Frequently, intensive care nurses assume responsibility for extubating patients after undergoing cardiac surgery. Bispectral index (BIS) monitoring assesses level of mental arousal and awareness when sedated. This study was to determine if the BIS might facilitate earlier extubation of patients following cardiac surgery. A study was conducted comparing 25 stable patients returning to the intensive care unit with a BIS with 25 patients managed without the BIS (N = 50). Data collected included age, sex, surgery, pH, CO2, and temperature on arrival/extubation, total intravenous propofol and pain medication, and BIS scores. Student t tests determined that there were no differences between groups for age, amount of propofol and pain medication received, or time to extubation (P > .05). Regression analysis determined that total propofol, total hydromorphone, and age were significant predictors of time to extubation. In this study, the BIS monitor did not facilitate earlier extubation in the stable patient after cardiac surgery.