The Career Advancement for RN Excellence (CARE) Program at MetroHealth is a career track that allows clinical nurses to stay at the bedside while at the same time adding to their knowledge base and developing focused skills in the areas of clinical disease processes, research, education, precepting new staff, evidence based practice, and quality improvement.
Currently there are 223 participants in the CARE program. There is specific education provided for nurses who have applied and are accepted into each track which targets information they need to know to succeed in their roles. In addition, there are committees/networks where members of each track meet for support and idea sharing.
CARE Program tracks include the following:
Certification track which provides an avenue to develop as an expert in a clinical area through the achievement of certification. This track provides compensation for certification after the exam is successfully passed.
Expert Clinical track has two options for nurses who hold BSN or MSN degrees. The first option is a Research Champion which through a 12-week course develops a research proposal which is ready for implementation; the second option is the Evidence Based Practice Champions who focuses on a disease/clinical process and reviews current evidence, ensures best practices are in place, and provides a plan to sustain long-term change.
Education track with options of Preceptor or Education Coordinator. Preceptors are nurses dedicated to the orientation of new hires; Education Coordinators focus on developing education programs for both patients and their own unit staff.
Management track has two paths including the Patient Care Coordinator and Quality Improvement Facilitator. The Patient Care Coordinator functions as a permanent charge nurse and focuses on ensuring that patient care and unit flow progress smoothly throughout the day. The Quality Improvement Facilitator focuses on analyzing unit outcomes data in order to prioritize areas for improvement and assists the unit in moving unit performance improvement projects forward.