Indeed, nurses can be a shock absorber for the patients and for family, though the complaints should not be directed at them, and nurses can do quite a lot to help patients and family cope. If the workload is appropriate dealing with issues that frustrate your patients and their family can actually be rewarding. Yes, a few patients or family can "kill the messenger," but I have not found that common.
And many patients, family and places give appropriate appreciation so my question here is why is there no sense of appreciation where you are working? There are good places, and horrid places to work depending upon quite a lot of factors. Find a good place and yes, most days are rewarding, and yes, some days will be not so good, and some terrible, about the same as any job.
But there are places that are run poorly, where understaffing and support lacks. It would be easy to say: "well, just quit--find another job." But in reality these days doing so is not always so easy.
I enjoy my job as an Occupational Health Nurse. I enjoyed it as a Med/Surg nurse, and I loved it as an ICU RN until my preceptor was changed and then it turned horrid--forcing me to quit. A job you love is great, and a job you hate is good too-- because you'll quit. It's the inbetween, not so good, but not terrible jobs that I think ar the worse.
Nursing is like a huge city, if you don't like one neighborhood move. There are so many directions that a person can go in the trick is to find out what you like and then find a job where they like you enough to treat you properly.