From the staff development bookshelf: Helping new graduate nurses learn to delegate

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, June 24, 2011

New graduate nurses often find directing care at the bedside particularly challenging. Yes, they passed their state boards, they're officially registered nurses, but they often don't have the confidence that comes with experience to ensure that the decisions they make are the right ones. Fear of making the wrong decision often leads to indecision. They need to learn that only through delegation and teamwork do they motivate and develop others. To teach this, use simulation and case studies.

As you discuss the topic and process of delegation, it's important that new nurses understand they are responsible for assessing the care needs of patients and knowing the person to whom they are delegating that care is competent and that their competence has been demonstrated. This is a lot of pressure for nurses, especially when they are new.

Case studies provide an excellent way to allow nurses to practice delegating without harm and to discuss with others the process of making those decisions.

Source: Book excerpt adapted from Nursing Orientation Program Builder: Tools for a Successful New Hire Program by Adrianne E. Avillion, D.Ed, RN, and Debbie Buchwach, BSN, RN-BC.

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