Chapter 8 - Delegation

Unit Objectives

  1. Differentiate between the concepts of delegation, authority, responsibility, accountability, supervision, assignment and competence.
  2. Explain the five rights of delegation.
  3. Identify delegation responsibilities of healthcare team members.


Online Delegation Modules

To get started you will need to read this completely and follow it exactly.

In order to gain access to EDGT's online tutorials and tests, you must first register on the EDGT website.

The registration process takes only a few minutes to complete and is a one-time-only activity that does not need to be repeated. When returning to the EDGT website, each registered student will need to use the username and password designated during the initial registration process in order to access their account.   Student Requirements:   The student registration process requires a Student-Access-Key

During the registration process, the Student-Access-Key will automatically link the student to their instructor and give them access to the tutorials and/or tests. Once you have your Student-Access-Key, complete the registration process following the steps listed below.   Student Registration Steps:


  • Access the EDGT website at ( ).
  • Click on the link "register now" on the left-hand side of the EDGT home page.
  • Complete the following steps:



Step 1:


Click on the radio button in front of the statement "I am a student."



Step 2:


Enter the Student-Access-Key (S-SB-9579-7859) for Bennett or (S-SB-8802-6879) for Jensen .



Step 3:


Review your class information (NURS 3400 Bennett) or (NURS 3400 Jensen). If the information listed does not look familiar to you, use the back button to verify or change the information you entered. If your class information is correct, click on next to continue.



Step 4:


Designate a username and password. Fill out the form as requested, then press next.



Step 5:


Fill out the form on screen to provide us with the information we need to know about you and then click on "finish!"



  • A summary will appear on screen containing the information you have given us. EDGT will send a copy of this information to the email address you provided. We suggest you print this screen for future reference.
  • You may now start using the EDGT website.


TIP: When you return to the EDGT website, you will need to use the username and password you designated during the registration process.

At the main menu screen, click the Tutorials tab on the left.

Next, click Management skills: Effective Delegation V 3.0 link under Online Tutorial Access.

Please complete the learning goal, Learning Objectives, and all 6 modules (Be sure to do EVERY screen, as there is content on the final from different parts of this program.)


RN Delegating task to Technician

Critical Thinking Exercise

Case Study: Inappropriate Delegation

A Nurse Manager hires a nurse to work part-time evenings and every other weekend on a 42 bed medical/surgical unit. The Nurse has been out of school for two years and this is her first job as a staff nurse in a hospital setting, prior to this she worked in a physician's office. Shortly after completing orientation the nurse was assigned as the "charge nurse" for the next several weekends. After the nurse's first weekend as "charge nurse", the Nurse Manager receives the following complaints:

From other licensed staff:

"It seems like she just picked out rooms to make the assignments. She didn't listen to report first or check the charge nurse report sheet. She didn't state any concerns at that time and seemed more concerned about her own patients and getting her medications out on time."

From the Unlicensed Staff:

"She asked me to do things I have never done before! When she told me to hang the tube feeding, I said I can't do that and she said JUST DO AS YOU ARE TOLD."

From the Nurse:

"I don't understand what the concern is? The tube feeding is just putting fluid into a bag. In the doctor's office, the assistants do all kinds of stuff, and besides I had my own patients…what is the big deal?"

Questions for Discussion:

  1. List 3 principles of delegation and supervision that were violated in this situation?
  2. How could have the unlicensed staff person advocated for herself?
  3. If you were working with this charge nurse what would you have done?

Taken from the Massachusetts HHS website - (

Nursing Interview



Learning Activity

  1. Visit the Nursing Practice act of your state ( or the state in which you wish to practice). Review the section on delegation. After reading the section, ask licensed Registered Nurses (RN's) what they understand can be legally delegated by an RN.
  2. Preform an internet search on “Nursing Delegation.” Identify the most helpful websites.

Exploring the Web

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Additional Readings


  • Massachusetts Health & Human Services Website -