objective: the aim of this study is to gain insight into the meaning of being a nursing professional working in a public intensive therapy unit (itu). this study addresses aspects related to their way of being and feeling from the perspective of itu patients care and treatment. methods: a qualitative research was applied based on a phenomenological background. the guiding question of the study was "what does it mean to you being an itu nursing professional?" results: the results show that the lack of human and material resources in the itu contributes to a feeling of low self-esteem. it pointed out a stressfull work which can lead to problems in the health assistance quality. conclusion: the stress at work affects psychologically the itu nursing professionals and it can have negative outcomes in the patients treatment, caused by the isolation and aleniation phenomena.