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Delegation Knowledge and Practice Among Rehabilitation Nurses


  • Mary Joe White PhD RN,

    Associate Professor of Nursing, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Mary Joe White, PhD RN, is an associate professor of nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center at the Houston School of Nursing at Houston, TX.

  • Ann Gutierrez MSN RN CBIS CRRN,

    Education Resource SpecialistSearch for more papers by this author
    • Ann Gutierrez, MSN RN CBIS CRRN, is an education resource specialist at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, TX.

  • Kerry Davis BSN RN CBIS CRRN,

    Clinical Nurse ManagerSearch for more papers by this author
    • Kerry Davis, BSN RN CBIS CRRN, is a clinical nurse manager in the Brain Injury and Stroke Unit at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, TX.

  • Rhonda Olson MS RN CRRN,

    Rehabilitation Nurse ConsultantSearch for more papers by this author
    • Rhonda Olson, MS RN CRRN, is a rehabilitation nurse consultant for RS Consulting in Houston, TX.

  • Celeste McLaughlin MS CNS RN CRRN

    Director of NursingSearch for more papers by this author
    • Celeste McLaughlin, MS CNS RN CRRN, is director of nursing at the Quentin Mease Community Hospital, Harris County Hospital District in Houston, TX.


Delegation is an essential process that allows nurses to function more effectively and efficicently. The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses' (ARN) Southeast Texas Chapter research committee developed a survey to study registered nurses (RN) practices and knowledge of delegation to unlicensed assistive personnel. State boards of nursing determine delegation practices, so the survey was sent only to Texas ARN members. Benners' Novice to Expert theory was used to study delegation practices based on years of experience, certification, and education. Survey Monkey was used with a questionnaire developed by the research committee. Descriptive statistics analyzed data from the survey's 73 respondents, and chi-square measured significance of differences based on years of experience and certification (yes or no). Data show that delegation knowledge does not necessarily translate to practice, especially when looking at specific tasks performed by certified rehabilitation registered nurses (CRRNs) and non-CRRNs. The data support continued study of this important issue; 93.7% of respondents say delegation requires further discussion.