Today, I have been a nurse 23 years! Yes, I would recommend it, but I am convinced that a key to longevity is the willingness to reinvent yourself now and then. So my resume does NOT reflect that I have worked the same hospital, the same shift and the same unit for 23 years.
I have worked stepdown, ICU, MICU, ED,(2 different hospitals) public health (a county health department), case management and drug abuse prevention in a school district. At times, I have desparately hated it all and would have killed to have the greeter job at WalMart. But most times, I have enjoyed what I was doing.
Don't be a slave to money. Yes, do expect a fair wage but there really isn't enough money in the world to make nursing a satisfying job if you hate the work. so make sure your nursing job is fun and satisfying and stimulating to you.
Put time into your life to take care of yourself and do fun and non-nursing things. I'm still working to perfect this one.
Let go of the notion that the only real nurse is a bedside nurse. I held this one for a long time. It mostly limits your possibilities. But, make no mistake, I miss bedside nursing and might do it again sometime but right now it doesn't work for me, for my family.
Don't expect nursing to fulfill all your needs. It makes a poor lover. Don't expect your administrator to fulfill all your needs. They don't want to be your lover.
When you are striving to meet the needs of families, don't forget your family comes first. As a Drug Lady I can tell you that shift work is really hard on families and some of the kids I see at work are suffering from too little contact with their parents.
Today, I would do it again, and become a nurse! Though that answer is subject to change, this is how I feel about 90% of the time.