Elements Essential for Effective Delegation

One of the key elements of effective delegation is a sense of responsibility on the part of the parties involved in the delegation process. The person delegating different tasks must communicate effectively to ensure the associated nurses understand their respective responsibilities. The core responsibility should be the enhancement of the wellness status of the patients; hence, the delegating party should look into ensuring the nurses are acquainted with the specific responsibilities in the task flow. The desired results should be clearly communicated to the workers. The second element is the provision of guidelines. While the leaders desire to give their subordinates the freedom to handle responsibilities without interference, it is important to ensure that the appropriate guidelines are provided (Finkelman, 2012). Thirdly, an effective delegation process must entail the provision of the resources that facilitate the accomplishment of the desired goals. Lastly, it is essential for a delegation process to involve accountability on the part of nurses handling the tasks. It is imperative for nurses are aware of the required standards of performance. The standards of performance should go hand-in-hand with the consequences of failure to deliver the desired results.

Barriers to Effective Delegation

Ineffective communication is one of the biggest barriers to effective delegation. Most leaders have remarkable communication skills, but there are a few that fail to deliver messages clearly enough to foster effective delegation. An ineffective communication process fails to deliver the required information to nurses, and this affects their performance in delivering the desired objectives. The second barrier is poor partnerships among the nurses. It is difficult for the leading nurse to delegate tasks when the individual and group skills of the available human assets are not clearly known. Evaluating the respective competencies of the nurses may not be possible; hence, delegation becomes a challenge. Attitudes are also major barriers to the effective delegation in nursing (Finkelman, 2012). Some nurses feel like delegation is a way for other nurses to keep off their responsibilities. Finally, the lack of experience in the delegation process may also be a barrier to effective handling of delegation, especially on the part of the RN leaders.

Strategies to Remove Delegation Barriers

Effective communication is one of the most important strategies to remove delegation barriers. RN leaders should ensure that nurses are provided with detailed information about their respective roles in the task flow. Secondly, there is a need for RN leaders to maintain constant supervision in the performance of nurses when different tasks are delegated. Evaluation is also helpful because it helps RN leaders identify the respective skills possessed by individual nurses and their teams, and this is relatively helpful in future delegation processes (Huber, 2013). Lastly, RN leaders should always ask for feedback from nurses and the patients. This approach helps them to identify factors that need to be rectified in future delegation processes to enhance the performance of the nurses and the patients’ satisfaction with the associated services.

Key Guidelines to Ensure Effective Delegation Consistency

Effective delegation consistency is a function of five major factors. First, the RN leader should determine the nature of the tasks to be delegated. Secondly, the leader should select the most qualified nurses to handle the respective tasks. Thirdly, the leader should clarify the desired results for the delegated tasks (Potter, Deshields & Kuhrik, 2010). The fourth requirement is for the leader to ensure the standards of performance and the respective ethical guidelines are effectively communicated. Lastly, a follow-up process on the delegated task should always be implemented to ensure the desired results are achieved.


Finkelman, A. (2012). Leadership and management for nurses: Core competencies for quality care (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Huber, D. (2013). Leadership and nursing care management. Amsterdam: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Potter, P., Deshields, T., & Kuhrik, M. (2010). Delegation practices between registered nurses and nursing assistive personnel. Journal of nursing management, 18(2), 157-165.