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Delegation in Nursing Practice Essay

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Updated: Jul 9th, 2021


Delegation is a significant nurses’ liability that may allow them to enhance the quality of care. However, many caregivers do not fully appreciate it and avoid assigning tasks to their colleagues. This paper reflects on this issue and discusses the possible reasons for such behavior among nurses. It also suggests possible solutions aimed to improve appreciation. The report concludes that improving self-assessment skills and clinical capacities, as well as enhancing trust among the team may eliminate the problem.


The role of delegation in nursing is vital as it may improve patient outcomes significantly. First, it allows caregivers to dedicate more time to assessing patients and addressing their concerns. Second, by delegating tasks, nurses can work in collaboration, which leads to a comprehensive approach to treatment and care. However, nurses may not fully appreciate delegation as it has various legal implications. For example, Black (2016) notes that a caregiver is liable for delegated acts unless the delegatee’s scope of practice includes them too. Moreover, the delegation process may be complicated as nurses should evaluate the skills and knowledge of the delegatee considering the task, as well as provide clear instructions and supervision.

The patient’s health status, as well as available resources and time, should also be noted. Some caregivers may consider the delegation process time-consuming and be not ready to encounter possible complications associated with legal aspects of it. For instance, in case the delegatee is involved in malpractice or a medical error, nurses may have to undergo a court process. Thus, some of them may prefer to perform all of the tasks themselves, neglecting the benefits of delegation.

Several possible solutions can be suggested to improve nurses’ appreciation of delegation. The first one is educational training aimed to enhance caregivers’ self-assessment skills. The study by Hughes, Kirk, and Dixon (2017) shows that professional nurses may lack the ability to evaluate whether they have the necessary skills to perform a task or feel confident in doing it. As a result, caregivers may encounter difficulties in determining the actions that they can or cannot do according to their professional capacities.

Enhancing self-assessment skills may eliminate this problem and allow caregivers to understand that delegation may be vital for improving patient outcomes. The second possible solution may be the implementation of discussion sessions where nurses can address challenging aspects in their practice and provide each other with support and an alternative perspective on difficult issues. This way, caregivers can establish trust-based relationships, which will eliminate the fear of delegating tasks.

The third method that can be used is training aimed to expand nurses’ clinical knowledge and skills. Hospitals should provide their staff with the opportunity to improve the quality of care by offering regular educational sessions. During training, caregivers can reflect on challenging cases from their practice, discuss alternative treatment methods, and share their knowledge with their colleagues. This measure can also enhance trust and respect among nurses and motivate them to appreciate delegation because they will be aware of the high level of each other’s professional skills and competencies.


Delegation may be vital for nursing practice as it allows caregivers to perform a thorough assessment, work in collaboration with each other, and use a comprehensive approach to care. Many nurses do no appreciate this liability due to its legal implications. To enhance their appreciation, it is crucial to establish training aimed to improve self-assessment skills and clinical knowledge, as well as discussion sessions dedicated to challenging aspects of practice.


Black, B. (2016). Professional nursing: Concepts & challenges (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.

Hughes, M., Kirk, R. C., & Dixon, A. (2017). How and why nurses’ direction and delegation skills should be improved. Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, 23(9), 29-31.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Delegation in Nursing Practice." July 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/delegation-in-nursing-practice/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Delegation in Nursing Practice'. 9 July.

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