So...What is the deal with delegation?

Sunday, June 12, 2016


One of the many wonderful parts of nursing is that we work together as a team: housekeeping, CNAs, LVN/LPNs, RTs, OTs, etc. It is important that as an RN you understand your role to delegate, assign, manage, and evaluate. According to the NCSBN's website, "the profession of nursing must determine how to safely and effectively delegate aspects of care to competent others".


Delegating is defined as the transferring of one's authority to another individual while maintaining accountability. It is crucial to realize that although you may delegate an appropriate task to an appropriate person that you, the RN, maintain responsibility

As with medication administration, delegating as "rights" to follow. The five rights of delegation include:

right person
right task
right circumstances
right direction and communication
right supervision and evaluation

In order to delegate, the nurse must have professional knowledge of other individuals job descriptions. 

Assistive Personnel/Unlicensed Assistive Personnel/Certified Nursing Assistant

  • performs basic hygiene care and grooming
  • provides assistance with ADLs such as nutrition, elimination, and mobility
  • basic skills such as taking vital signs, but not interpreting the results
Licensed Practical Nurse/ Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • cares for clients whose condition is considered to be stable and/or chronic with expected outcome
  • performs reinforcement teaching
  • contributes to the care plan, but cannot be new 
  • administers IVPB medications; do not give IV push medications
  • monitors IV fluids, but cannot titrate IV

Keep in mind the RN CANNOT DELEGATE the nursing process, client education, and tasks that require nursing judgment. Here is a fun mnemonic to help you remember. 

Do Not Delegate What You Cannot Eat!
E-evaluate
A-assess  
T-teach   


Hope this helps,



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