The global shortage of qualified nurses has resulted in dependency on non-qualified personnel to assist in certain aspects of patient care
What is the newly qualified nurse’s role regarding delegation?
The global shortage of qualified nurses has resulted in the increasing dependency on non-qualified personnel to assist in certain aspects of patient care (Gillen and Graffin 2010). This actually highlights the importance of the duty to delegate nursing tasks and a newly qualified nurse’s role here is to act as the delegator wherein she/he assigns certain nursing activities to health care assistants, assistant practitioners and nursing students. In line with this delegator role, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2015) declares that nurses should be accountable for their decisions to delegate tasks to others. A nurse should only delegate duties that are within the delegate’s scope of competence making sure that they fully understand the instructions and that they are adequately supervised and supported to guarantee safe and compassionate care (NMC 2015). Finally, the NMC (2015) also requires nurses to confirm that the result of the delegated task meets the required standard of care.
The Royal College of Nursing (2015) emphasises that the personnel in charge of the overall nursing care of patients is obviously the registered nurse but the nurse cannot perform every intervention for every patient and therefore will have to delegate some aspects of care to fellow nurses. This implies the second role of a newly qualified nurse regarding delegation which is to act as the delegate wherein fellow qualified nurses either a senior, more experienced nurse or even a fellow novice delegates nursing responsibilities to the newly qualified nurse as part of the team’s strategy to ensure that all the nursing needs of the patients under their care are immediately and effectively addressed. In summary, the role of the newly qualified nurse regarding delegation is two-fold. The nurse plays the role of delegator as well as delegate.
Gillen, P. and Graffin, S. (2010). Nursing delegation in the United Kingdom. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 15(2): Manuscript 6.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015). The code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives. London: NMC.
Royal College of Nursing (2015). Accountability and delegation: A guide for the nursing team. [online]. Available at: https://www2.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/627216/004852_HP-A-and-D_pocketguide_June2015.pdf [Accessed: 31 August 2016].