Stress has been observed among various professionals, including intensive care unit (ICU) nurses, due to their close contact with patients in distress and at the risk of death. This situation becomes worse due to the need for direct and intensive care. This study was performed to characterize nurses working at ICU and verify the presence of stress among them. A total of 21 ICU nurses from five hospitals located in the state of São Paulo answered a series of questions about the ICU and completed the Nurse Stress Inventory. Study results showed that 57.1% of nurses consider the ICU a stressful place, and 23.8% achieved a high score, indicating the presence of stress. Stress continues to affect these professionals, and institutions do not offer any special care for nurses in the sense of promoting comprehensive health care.