I don't know about slowing down as an NP! I run just as hard during a days work these days, and faster, but without all the manual lifting and labor intensive tasks. More decision making while on that run for sure. Some days are busy and easy, others are busy and difficult, but I can definately say there is no slowing down.
We have to quit propagating this myth that NPs have more time to spend with patients. I don't get any more time to spend with a patient than my MD counterparts, but ALL of us take the time that is necessary when a patient needs it.
Long hours charting - yes - I do a lot of charting after hours and from home. Still worth it for the simple fact that although I may be working 12 hours a day most of the time, 3 of those 12 are from home. I am closer to self employed in that I pay my own overhead and keep whats left so it makes me definitely more willing to work more as well as more efficiently. I know what it takes to break even, I wonder how I earned my salary at my first employer!