Joint participation by education and practice leaders was instrumental in the successful creation of the CNL role. Among stakeholders joining the AACN on the Implementation Task Force (ITF) were the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA). Within the healthcare system, the need for nurses with the skill and knowledge set of the CNL had already been identified and nurses were completing both academic and clinical work without receiving recognition for the advanced competencies being acquired.  The first CNL certification exam was held in April and May 2007. In July 2007, AACN Board of Directors approved the revised white paper on the Education and Role of the Clinical Nurse Leader.  Currently, 2500 CNLs have been certified and are able to use the credential and title of CNL.