When I did floor nursing I rarely got breaks. I always compared a shift like being in a tornado....sucked in at 7pm...then spit out at 7:30 am. You don't realise it until the shift is almost over that you haven't stopped.
ICU is nuts too but I do get breaks here and there. I can even peek in at Allnurses to see if I've missed anything....if my pts are stable and doing ok....if not....it's back to the tornado
Edited to add: Not getting breaks isn't the reason for the shortage...there are a deluge of reasons....it depends on where you work, the facility's philosophy, management support, type of nursing, personality..ect ect
Everyone has a story....just because Susy in California has great support , time for breaks and loves her job... doesn't mean that Alex in NY isn't being treated poorly, works unsupported, severely stressed, burnt to a crisp even after changing jobs, specialties, night/days and still not finding his spot. (just hypothetical examples...I know California has a pretty severe shortage)