In this paper, we compare findings of two studies aimed at identifying performance obstacles among intensive care nurses. The first study is a qualitative study where data was collected from 15 intensive care nurses using individual, semi-structured interviews. The second study is a cross-sectional study conducted among 298 nurses from 17 intensive care units (ICUs) of seven hospitals using a questionnaire survey. Based on the results of these two studies, the most commonly experienced performance obstacles among ICU nurses include inadequate help from others, tools and equipment, ineffective inter-provider communication, materials and supplies, poor physical work environment, and family issues. The results of these two studies have implications regarding efforts aimed at redesigning ICU work organization in order to reduce nursing workload and improve quality of working life and quality and safety of care.