Utilizing Delegation in Nursing

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Utilizing Delegation in Nursing
Delegation is defined as “the act of empowering to act for another” (Merriam-Webster [M-W], n.d.). In nursing, it allows a nurse to instruct a co-worker to perform specific duties in his or her place. Delegation not only allows patients to interact with more members of a staff, but also allows for the patient to benefit from the expertise of various staff members. It is a skill that requires teamwork and effective communication throughout the staff members.
This essay is in response to a case study in which a nurse practitioner (NP) of a rural health care clinic failed to utilize delegation in caring for a patient, relying only on herself to provide all the education, referrals and health care for a developmentally disabled pregnant patient. Per the case study, the clinic offered a nutritionist; an RN with a BSN in community health, an LVN trained educating on labor and delivery; a social worker; and, an on-call obstetrician available for emergencies. In this setting, the NP had at her disposal a team of staff that could assist in the patient’s care and, perhaps, expand on the quality of care provided to the patient.
As a primary care provider, a NP is charged with taking health histories, providing physical examinations, diagnosing and treating acute and chronic problems, interpreting test results, managing medications and other therapies, providing health teaching and counseling and referring patients to other health professionals as needed (Mayo School of Health Sciences [Mayo], n.d.). In this role, after assessing the patient’s needs and completing a physical examination, the NP creates a plan of care that includes goals and expectations to work towards during the patient’s care. The care plan may utilize delegation to other members of the clinic team to ensure the patient receives well-rounded care and support.
In fact, the “Joint Statement on Delegation” lists 10 Principles of Delegation to direct the nurse in



References: American Nurses Association (2001). Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. NursingWorld. Retrieved from http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/CodeofEthicsforNurses/Code-of-Ethics.aspx American Nurses Association (ANA) & National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) (2005). Joint Statement on Delegation. Retrieved from https://www.ncsbn.org/Joint_statement.pdf American Nurses Association (ANA) & National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). (2005). Joint Statement on Delegation. Retrieved from https://www.ncsbn.org/Joint_statement.pdf Community Health Nursing. (2002-2009). Retrieved October 6, 2011, from http://www.discovernursing.com/jnj-specialtyID_236-dsc-specialty_detail.aspx Delegation. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved October 6, 2011 from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delegation Mayo School of Health Sciences. (n.d.). Nurse Practitioner Career Overview. Retrieved from http://www.mayo.edu/mshs/np-career.html National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, State University of New York at Buffalo (n.d.). A Difficult Pregnancy: A Nurse Practitioner Looks for Answers. Retrieved from Nurse Practice Act, 2007 IL General Assembly § 225/60-35 (2007). Princeton Review. (n.d.). A Day in the Life of a Nutritionist. Retrieved October 1, 2011, from http://www.princetonreview.com/Careers.aspx?cid=101

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