Delegation in Nursing

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Delegation in Nursing & Health-Care Practice Nursing and health-care have experienced significant changes in the last decade. With an increasing demand for nursing staff, in combination with cost reductions, “if you want to get the job done, you have to do it yourself” cliché is slowly being weaned out. The “ability to delegate work, responsibility and authority [has become] essential for a productive staff development” as well as ensuring optimal patient care (Jones, 1996). According to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) (2013), “delegation is a formal process through which a regulated health professional (delegator) who has the authority and competence to perform a procedure under one of the controlled acts delegates the performance of that procedure to another individual (delegate)” (p. 6). In nursing, it allows a nurse to instruct a competent co-worker or health-care member to perform specific duties in his or her place. If done properly, delegation will allow work to be done more proficiently by the health-care team, but it will also allow patients to benefit from the expertise of various staff members. In relation to nursing delegation, there are two main legislations that govern it: The Regulated Health Profession Act, 1991 (RHPA) and The Nursing Act, 1991. The RHPA “sets out two elements: a scope of practice statement, and a series of controlled or authorized acts for each profession” (CNO, 2013a, p. 3). A controlled act is defined “as acts that could cause harm if performed by those who do not have the knowledge, skill and judgment to perform them” (CNO, 2013a, p.4). Under regulations of The Nursing Act, nurses “have the authority to initiate specific controlled acts to other nurses who meet certain conditions” (CNO, 2011, p.4). This means that registered nurses and registered practical nurses have the ability to independently decide whether a

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