Desired Outcomes for Proper Delegation

  • Effective delegation produces desirable client outcomes and patient protection
  • Reduce health care costs through employing cost-effective UAPs and using time and resources more effectively
  • Facilitate access to care
  • For nurse leaders, delegation clarifies accountability
  • Decreases nurses' liability and enables them to demonstrate leadership skills for positive career movement
  • Both nurses and UAPs benefit from the fairly distributed workload, efficient use of time, and increased job satisfaction

The Desired Outcome Must Be Delegated

If we are going to be effective when it comes to delegating tasks, we must take steps to be certain that what we are delegating is absolutely clear to the person to whom we are delegating the work. This means that:
  1. We must define  ‘what done means’ regarding the thing we are trying to hand off
  2. We must identify the start point so it is clear to the person receiving the task:  ‘what they should be doing first’.
  3. We should give  the the person to whom we have delegated the task an opportunity to provide  immediate feedback as to where or how they  see themselves undertaking this task. 
  4. We must allow for  periodic feedback so that we can monitor the progress of those people to whom we delegate tasks.  This will allow us to see if there are  problems, questions or concerns  and if or when these crop up we will have the time to quickly address them or provide corrective feedback.

Potential Outcomes for Improper Delegation

  • Stress
  • Overload
  • Stall progress (short term, long term, personal, and collectively)


  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Medical errors
  • Patient deterioration