Nursing Care vs Nurse Delegated Care

Understanding the difference between the “nursing care” and “nurse delegated care” can help a resident choose an AFH that meets their needs.

Nursing Care is care that is specifically given by a licensed nurse, whether it be an LPN or RN or even Nurse Practitioner. Although some nursing care can be delegated, most of it cannot be delegated. Here is a list of items that only a nurse can be responsible for:

  • Administering medications and intravenous fluids
  • Performing wound care and dressing changes
  • Monitoring vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, and temperature
  • Inserting and removing urinary catheters
  • Administering tube feedings and caring for patients with feeding tubes
  • Providing education and counseling to patients and their families about their medical conditions and treatments
  • Initiating and monitoring intravenous therapy
  • Administering injections, including vaccines
  • Conducting patient assessments and developing care plans
  • Performing tracheostomy care and suctioning
  • Monitoring and managing patients with complex medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart failure
  • Supervising and delegating tasks to HCAs and other nursing staff.

Nurse Delegated Care is care that an HCA (Home Care Aide) can provide, but only if they are willing and have been trained and delegated by a nurse who deems the HCA competent and able to complete the care. The caregiver is basically limited to helping with medications, some cleaning/sanitizing, and feeding. Nurse delegated tasks can include:

  • Administration of most medications
  • Non-sterile dressing changes
  • Ostomy care
  • Urinary catheterization
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Gastrostomy feedings

Understanding your needs can help you identify those AFHs or Long-term Living Facilities that can meet your needs.