I once worked for a State Hospital where we didn't get paid for 3 weeks because the budget for the new fiscal year was late being passed. And I showed up for work every day because what would the patients have done if we didn't?! I knew the retro pay would come eventually, in the meantime, I focused on going to work every day and making the best of it. And THAT, my friends, is a "calling," not a profession!
I have now been a nurse for 36 years and I can honestly say that I would still do the same thing today. I am a DON who interviews and hires new grads and I must say that I blame the schools for the lack of experience that new nurses have upon graduation, but also for the unrealistic expectations that I've seen the new grads have, such as Monday thru Friday 7-3, no weekends, no holidays, and very high salary expectations. Before I graduated, I had to perform each clinical procedure such as dressings, catheters, etc. 3 times with my instructor. I got to follow a post-op patient in the hospital during clinical for weeks at a time. Now, with the way healthcare is, post-op is a matter of DAYS! The patient you have as a student nurse this week will more than likely be gone before you go to clinical next week. Also, the lack of qualified faculty make it even more difficult to get the very basics of clinical experience. I also paid my dues and worked 20 years as a nurse before I got weekends and holidays off-that's just the nature of the PROFESSION, people don't get sick just during the week and we don't close hospitals on weekends and holidays.
So, whatever you consider nursing to be, either a "calling," a "profession," or both, be prepared to lead by example, never forget where you came from or what it's like to be a "newbie," and teach new nurses what they need to know-we aren't going to be around forever and someone will be left to care for our patients. We may as well teach them the right way the first time!