Objectives: To assess the impact of a nurse-implemented goal-directed sedation strategy on patient care and nursing practice in a pediatric cardiac ICU.Design: Quality improvement project with a pre-post interval measurement plan.Setting: Thirty-one bed pediatric cardiac ICU in a freestanding tertiary care children's hospital. Patients: Postoperative pediatric cardiac surgery patients.Interventions: The implementation of cardiac-Randomized Evaluation of Sedation Titration for Respiratory Failure (RESTORE), a nurse-implemented goal directed strategy to improve pain and sedation management in a pediatric cardiac ICU which included daily team discussion of the patient's trajectory of illness (acute, titration, or weaning phase), prescription of a sedation target score based on the patient's trajectory of illness, arousal assessments, and opioid and/or sedative titration. Withdrawal Assessment Scores were used to assess and manage iatrogenic withdrawal symptoms.Measurements And Main Results: Data related to opioid and sedation use, pain and sedation scores, and the occurrence and management of iatrogenic withdrawal symptoms were reviewed on 1,243 patients during four separate time periods: one pre-implementation and three discontinuous post-implementation time intervals. Patient age and complexity were consistent across the data collection periods. Post-implementation opioids and benzodiazepines use was reduced about 50% without a concomitant increase in the use of other sedative classes. Few post-intervention patients were discharged from the pediatric cardiac ICU or to home on methadone (pediatric cardiac ICU: pre 19% to post 3%; hospital: pre 12% to post 1.3%). Documentation of pain, sedation, and withdrawal scores became more consistent and nurses reported satisfaction with their patient's comfort management.Conclusions: The implementation of a nurse-driven goal-directed plan such as cardiac-RESTORE to manage pediatric cardiac ICU patient pain and sedation is possible, sustainable, and associated with reduced sedative and methadone use.