Delirium is a well recognised and serious problem in adult intensive care patients. With a reported incidence as high as 87%, it has been associated with increased length of stay, higher costs of care, ongoing cognitive impairment and increased mortality rates. The problem is so significant that routine, formal delirium assessment is recommended for all intensive care patients. However, there is evidence to suggest that few intensive care nurses are incorporating this screening into their daily practice. The aim of this paper is to discuss what is currently known about intensive care nurses' attitudes and beliefs in relation to caring for adults who are experiencing delirium, with a focus on identifying possible barriers to formal delirium assessment. It will be argued that intensive care nurses are well placed to perform regular delirium assessment and therefore have a responsibility to promote an improvement in delirium assessment practices.