Before I became a nurse, I was a factory worker for ten years.
I was exposed to toxins and carcinogens, illegally. Some of my old co-workers have died from the exposures, and others are seriously, chronically ill. Google berylliosis to read about it. I am grateful that I was somehow spared. My co-workers and I helped make WMD for The U.S.
I made pitifully low wages, and was laid off many times. We were treated like crap.
Now that I'm a nurse, I make better money, and have never been laid off. I do, however, risk exposure to HIV, HBV and HCV daily. Many of my pts have these diseases. I've had several dirty needle sticks in my nursing career. Thankfully, I've again been spared. When I have been treated like crap, I have been able to get another job.
There is no "shortage" where I live. In fact, there is a surplus of nurses. It was hard to find a job when we moved here. Even so, most nurses can find work. If your career is in manufacturing, on the other hand, you are SOL. Manufacturing is all but dead in this country.
Whenever I am disgusted with nursing, I try and remember what it was like for me in the factories.
I am blessed.