We present a comparative study of Finnish and Swedish free-text nursing narratives from intensive care. Although the two languages are linguistically very dissimilar, our hypothesis is that there are similarities that are important and interesting from a language technology point of view. This may have implications when building tools to support producing and using health care documentation. We perform a comparative qualitative analysis based on structure and content, as well as a comparative quantitative analysis on Finnish and Swedish Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nursing narratives. Our findings are that ICU nursing narratives in Finland and Sweden have many properties in common, but that many of these are challenging when it comes to developing language technology tools.