The 5 Rights of Delegation

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The five rights of delegation are a framework for ensuring the safe and effective delegation of tasks in nursing practice. 

Jump to the 5 Rights


  1. Right Task
  2. Right Person
  3. Right Communication (or Direction)
  4. Right Supervision (or Evaluation)
  5. Right Circumstance(s)

Delegation is an essential aspect of nursing practice that allows healthcare personnel to work together effectively to provide high-quality care to patients. It promotes teamwork, improves patient outcomes, enhances nursing practice, and helps develop other healthcare personnel’s skills.

By following the five rights as princicples, nurses ensure that patients receive high-quality care and that healthcare teams work together effectively.

Delegation in Nursing

Delegation refers to assigning tasks or responsibilities to another health care team member who is qualified to perform those tasks. It’s an essential aspect of nursing practice, as it helps to ensure that patient care is delivered efficiently and effectively.

In everyday nursing practice, delegation can take many forms, depending on the patient’s specific needs and the nursing team’s skills.

Nursing assistants can assist with tasks such as bathing, grooming, feeding, and ambulation under the direction and supervision of the registered nurse (RN). RNs can also delegate the administration of medications to LPNs or nursing assistants who have been trained and deemed competent to administer medications.

In some cases, RNs may delegate certain nursing interventions, such as wound care or IV medication administration, to RNs with specialized training or experience in these areas.

The 5 Rights of Delegation in Nursing

The five rights Delegation is an essential aspect of nursing practice, and it allows RNs to focus on tasks that require their specific knowledge and expertise:

1. Right Task

The task being delegated must be within the scope of practice for the person to whom it is being delegated. The task should also be appropriate for the patient’s condition and care plan.

2. Right Person

The nurse must delegate the task to a qualified and competent person who has the necessary education, training, and experience to perform the task safely and effectively.

3. Right Communication (or Direction)

The nurse must communicate clear and concise instructions for the task, including the purpose of the task, how it should be performed, and any specific patient needs or concerns.

4. Right Supervision (or Evaluation)

The nurse must provide appropriate supervision and monitoring to ensure that the task is performed safely and effectively. This includes providing guidance, feedback, and support as needed.

5. Right Circumstance(s)

The nurse must consider the patient’s condition, the healthcare setting, and other relevant factors when deciding whether to delegate a task. Delegation should only occur when it is safe and appropriate for the patient and the healthcare team.

Learn More About Nursing Processes Here

Nurses have many more rights for effective and safe patient care in nursing practice.

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