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  1. Kearney, Anne PhD, RN
  2. Grainger, Patricia MN, RN
  3. Chubbs, Katherine MHS, RN, CHE
  4. Downey, Joan MN, RN


BACKGROUND: The performance of nonnursing duties by nursing staff contributes to an already busy workload while taking time away from patient care.


OBJECTIVE: This article reports on a process implemented by a large regional health authority in Canada to measure and address nurses' performance of nonnursing duties through a newly created tool.


METHODS: Process improvement methodology was used to conduct this project. A measurement tool, the "Non-Nursing Duties Tracking Tool," was designed for frontline nursing staff and patient care attendants to document the performance of tasks classified as clerical, housekeeping, food services, clinical support, and transportation. This article reports on a survey of managers regarding information collected from frontline nurses and patient care attendants regarding their performance of nonnursing duties and actions taken or planned to address this.


RESULTS: Tasks were identified that could be delegated to housekeeping, transport, and clerical staff. Both frontline nurses and managers expressed the need for administrative support to realign nonnursing tasks to more appropriate personnel. Although most managers of nurses expressed concern about the support of managers in other departments to make these changes, little resistance was encountered when adequate resources were in place.


CONCLUSIONS: The "Non-Nursing Duties Tracking Tool" is a valid instrument to support the assessment of nonnursing direct care duties.