I've worked in critical care for the last six years and exclusively in a CVICU for the last three. Open heart surgery patients can develop multisystem complaints quite quickly re: renal failure, electrolyte and metabolic imbalances, neurological deficits, respiratory concerns, and of course cardiac or hemodynamic concerns. I find these patients to be extremely unpredictable at times which I find very stimulating and satisfying. There is no such thing as a "simple" open heart surgery. As a recovery nurse of these surgeries you have an amazing amount of autonomy and are responsible for initiating standing orders completely on your own discression. Ex: Keep the MAP between 65-80 and you can use a variety of different meds to acheive this. (NTG, Nipride ,beta blockers,etc) Remember that just as I have stated my case for CVICU there are tons of RN's who can tell you of the virtues of Neuro. But I think all us will agree that we are happy in critical care--that is where the challenges are.