I started in a Top 10 hospital on the CVT stepdown and after 9 months I stopped learning anything new, because of this I made the decision to transfer to our Cardiac/Transplant ICU. I absolutely LOVE it. I am an adrenaline junkie and there is no shortage of those intense and deliciously stressful situations! It is VERY intimidating because you are taking some of the sickest patients in the hospital on a regular basis.
Cardiac Surgery ICU RNs are of a different breed from other ICU RNs (SICU, MICU, NICU, CCU) and are a thoroughly robust group as a whole. Some may say that it is cut throat but that is because you have almost no room for error in any aspect of care for these patients. Because of this Cardiac Surgery culture (pretty consistent across the country) you are expected to be knowledgeable, perform at a very high level under life and death situations, and whatever you have to do, it better be done fast and with purpose.
CTICU/CVICU is not for everybody and even very experienced RNs from other ICUs have a difficult time adjusting to the culture because of the acuity of the patients and because of what is expected from the RN staff. But if you are hungry to learn, want to take your game up to the next level, and really grow as an RN, any of the ICUs are a great next step. Good luck and let us know how it goes!