With the emergence of healthcare support staff, the boundaries of the role of registered nurses have been blurred. Often healthcare workers are now allocated tasks that were once the responsibility of qualified nurses. With this change comes a greater need to tackle issues around accountability, responsibility and delegation. When delegating tasks to unregistered support workers, nurses need reassurance that their colleagues are adequately trained, competent and responsible. This is particularly important in community settings, where staff are expected to work autonomously. To ensure the safety and reliability of nursing interventions, there may be a need to standardise the education and continuing professional development of all staff. This article explores the debate around these crucial questions.
This article has been double-blind peer reviewed
In this article…