I am clinical head nurse in the emergency department, so although I wouldn't be able to answer most of your SICU-specific questions, I am able to speak to overall hospital attributes.
Our surgical ICU is a 30 bed, multidisciplinary critical care unit. Trauma, transplant, critical general surg and surg specialty patients are cared for in this unit; heart & vascular and neurosciences have their own ICUs. Critical care nurses are expected to float to other units, although I can tell you this doesn't happen very often in the SICU due to acuity and staffing. More often, the SICU receives floating help from other units.
In the time that I've worked here, I've seen teamwork and morale improve especially when it comes to emergency patients being admitted to the SICU.
Salary is reasonable for this area, especially when you consider we have a lower cost of living than Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. The tuition reimbursement is what actually brought me here in the first place (I was finishing my BSN through Penn State). The downside to it is that it is subject to taxes.
I hope this answers a few of your questions. If you have any others, feel free to email me.