Those caring for patients who undergo cardiac surgery share a dilemma. Complications associated with hypothermia encourage the care giver to rewarm the patient quickly, but complications associated with rapid temperature changes and hyperthermia can threaten the patient's hemodynamic stability. What are adequate rewarming measures, when to terminate active rewarming measures to avoid hyperthermia, and what is the optimal rate of rewarming are all unanswered questions. Continued nursing research will expand the science of nursing and provide care givers with knowledge for expert care. As the turn of the century approaches and surgical techniques advance, high-risk patients who undergo reoperation and multi-valve cardiac surgery require expert nursing care.