Senior Housing and Long Term Care Consultant, Ecumen, Provides Tips on RN Delegation in Long-Term Care

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New whitepaper offers crucial guidance to registered nurses as they move into leadership roles requiring delegation skills

Senior housing and long term care consultant Ecumen, has released a new whitepaper designed to ensure registered nurses (RNs) working in senior housing communities effectively prepare for leadership roles by learning how to delegate tasks in line with state law and patient safety

Tips for Effective Delegation in Long Term Care is currently available for complimentary download by visiting The Library of Successful Aging on the Ecumen website. This latest whitepaper, from Ecumen Director of Consulting Services, Mary Leber, overviews the importance of delegating nursing tasks and offers guidance on how to delegate properly.

"Effective delegation is important to every profession, but it's especially important in nursing," opens Leber. "Some RNs - due to heavy workloads and limited staff - may be tempted to delegate responsibility to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and nursing assistants before they're ready for certain tasks."

The concern in improper delegation of nursing tasks transcends beyond assigning duties to the wrong nurse. From a legal standpoint, LPNs and nursing assistants are simply not allowed to undertake certain patient care responsibilities. From a safety standpoint, residents in senior housing communities could be seriously harmed if nurses are not ready to complete patient care duties on their behalf.

"Some state laws, for example, state that RNs are the only nurses who have authority to delegate an appropriate plan of care," continues Leber. "If the LPN or nursing assistant performs an important task incorrectly, the RN is at fault, meaning the RN could lose his or her license and job, while the care center they work could be cited and penalized."

To ensure RN's are ready to delegate nursing tasks appropriately to team members, Leber offers specific factors to consider when delegating tasks, including:

  • Required amount of problem solving included in the task
  • Predictability of the outcome of the nursing task
  • Potential for patient harm from the nursing task

"Effective delegation from the RN to the LPN and nursing assistant are essential to high quality care," concludes Leber. "Through proper delegation, RNs can ensure their senior housing communities are operated in accordance with state law, and most importantly, the safety of their patients."

Visit "The Library of Successful Aging on the Ecumen website to download a full copy of the whitepaper Tips for Effective Delegation in Long Term Care by Ecumen Director of Consulting Services Mary Leber.

About Ecumen:
Ecumen (http://www.ecumen.org ) is based in Shoreview, Minn., and provides senior housing, services and senior housing development. Ecumen is the most innovative provider of senior housing and services, empowering individuals to live richer, fuller lives. Ecumen's mission is to create "home" for older adults wherever they choose to live. Ecumen is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and has 4,000 team members.

Ecumen writes about news and ideas that are shaping the future of aging services at its Changing Aging blog: http://www.ecumen.org/changing-aging/.

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Mike Yanke
Ecumen
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