Delegation of Nursing Care by the Registered Professional Nurse

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Executive Summary

This position statement provides guidelines for fulfilling the Registered Professional Nurse’s (RN) independent professional function of delegation to qualified, competent persons who assist the registered professional nurse in various settings to ensure public health, safety and quality care. Personnel who assist the registered professional nurses include the licensed practice nurse (LPN) and unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP). The Illinois Nurse Practice Act grants the RN the authority to delegate and to clinically supervise assistive personnel. Delegation is the transferring to an individual the authority to perform a selected nursing activity or task in a selected situation. The RN retains professional accountability for the outcome of the delegation and the total nursing care of the patient. A registered nurse retains the right to refuse to delegate or to stop or rescind a previously authorized delegation. Delegation includes the clinical supervision and the evaluation of the assistive worker’s performance of the delegated work. Under the legally protected scope of Professional Registered Nursing practice, only the RN has the authority to implement the nursing process and to delegate tasks or nursing activities to unlicensed or licensed personnel accordingly in the delivery of nursing care.