You bring up a good question, and I can only speak from students' posts that I've read that are similar to the question you've posted, and from students that are currently in school. While being a traveling ICU nurse would be an amazing experience, and expose you to a variety of complex patients, you would typically be treated like a "float team" nurse, and not get the sickest patients. This is only from what I have heard, so don't quote me on that. The schools know this, and can probably gage what type of patients you've taken care of better if you've been exclusive to one unit like a SICU. However, if you do become a traveling ICU nurse you need to be sure to promote the skills you've learned in your letter on intent, and in your interview. To answer your next question, I would NEVER tell your manager in your interview, or anytime before needing a letter of rec from him/her that you're planning on applying to anesthesia school. It can be assumed by many, and that's ok, but don't tell anyone you're going. With that said, I wish you luck in your last 1.5 years of nursing school, and good luck in your future endevours.