This article presents suggestions for nurses to gain skill, competence, and comfort in caring for critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilatory support, with a specific focus on education strategies and building communication skills with these challenging nonverbal patients. Engaging in evidence-based practice projects at the unit level and participating in or leading research studies are key ways nurses can contribute to improving outcomes for patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Suggestions are offered for evidence-based practice projects and possible research studies to improve outcomes and advance the science in an effort to achieve quality patient-ventilator management in intensive care units.

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