When Can Nurse Delegate Tasks?

The scope of practice for each nursing role, such as NP, RN, and LPN, determines in which situations and to what level a nurse can delegate tasks.

In general, the nurse can delegate tasks when he or she needs help, but only if the person to whom he or she delegates tasks has the clearance to perform such tasks.

In other words, if it is appropriate for other people’s skills level.

A Nurse can delegate to both higher and lower scope.

For example, the RN can ask NP to help with the diagnosis, and after that, the RN can start with care instructions.

Also, the RN can ask NP to help with the diagnosis and treatment.

For example, if a patient comes in the emergency room and complains about a sore throat, RN can aks NP to help examine and provide diagnosis, so the patients receive appropriate care.

Let’s see the example of delegating to a higher scope.

It can happen when a charge nurse faces a problem that its coworker hasn’t resolved by open communication,

In that case, the charge nurse can ask the nurse manager to interphone and help resolve issues.

Nurses can also delegate to colleagues with a narrow scope of practice.

RN can ask the PO to pass to LPN.

LPN can delegate ambulating or feeding to CNA.

If you are wondering about time-appropriate situations on delegating tasks, you should know that it is a more complex question.

Nurses delegate when they need help and when they can prevent care delay in urgent situations.

For example, if an RN is busy with patient admission, he or she can ask LPN to pass PO to help him.

When there is an issue between charge nurse and coworker, a nurse can delegate when he or she needs to act beyond the borders of the nurse’s scope of practice.

The nurse can also delegate when tasks conflict with some personal issues or even beliefs.

For example, nurses who are strongly against birth control may delegate issues related to it, to other colleagues.

A nurse who has recently lost a loved one may delegate comfort care as well.

However, a nurse who needs to delegate tasks must be familiar with the scope of practice of a person to who he or she delegates.

If the nurse violates the scope of practice and delegates a task beyond another college scope of practice, he or she may suffer disciplinary actions.

Sometimes, it can even lead to getting fired.

Because all healthcare workers have a patient’s interest as a goal, they need to act coordinately and with open and appropriate communication to improve outcomes and provide the best possible care.

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