This article presents intensive psychiatric nurses' work and nursing care. The aim of the study was to describe expressions of cultural knowing in nursing care in psychiatric intensive care units (PICU). Spradley's ethnographic methodology was applied. Six themes emerged as frames for nursing care in psychiatric intensive care: providing surveillance, soothing, being present, trading information, maintaining security and reducing. These themes are used to strike a balance between turbulence and stability and to achieve equilibrium. As the nursing care intervenes when turbulence emerges, the PICU becomes a sanctuary that offers tranquility, peace and rest.