Key Words: nursing intervention, medication administration, essential nursing tasks
Thank you to all who participated in this survey. Results will be shared with readers in a subsequent issue of OJIN.
Summary: medication administration is one of the most highly contested tasks delegated by registered nurses to others. Readers are encouraged to complete this brief survey asking about which nursing interventions must be performed by an RN versus those that can be safely delegated.
A myriad of potential legislative solutions to the nursing shortage have been proposed including increasing the number of new registered nurses by increasing funding for nursing education programs and nursing students, as well as increasing the numbers of employed registered nurses by addressing critical workplace issues such as mandatory overtime and registered nurse-client ratios. Whereas legislators, registered nurses and the public are interested in the long term solutions to the nursing shortage, their main concern is how to deal effectively with the nursing shortage NOW.
One quick (though not recommended) way to remedy the situation would be to expand the practice of others to perform treatments currently performed by registered nurses.
Medication administration is one of the most highly contested tasks delegated by registered nurses to others. However, there is no consensus within the nursing profession (or elsewhere) about which nursing interventions related to the administration of medication and blood products must be performed by an RN and which interventions can be safely delegated (see "What makes something a nursing activity or task" for related information).
Greer Glazer, PhD, RN, FAAN
Director, Parent Child Nursing
College of Nursing
Kent State University
Kent, OH 44202
E-mail Address: GGlazer@kent.edu