It has been claimed that the turnover rate of nurses working in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) is higher than in other areas of nursing; very little statistical evidence was found to support this claim. A questionnaire was designed to discover the reasons for nurse turnover among intensive care nurses. 45 nurses who had left the three ICUs of a large teaching hospital took part in the survey providing quantitative and qualitative data. High levels of dissatisfaction were found for career development, pay and clinical regrading, these being the main cause of turnover among the nurses who responded. Other causes were moving to another geographical area and the need for flexible hours. These findings can partly be explained by role conflict.