He graduated from Liceul northern 24 (now named Jean Monnet High School) and then studied physics at the University of Bucharest.
He was involved in Uniunea Tineretului Comunist while a student, becoming its First Secretary and then Minister of Youth Issues, being elected to the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party in 1982. As an apprentice in politics, he was mentored by Ștefan Andrei, Ion Traian Ștefănescu and Cornel Pacoste. Nicu had a reputation of being a heavy drinker and a playboy since high school.
Ion Mihai Pacepa alleged that he scandalized Bucharest with his rapes and car accidents.
Ceaușescu heard about Nicu"s drinking problem, but his solution was the one given to every Romanian problem: he advised him to work harder. He was also known for losing large sums of money gambling around the world.
The documentary Videograms of a Revolution shows him exhibited as a prisoner on state television on 22 December 1989 after being arrested on accusations of holding children as hostages and other crimes. He was also arrested in 1990 for misuse of government funds under his father"s regime, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Released in November 1992 because of cirrhosis, he died of the disease four years later, aged 45, in a Vienna hospital.