Step-down does vary depending on the hospital.
In my hospital, our ICUs are all the unstable with titrated vasopressors and sedation. They are 1:2
Our Progressive care is more stable but critical. Policy states they can have titrated pressors and sedation like the ICU, but they really only do pressors at set rates by the MD, but can still do titrated sedation. Most of the patients have already been trached and are often still vent dependant. They are on all the same bedside cardiac monitors as the ICU, but A-lines, Swan lines, and pretty much any other invaisive hemodynamic monitoring go to the ICU. CVPs and ICP monitoring can be done in the Progressive unit. Patients requireing q2 or more frequent neuro checks, accuchecks, vitals, etc are by policy required to be in a minimum of at least Progressive care. Ratio is also 1:2 like the ICU. Our progressive unit has sicker patients then most other ICUs in our region. Our prog unit is actually pretty difficult and is considered part of our ICU division. ICU nurses hate floating to Prog because they know they are going to have to work way harder then they ever do in the ICU.
Then we have our Step-down units. They have tele, and are used to getting people who come out of the ICU. They aren't sick enough to need ICU or Prog, but not well enough for a normal cardiac tele or med/surg. They are often medically stable, but have more frequent meds or time consuming dressing changes, full care or almost full care, etc. I think ratios are 1:4.
Cardiac tele is mostly walkie talkie patients who are in need of just cardiac tele monitoring. Ratios are 1:5.
Med/surg is probably pretty generic to other hospitals. The most stable of all hospitalized patients. Unmonitored. Ratios are 1:6.
All of these descriptions vary greatly by hospital. Even other hospitals within our own hospital system are entirely different.