You are on page 1of 5



Delegation is getting the work done by others or as directing the performance of one or more people to accomplish organisational goals. Delegation is the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities. The person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work. Delegation provides a means for increasing productivities. Delegation empowers a subordinate to make decisions.


Delegate- to entrust to another; to appoint as ones representative; to assign responsibility or authority. Delegation- the act of empowering to act for another. "Delegation is defined as the transfer of responsibility for the performance of a task from one person to another" "Transferring to a competent individual the authority to perform a selected nursing task in a selected nursing situation . The nurse retains accountability for delegation" "The transfer of responsibility for the performance of an activity from individual to another while retaining accountability for the outcome". (American Nurses Association) Delegation is appointing a person to act on one's behalf

5 Rights to delegation (NCSBN) NCSBN in US presents 5 rights to delegation from the perspectives of both nursing service administrator and staff nurse. 1. Right task 2. Right circumstance 3. Right person 4. Right direction/communication 5. Right supervision/evaluation Delegation Process 1. Define the task 2. Decide on the delegate

3. Determine the task 4. Reach an agreement 5. Monitor performance and 6. provide feedback Strategies for effective delegating

Plan ahead Identify necessary skill and levels Select most capable person Communicate goal clearly Empower the delegate Set deadlines and monitor progress Model the role: provide guidance Evaluate performance Reward accomplishment

Successful delegation results in

Makes work easier. Improves efficiency. Increases employee effectiveness. Develops employees. Ensures that the right people do the right jobs.

American Nurses' Association's Recommendation on delegating job to Nursing Assistants by RNs Activities which cannot be delegated: 1. initial nursing assessment & subsequent assessment if nursing judgement is needed; 2. decisions/judgements about the nursing diagnoses; 3. decisions/judgements about outcomes; 4. determining & approving of plan of care; 5. interventions that require professional nursing knowledge, decisions, or skill; and 6. decisions/judgements of the evaluation of care.

When delegating job to Nursing Assistants 1. First, must meet legal Scope of Practice. 2. Second, must be within education/training. 3. Third, must be included in job description. 4. Fourth, must meet policy and procedure descriptions. 5. Fifth, must be competent to perform task. 6. Sixth, individual must be under RN's supervision (organizational chart). 7. Seven, must be able/available to direct or guide. 8. Last, must consider client outcomes, circumstances, & safety. Common delegation errors

Under delegating - Managers desire to complete the whole job personally due to lack of trust in sub-ordinates may lead to under delegation. Over delegating - some managers over delegate burdening their subordinates. Others do so because they feel insecure in their ability to perform a task, and due to lack of organisation time. It can decrease the productivity. Improperly delegating- it includes delegating the things at wrong time, to the wrong person or for the wrong reason. Also delegating the tasks and responsibilities that are beyond the capability of the person to whom they are being delegated or that should be done by the manager.

Barriers to delegation

The belief that i can do it better myself Lack of confidence and trust in workers Low self confidence, insecurity Vague job description Inadequate training Lack of adequate recruitment and selection Time involved in explaining the task Reluctance to take the risks involved in depending on others. Fear of loss of power

Subordinate resistance to delegation

Failure of the delegator to see the subordinates perspectives Workload assigned are highly challenging both physically and mentally

Belief of employees that they are incapable of completing the delegated task. Inherent resistance to authority Due to over delegation

Delegating to a transcultural work team Factors which may affect delegation when dealing with sub-ordinates from different cultural background include

Communication Space Social organisation Time Environmental control Biological variations


Delegation is the transfer of authority to perform a specific nursing task in a specific situation to a competent individual. Delegation is the entrusting of authority, power and responsibility to another. When used appropriately, delegation is a vital tool for the professional nurse and should ensure safe, competent nursing care. Delegation and responsibility are considered closely related concepts.

Research Inputs Factors influencing outcomes after delegation to unlicensed assistive personnel.7 A national survey of licensed nurses in US that describes factors associated with patient outcomes when nursing activities are delegated to unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) found that licensed nurses' overall experience and UAP's experience in the current work setting were associated with more positive events. When the outcome of the delegated activity was determined by routine observation, more positive events occurred. However, when there was no direct supervision of the UAP, more negative events occurred. Recognition of the importance of the supervisory process has implications for educational opportunities that focus on strengthening licensed nurses' delegation competencies. References 1. Ward MJ, Price SA .Issues in nursing administration. St.Louis: Mosby;1991. 2. Marquis B.L. ,Hutson C.J . Leadership roles and management functions in nursing Theory and application. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2006.

3. Douglass L M. The effective nurse- leader and manager. 5th ed. Mosby: St. Louis; 1996. 4. Morrison M. Professional skills for leadership. Mosby: US; 1993. 5. Ellis J R, Hartley C L. Managing and Co-ordinating nursing care. 3rd ed. Lippincott: Philadelphia;1995. 6. Basvanthappa BT. Nursing administration. New Delhi: Jaypee brothers; 2000. 7. Anthony, Mary K., Theresa; Hertz, Judith .Factors Influencing Outcomes After Delegation to Unlicensed Assistive Personnel. JONA. 30(10):474-481, October 2000.