I became a nurse because I had a very idealistic view of finding a vocation "where I could make a difference/save the world/right all the wrong out there" etc. I flirted with the idea of social work but after talking with some people who were social workers got steared in the direction of nursing. I have always done exceptionally well academically throughout high school and college (valedictorian, summa cum laude). In nursing school I got to be a part of the hospital setting. I hated it. Nurses are mean and competitive. A lot of my peers in school were ruthless (cheated on tests, made for bad friendships/relationships) and I graduated top of my class disillusioned. Did I make a huge mistake putting all my time and self into this career path and was I stuck working with horrible, money hungry humans? I didn't work as a nurse until just six months ago, I graduated from nursing school 5 years ago. I took a job as a program manager right after nursing school NOT using my RN for an adult day health program for DD adults and TB adults. I loved it. I spend almost my entire day interacting with people that really needed help and I could offer them a safe place where they could interact with each other and have all their basic needs met and start fostering the needs that often get neglected with disabled people, the need of human relationship. Finally I decided I guess I should work as a nurse before I decide it's not for me and have been working in a big non-profit setting doing LTC that has a decent corporate vibe and for another tiny non-profit home health job at an AFH. I like working with elderly but there is a corporate vibe at the LTC facility and the salaries are inflated and there are a lot of people around who get paid a lot who never touch a resident (which makes no sense to me) but I guess that's the world of healthcare. At the AFH the pay is almost half but the kind of care given and my coworkers are amazing. There is so much heart in that place. I love it. You know its a good place when your nursing supervisor is willing to come in on her day off to help you with a resident at 6am. The owner of our home has come in and helped me shower a DD adult with a seizure disorder at 7am on a Saturday. You just don't have that at the big facilities. I listen to the corporate managers speak at the LTC place about this or that and I find myself having almost no respect for this person who makes so much money and yet I'm not entirely sure how they fill their day. I have hope for the world of healthcare but boughts of feeling hopeless at times. Nurses are always complaining about their pay and it breaks my heart that there are so many nurses out their that are willing to use their skills and training for a $$ amount and the quality of care they provide and the setting that care is provided means nothing for $8-10 more an hour. I'm just hoping some other people can post their stories about going into nursing and the hope they have for the workplace and if some nurses who have been doing nursing for a long time can speak to not getting burned out and settings they have work that don't break their heart. Anyways, would love to hear stuff/stories.