Mandi, the answers to your questions will vary from nurse to nurse as we are all different. I've been a nurse for 25 years, a critical care RN for 15 of them. I am now doing community health nursing.
The nice thing about a nuring career are all the options available.
If you feel you want a 'break' before starting college, do so. Perhaps you may want to find a job in healthcare...such as a unit secretary in a hospital, or an admitting clerk, or even as a CNA for real 'hands on' experience. These experiences will help you decide if nursing is for you.
Best wishes!! Oh and PS...my worst area was the OR...I coud not stand the surgeons attitudes in my training hospital...they were jerks, IMO. BUT....some nurses would never do anything BUT OR nursing...they love it so much. So you see, we're all different!
And thank goodness, what a boring world it would be if we all were alike, eh?