What Can a Nurse Delegate to a CNA?

What can a nurse delegate to a CNA

Depending on a nurse’s role, some tasks can be delegated to a CNA depending on their scope of practice. Essentially, a nurse can delegate tasks to a CNA anytime help is necessary.

However, they may only do so if the task is appropriate to the level of the CNA’s skill.

But what can a nurse delegate to a CNA?

A licensed nurse cannot delegate any activity involving critical decision-making or nursing judgment.

Nursing responsibilities are delegated only by someone who has the actual authority to delegate. The responsibility delegated is within the delegator’s scope of practice.

Nurses can, for example, delegate feeding patients or ambulating to the CNA, who has a narrower scope of practice.

There are a few factors that dictate when a nurse should delegate.

Usually, a nurse can delegate when they need assistance preventing a delay in the care of a patient.

For instance, RN’s tied up with a patient’s admissions may ask the CNA to pass the prescribed meds to the patient. When action is necessary within the scope of a CNA, a nurse can delegate.

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Now that you know the top-level things what can a nurse delegate to a CNA it’s time to dive in a little bit deeper.

What tasks can a nurse delegate to a CNA?

What tasks can a nurse delegate to a CNA

So what tasks can a nurse delegate to a CNA specifically?

It goes without saying that all the tasks within the scope of a CNA can be delegated.

Also known as a Certified Nursing Assistant, a CNA’s main role is to provide patients with basic care and assist them in their everyday activities, particularly when patients have a hard time doing a few activities on their own, such as bathing.

Due to the job’s personal nature, a CNA’s job description needs to include the ability to enjoy helping others, being compassionate, and having people skills.

In long termor nursing care facilities, a CNA is often the main caregiver of a patient.

Also, CNA’s work with medical technology such as health information software and billing software. They also work with medical record charting software.

In some hospitals, a CNA will administer a patient’s medication.

Usually, however, this depends on the CNA’s level of experience and training, as well as the regulations of the state.

A CNA reports to a licensed vocational nurse, a licensed practical nurse, or a registered nurse. They need to have phenomenal skills of communication since it is their job to bring all the issues and concerns of the patient to their supervisor.

A nurse can delegate tasks that are already within the scope of a CNA.

A CNA assists each patient with daily activities. Others have more responsibilities such as administering medicine.

A CNA’s core job includes:

  • Restock rooms with essential supplies
  • Change bed sheets
  • Sanitizing and clean patients’ areas
  • Examine patients for blood in urine, bruises or other wounds/injuries
  • Answer patient calls
  • Lift patients into exam tables, wheelchairs, and beds. See also: What is a Hoyer Lift?
  • Provide empty bedpans
  • Collect information about treatment plans and conditions from doctors, nurses, and caregivers
  • Reposition or turn bedridden patients
  • Take vital signs
  • Help patients eat and serve meals
  • Dress and bathe patients

Now that you know what can a nurse delegate to a CNA we can dive in even deeper.

Which task could a staff nurse delegate to a CNA?

Which task could a staff nurse delegate to a CNA

So which task could a staff nurse delegate to a CNA then?

In the continuously changing world of health, this includes the responsibilities and roles of assistive personnel and licensed providers of health care.

In certain institutions, the number of licensed RN’s and CNA’s may be limited.

Thus, these roles may need to extend beyond the traditional assignments and roles of RNs, VNs, LPNs, and CNAs.

See also: LPN Interview Questions

When specific aspects of nurse care need to be delegated beyond the traditional assignments and roles of care providers, the delegation process and state NPA or nurse practice act must be understood clearly so that it is effectively and safely carried out.

See also: 5 Rights of Delegation in Nursing

For many years, there has been a significant debate with regards to what assignment versus delegation means.

Regulations require CNAs to complete CNA programs that are state-approved. All CNA programs need to pass the administered competency evaluation by a state-approved entity.

This may confuse health care workers about what procedures, skills, and activities can be delegated to CNAs.

The delegation from a nurse to a CNA can be summarized as follows:

  • The responsibility delegated to the CNA is within the scope of practice of the RN.
  • RN’s cannot delegate any activity including the nursing judgment that involved critical decision making.
  • A licensed RN who delegates the responsibilities maintains overall patient accountability. However, the RN bears the responsibility of the delegated procedure, skill, or activity.
  • A CNA can perform specified nursing procedures, skills, or activity that is outside the basic responsibilities and traditional roles of the CNA.
  • Appropriate delegation allows for responsibility transition in a consistent, safe manner. The RN transfers the performance of a procedure, skill, or activity to a CNA. However, the practice of pervasive functions of critical decisions, nursing judgment, and clinical reasoning cannot be delegated. There should be no confusion between assignments and delegation.

Delegatees obtained extra training, education, and valid competence to perform the delegated care and responsibilities.

The process and context associated with validated competencies will vary for every procedure, skill, or activity being delegated.

Validation competency needs to be specific to the skill and knowledge necessary to safely perform responsibilities delegated as well as to the level of the CNA to whom the procedure, skill, or activity has been delegated.

See also: Charge Nurse Interview Questions

Conclusion: What can a nurse delegate to a CNA?

What should nurses delegate to CNAs

In short, everything that is in the scope of practice of a CNA.

Now you know all about what can a nurse delegate to a CNA. If you would like to learn some more check out these articles of ours:

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.