The Art and Science of Delegation: Staffing During COVID-19

Part of AACN Critical Care Webinar Series

Presenter(s): Joseph F DiMartino, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CCRN-K; Rebecca L Johnson, MSN, RN, CCRN, PCCN

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Webinar Summary

Overwhelming numbers of critically ill patients presenting at hospitals across the country during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic led to these facilities struggling with issues of staffing and delegation. To help address staffing shortages, hospital administration often redeployed nurses and other personnel from less busy areas to critical care units, leaving critical care staff wondering what tasks should be delegated to these new teammates who had little or no specialty training. In this webinar, nurse leaders from two hospitals share their stories about how they handled these staffing and delegation challenges, including the evolving strategy required to meet the needs of COVID-19 patients during each wave of increased infections. In addition to discussing the innovative solutions their hospitals employed, the presenters will touch on how to redeploy non-ICU staff, what could or should be delegated and to whom, and how to overcome the reluctance of ICU staff to delegate tasks.


  • Discuss the need for alternative staffing patterns and delegation which occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Describe strategies for effective delegation utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Identify common barriers to delegation encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic


Joseph F DiMartino, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CCRN-K

Joseph F DiMartino, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CCRN-K

Joseph DiMartino is associate vice president of nursing at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he oversees the facility’s critical care and trauma programs. DiMartino holds a Master of Science in Nursing, clinical research, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. His career includes working as a staff nurse and nurse manager in med-surg units, surgical ICUs and trauma ICUs. Currently, DiMartino serves on the board of AACN’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter.

Rebecca L Johnson, MSN, RN, CCRN, PCCN

Rebecca L Johnson, MSN, RN, CCRN, PCCN

Rebecca Johnson is a nurse educator for the medical ICUs at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. Johnson began her nursing career on a combined medical intensive care/progressive care unit where she spent over 10 years serving in roles including bedside nurse, charge nurse, preceptor and assistant nurse manager. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing Education and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is currently president of AACN’s Greater Rochester Area-Finger Lakes Chapter.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. No conflicts of interest have been identified for any individual with the ability to influence the content of this activity. Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN or ANCC approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012. AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing (CBRN), California Provider number CEP 1036. This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.

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