To answer a question from one reply: I have been a nurse for 18 years. Med/Surg, L&D, Nursing Supervisor, Nursing Informatics Specialist.
When I referred to "Fork in the road", what I meant was how nurses (?people?) all tend to start out at pretty much the same place - as a new nurse. We all have that initial learning curve. Then some people just level out and never take the initiative to learn more, improve their practice, or become excellent in any way. Others continue to learn, grow, help others and really make you proud that you are a nurse just as they are. I was not referring to any career path and choosing a new job.
I would like to add that I do acknowledge that some places are just BAD places to work (or be a patient!). But I have seen the whole attitude (for better or worse) take a turn when just one or two staff members either come on board or leave. It is amazing. This can happen with staff (and each shift is different) and management. I agree there are many people in managment positions that are not leaders.
Hope that explains things. Great thread. Thanks for the comments!