• 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 one’s 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.
Common delegation errors
  • Under delegating
  • Over delegating
  • Improperly delegating
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.
  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.


Post a Comment