There's no excuse for not delegating

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Tip of the month

There’s no excuse for not delegating

If any of the excuses below sound familiar to you—if they’re excuses you’ve used before—please note this makes you normal. When a person becomes comfortable and has an excuse not to do something—in this case, delegate—he or she will have little motivation to change.

As a nurse manager, you may be afraid to delegate for any of several reasons:

  • You’re afraid staff will feel even more overworked than they already do
  • You worry that staff cannot complete the task as well as you
  • You don’t trust anyone else on staff to handle the task
  • You believe you can complete the task more effectively and efficiently yourself
  • You don’t think your boss would want you to delegate any of your job functions or tasks

Each day you continue this pattern of not delegating, realize that you are:

  • Disempowering your staff
  • Discouraging professional accountability
  • Giving the impression that you don’t respect or trust your staff
  • Sending the message that you believe your staff lack the knowledge or skill to do the job 


Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN, Health Resources Unlimited, Adapted with permission.