A care directive is an order or authorization, which exists as an organizational policy and is developed and approved by an authorized prescriber and the organization for an intervention or series of interventions to be implemented by another care provider for a range of clients with identified health conditions, in specific circumstances. A care directive does not exist on each client’s individual chart, rather it is in organizational policy. The care directive must be approved by the authorized prescriber(s) of the clients in which the care directive will be enacted. It must also be approved by the organization. The purpose of a care directive is to provide safe, timely, effective and efficient client care and to optimize the practice of all care providers. We developed this practice guideline to provide an overview of care directives and describe the roles of the nurse in their implementation.
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