Nurse Delegation

Nurse Delegation 150 150 Tony Guo

Delegation and Assignment

  • A Registered Nurse (RN) will delegate nursing care (transferring authority to a competent individual) and supervise others who are qualified to deliver care
  • Most times it involves:
    • Licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/LVN)
    • Unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP)
    • RN to RN
  • The five rights of delegation
    • The Registered nurse (RN) uses critical thinking and professional judgment to be sure that the delegation or assignment is:
      • The right task
      • Under the right circumstances
      • To the right person
      • With the right directions and communication
      • Under the right supervision and evaluation

Rights of delegation


Questions to Ask

Right Task

One that can be delegated for a specific patient

  • Is it appropriate to delegate based on legal and agency factors
  • Has the person been trained and evaluated in performing the task?
  • Is the person able and willing to do this specific task?

Right Circumstances

Appropriate patient setting, available resources, and considering relevant factors, including patient stability

  • What are the patient’s needs right now?
  • Is staffing such that the circumstances support delegation strategies?

Right Person

Right person is delegating the right task to the right person to be performed on the right person

  • Is the prospective delegate a willing and able employee
  • Are the patient needs a “fit” with the delegatee?

Right Directions and Communication

Clear, concise description of task, including its objective, limits, and expectations

  • Have you clearly communicated the task? With directions, limits, an expected outcome?
  • Does the delegatee know what and when to report? Does the delegatee understand what needs to be done?

Right Supervision and Evaluation

Appropriate monitoring, evaluation, intervention, and feedback

  • Do you know how and when you will interact about patient care with the delegate?
  • How often will you need to provide direct observation?
  • Will you be able to give feedback to the staff member if needed?

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