KAR 20:400. Delegation of nursing tasks.
TO: KRS 311A.170, 314.011, 314.021(2), 314.091(1)
AUTHORITY: KRS 314.131(1)
FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 314.131(1) authorizes the board to promulgate
administrative regulations necessary to implement KRS Chapter 314. KRS
314.091(1)(d) prohibits a person from negligently or willfully acting in a
manner inconsistent with the practice of nursing. This administrative
regulation establishes requirements that govern the delegation of a nursing
task in a safe, effective manner so as to safeguard the health and welfare of
the citizens of the Commonwealth.
1. Definitions. (1) "Board" is defined in KRS 314.011(1).
"Client" means a patient, resident or consumer of nursing care.
"Competence" means performing an act in a safe, effective manner.
"Delegatee" means a person to whom a task is delegated.
"Delegator" means the nurse delegating a task to another person.
"Nurse" is defined in KRS 314.011(3).
"Nursing task" means an act included in the definition of registered
nursing practice, advanced practice registered nursing, or licensed practical
nursing practice pursuant to KRS 314.011(6), (8), or (10).
"Paramedic" is defined in KRS 311A.010.
"Supervision" means the provision of guidance by a qualified nurse
for the accomplishment of a nursing task with periodic observation and
evaluation of the performance of the task including validation that the nursing
task has been performed according to established standards of practice.
"Unlicensed person" means an individual, other than a nurse, the
client, or the client's family, legal guardian, or delegatee, who functions in
an assistant or subordinate role to the nurse.
2. Nurse's Responsibility in Delegation. (1) A registered nurse or a licensed
practical nurse may delegate a task to an unlicensed person in accordance with
this section and Sections 3 and 4 of this administrative regulation.
A registered nurse may delegate a task to a paramedic employed in a hospital
emergency department in accordance with KRS 311A.170 and Sections 3 and 4 of
this administrative regulation.
Prior to delegating a nursing task, the nurse shall determine the nursing care
needs of the client. The nurse shall retain responsibility and accountability
for the nursing care of the client, including nursing assessment, planning,
evaluation and assuring documentation.
The nurse, prior to delegation to an unlicensed person, shall have either
instructed the unlicensed person in the delegated task or determined that the
unlicensed person is competent to perform the nursing task.
A nursing task shall be delegated directly or indirectly. An indirect
delegation shall not alter the responsibility of the nurse for appropriately
assigning and supervising an unlicensed person.
A nurse who delegates a nursing task in violation of this administrative
regulation or participates in the utilization of an unlicensed person in
violation of this administrative regulation shall be considered acting in a
manner inconsistent with the practice of nursing.
3. Criteria for Delegation. The delegation of a nursing task shall meet the
The delegated nursing task shall be a task that a reasonable and prudent nurse
would find is within the scope of sound nursing judgment and practice to
The delegated nursing task shall be a task that, in the opinion of the
delegating nurse, can be competently and safely performed by the delegatee
without compromising the client's welfare.
The nursing task shall not require the delegatee to exercise independent
nursing judgment or intervention.
The delegator shall be responsible for assuring that the delegated task is
performed in a competent manner by the delegatee.
4. Supervision. (1) The nurse shall provide supervision of a delegated nursing
The degree of supervision required shall be determined by the delegator after
an evaluation of appropriate factors involved including the following:
The stability and acuity of the client's condition;
The training and competency of the delegatee;
The complexity of the nursing task being delegated; and
The proximity and availability of the delegator to the delegatee when the
nursing task is performed. (19 Ky.R. 1242; eff. 1-27-93; Am. 25 Ky.R. 2189;
2546; eff. 5-19-99; 29 Ky.R. 2947; eff. 8-13-03; TAm eff. 7-15-2010.)