R.N. C.A.R.E Program

C.A.R.E. stands for Clinical Advancement and Recognition of Excellence.

C.A.R.E. is an outcome based clinical recognition program for Registered Nurses, through which clinical nurses are acknowledged and rewarded for achieving and demonstrating increased levels of expertise and for their ability to make an impact on patient outcomes. It is a process for distinguishing registered nurse practice at the bedside.

Registered nurses from the Meridian Health's hospitals developed C.A.R.E., and Meridian is one of the few health systems in the country to use this innovative approach to recognize nursing expertise. Having continually achieved Magnet recognition across the system, Meridian values the Magnet process. The C.A.R.E. application process resembles the Magnet application process, and nurses are recognized for their accomplishments in four key nursing areas:

  • Clinical expertise
  • Education
  • Shared governance
  • Research

Participation in the C.A.R.E. Program

All part-time and full-time clinical nurses who have achieved a designated minimum score on the Annual Performance Appraisal are eligible to apply. The first level, Clinical Nurse, is achieved once the nurse has completed orientation. Clinical Fellow, Clinical Resource, and Clinical Scholar Applicants must submit a professional portfolio including:

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
  • Recommendation document completed by the applicant's manager.
  • Completion of a clinical practice questionnaire or case study with evidence that addresses the specific indicators for clinical practice, education, shared governance and research.
  • Documents to support key outcome indicators.

Two members of the C.A.R.E. Program Committee will evaluate the portfolios. Applications are presented to a panel of each of the three hospital's C.A.R.E. Program Committee for approval. You can see the C.A.R.E. representative of your unit for program updates, or consider becoming the C.A.R.E. representative for your unit if your unit does not have one.

If you are interested in learning more about C.A.R.E., one of our coordinators can assist you. Our coordinators will answer any questions you have about the program, and will meet with you to help with the application process. Our coordinators will also conduct several in-services on components of the process throughout the year.

For more information, or to request an application, please call the Ann May Center for Nursing at 732-481-8576.

The following application submission schedule should be followed to ensure that deadlines are not missed:

Submission Planned Advancement
March 1
June 1
September 1
December 1

Specialty Scholars

Specialty Scholars are staff nurses who conduct projects in one of four tracts: research, evidence-based practice (EBP), quality improvement (QI), and/or focus on Geriatrics for the purpose of generating new knowledge, implementing best practices, and/or improving current care processes.

Specialty scholars work under the guidance of assigned mentors who have expertise in research, EBP and/or QI to produce measurable outcomes that are disseminated to peers and nursing leadership through formal presentations.

Specialty scholars may bypass other levels of Clinical Advancement & Recognition of Excellence (Clinical Fellow, Clinical Resource, and Clinical Scholar).

Learn more about our Specialty Scholar program here.

Interested in becoming a Specialty Scholar? Download the application packet here.


Clinical Fellow Application
Clinical Resource Application
Clinical Scholar Application
Request for Extension


CARE By-Laws

For more information, contact Wendy Mancini, MSN, R.N.-B.C., CNS Clinical Coordinator, CARE/Extern Program at (732) 481-8576.