A Guide to Nurse Delegation for Caregivers in Washington State

Last updated on May 30th, 2024 at 07:29 pm

Many caregiving clients need daily medical care that goes beyond the typical responsibilities of a caregiver. Nurses can’t always be around, so they delegate some of this care work to caregivers who are specially certified for these tasks.

Nurse delegation lets clients receive daily medical care from their regular caregivers. If you are already a home care aide (HCA-C) or nursing assistant (NAC) in Washington State, you can expand your career opportunities by training for nurse delegation.

Understanding Nurse Delegation for HCA-Cs

What is Nurse Delegation?

Nurse Delegation is a program that allows you to perform tasks that a nurse would otherwise handle. Under Washington State law, you can only perform these tasks if you’re certified for them and if a Registered Nurse Delegator (RND) delegates them to you.

RNDs can delegate most daily care tasks to you as long as you’re certified for nurse delegation. For example, nurses often delegate medication administration, blood glucose monitoring, non-sterile dressing changes, urinary catheterization, ostomy care, and gastrostomy feedings to caregivers.

However, there are some tasks that cannot be delegated to a caregiver. A nurse or other medical professional must take care of any sterile procedures, central line maintenance, or medication injections other than insulin that a client needs.

Nurse delegation is most common in settings like assisted living, adult family homes, and community living programs. It’s a common way to handle daily care tasks.

How Nurse Delegation Works For Certified Caregivers (HCA-Cs)

As an HCA-C, you can take additional coursework in nurse delegation beyond your basic caregiver training. After that, you will need to pass a certification exam before an RND can delegate tasks to you.

As a Nurse Delegate, you will work under the supervision of an RND. An RND must delegate you specifically to each client and to each task. Even if you have the certification and do some nurse-delegated tasks at one facility, you cannot do the same tasks at another facility unless the supervising nurse there delegates them to you.

If you work with individual clients, a supervising nurse must teach you the skills they delegate to you. They will periodically review in person that you are performing the skills the way the client needs them done.

Why Pursue Nurse Delegation Certification as a Caregiver?

nurse delegation

Career Advantages

Becoming certified for nurse delegation can open up more job opportunities for you. Many clients and care facilities need caregivers who can perform extra daily care tasks when needed.

The training you need for certification can also count toward the continuing education (CE) credit you need to maintain your HCA-C status. Sunrise’s nurse delegation core course counts toward 9 hours of CE credits, and the nurse delegation diabetes course gives you an extra 3 hours.

Better Care for Clients

Many clients prefer to receive care from the same person — their trusted caregiver. They would rather not have multiple nurses and medical professionals coming in to perform their daily care tasks. As a caregiver certified for nurse delegation, you are better prepared to meet clients’ needs and preferences.

How to Become Certified For Nurse Delegation in Washington State

Washington State Requirements

If you are already certified as a Home Care Aide (HCA-C) or CNA, you can take 9-12 hours of additional training to prepare for nurse delegation certification. From there, you must pass a written exam to receive the certificate.

At Sunrise, we offer nurse delegation testing at our Everett and Mt. Vernon locations. You can view our calendar to see upcoming testing dates.

Once you have your certificate, you can perform additional care tasks if a nurse delegates them to you.

Nurse Delegation Courses

At Sunrise Services, we offer nurse delegation training for HCA-Cs on a self-study basis. This format is convenient if you have a busy schedule. You get one workbook for each topic, which includes readings and exercises to fill out. There are two different caregiver training courses: the nurse delegation core course and the nurse delegation diabetes course.

The 9-hour Nurse Delegation core course covers how the delegation process works. It explains which tasks can be delegated by an RN, how tasks are delegated, and other general knowledge you need to complete most nurse-delegated tasks.

Our Nurse Delegation Diabetes Focus course covers monitoring blood sugar, giving insulin, and other specifics for diabetes-related tasks. You must take the core course before you can take the diabetes focus course.

Sign Up For Sunrise’s Nurse Delegation Training

You can sign up for our nurse delegation course online, in person, or over the phone. To enroll, you will need to pay for your course (currently $85 for the core course and $65 for the diabetes focus course)) and choose a test date.

If you have any questions about nurse delegation training, please reach out to us at 425-212-4210 for Everett or 360-755-3801 for Mt. Vernon. We look forward to helping you with your certification!

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