It's funny that you ask this question, as I just had this conversation the other night with an SN who was shadowing me through the usual twelve hours of mayhem that constitutes an emergency shift.
I come from a family of medical professionals, in particular both my parents, who are a surgeon and a surgical nurse administrator respectively. I laugh that I grew up in a hospital, but in truth it isn't a joke; since the OR started operations at 6 AM and school wasn't till 8, every day was Take Your Daughter To Work Day. We'd go to the hospital in the morning, Mom would take her break and run me to school at 7:45, and then pick me up again at 4 PM and we'd go back to the hospital till 6 or so. Likewise, Dad's call schedule dictated what we could do, where we could go, and whether or not we could participate in family events. More than once we had to leave parties, christenings and the like because of an acute appendix or whatnot. I never knew any other way of life. When I went through nursing school, I and my classmates had the same lessons drilled into our heads. (It may not be coincidence that our program director was also a former DON of surgery...)
Now, as a practicing nurse in a very busy emergency center, I very rarely work less than 4x12 per week, and get called in on a fairly regular basis. Is it stressful? Sometimes. There are occasions when I'd like to go out with my friends or go on vacations, and I can't because I'm at work. Does my family understand? Absolutely; in fact, they'd be righteously furious with me if I went to a party or family get-together and declined a call from the hospital as a result. Would I change it? Probably not. I was raised to believe that when you sign on the dotted line and accept your licensure, you take on an obligation to care for every patient that's out there. Your own life, and that of your family, must become a secondary or tertiary concern; your primary responsibility is to your patients. If you can't make that commitment... this may not be the career for you.
I'm aware that mine may not be a popular viewpoint or opinion, but that's how I learned, and that's how I manage my practice. As always, your mileage may vary.