Infants born prematurely with respiratory distress syndrome are at high risk for complications from mechanical ventilation. Strategies are needed to minimize their days on the ventilator. The purpose of this study was to compare extubation success rates in infants treated with 2 different types of continuous positive airway pressure devices. A retrospective cohort study design was used. Data were retrieved from electronic medical records for patients in a large, metropolitan, level III neonatal intensive care unit. A sample of 194 premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome was selected, 124 of whom were treated with nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation and 70 with bi-level variable flow nasal continuous positive airway pressure (bi-level nasal continuous positive airway pressure). Infants in both groups had high extubation success rates (79% of nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation group and 77% of bi-level nasal continuous positive airway pressure group). Although infants in the bi-level nasal continuous positive airway pressure group were extubated sooner, there was no difference in duration of oxygen therapy between the 2 groups. Promoting early extubation and extubation success is a vital strategy to reduce complications of mechanical ventilation that adversely affect premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome.