I am not submitting a quote from your post as I would have to quote all of it. It has been my experience (nursing 40+ years) that every where I've worked the atmosphere is the same. The "good" nurses - the ones who come in early, stay late, cross their T's and dot their i's, give patient care above and beyond, who know what they are doing, need little to no guidance, go by the rules, etc - are the first to be let go, go unrecognized, and are basically disposable.
On the other hand, the nurses who don't document well, are in constant need of counseling, need to have someone f/u frequently, who are lazy, who take advantage of the system - you know who I mean, your co-worker who gets paid as much as you do and you can't believe she gets away with x, y & z - somehow they skate by and become the "senior" staff.
I'm glad everything worked out for you. I want to apologize for the company who did not recognize your value to them. Little consolation, but .....
What about the European countries where vacation is encouraged and even mandated? The US, in general, is the stingiest country in providing and encouraging "down time". We wonder why families are falling apart, no one has family dinners any more, and more. We don't take time off. We don't use our vacations and MH days.
I'm all for letting my staff have the time off they want and I make sure , we as a team, are helping cover for each other as each one gets their battery recharged.