers in the CICU as a leader and the go-to person on the unit for process improvements.

How did this program fit in with your life? How did the online delivery of the program make a difference to you?

The online program was tough but manageable. One class every eight weeks was ideal for my schedule. It was a lot of hard work, but it was well worth it!

Do you feel the program was a good value to you?

I feel that this program was a good value to me. I felt that it fulfilled my needs and formed me into a strong leader.

If you were talking to someone who was interested attending an online program at Queens, what would you tell them?

I would encourage them to attend this online program because it has opened many doors for my nursing profession. Becoming a CNL has given me the opportunity to have a tremendous impact on my microsystem in ways I never imagined.

To learn more about the Queens online MSN program with a clinical nurse leader specialization, click here.