Hi sabatical - yes, I left nursing a number of years ago, 1994, mainly because I had burnout after only 3 short years working in the OR. I thought I would just "take a break", but later discovered I did not want to return to the conventional nursing field, too demanding and stressful, and I decided I didn't want to push drugs on people anymore. As I learned more about nutrition, naturopathy and a holistic approach to our ailments and symptoms, I decided conventional nursing was not for me.
However, let me qualify that there is a place and time for emergency care, drugs and nursing care, and I admire the RN's that are experts in their field. We need them!
I kept my license active for a few years after leaving, but then allowed it to expire. I don't think about returning to nursing anymore, but I have thought about putting my healthcare/nursing background to use in some way, with a company or online business that could be useful to them, e.g. medical records, medical coding, etc. I've had a few different jobs since leaving nursing and currently I am semi-retired. I think that sometimes it's easier to look for work that is not related to the medical field at all, especially when you first leave the nursing field. A future employer may need to know that you have permanently left the medical field and will devote your energy and efforts to their company's interests. I hope your decision has been a good one for you?