AIM: To report on the beliefs of critical care nurses with regard to the discharge planning process, in Victoria, Australia. METHODS: An exploratory descriptive design was used. A total of 502 Victorian critical care nurses were approached to take part in the study. A total of 218 eligible participants completed the survey, which represented a net response rate of 43.4%. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: The current discharge planning processes are ad hoc and influenced by patient acuity. Critical care nurses believe that workload issues, unplanned discharges and inadequate communication contribute to difficulties implementing the discharge plan.