The intensive care unit is a high-stakes environment in which nurses, including advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), often assist patients and families to navigate life and death situations. These high-stakes situations often require discussions that include bad news and discussions about goals of care or limiting aggressive care, and APRNs must develop expertise and techniques to be skilled communicators for conducting these crucial conversations. This article explores the art of communication, the learned skill of delivering bad news in the health care setting, and the incorporation of this news into a discussion about goals of care for patients. As APRNs learn to incorporate effective communication skills into practice, patient care and communication will ultimately be enhanced.

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