Please be advised that I am truly not attacking you with my response:
Me, work my nursing job for 18 hours a day? HECK NO!
And it's hard for me to adequately 'help' people the way I want to when we are constantly short. I used to think the same way you did before I became a nurse. Then I became a nurse and those rose colored glasses were thrown off of me so fast. Honeymoon phase as a New Grad? Never had one. I was too busy trying to adjust to the career that was NOTHING that I thought it was going to be.
Also, whenever I see a post about someone (esp someone with no HC experience) who states s/he wants to become a nurse because they want to 'help people' I so badly want to say: social workers also help people, so do the case managers, RT, OT, PAs, CNAs, techs, volunteers, transporters, etc. It just can be frustrating when, with how much I bust my arse at work, I'm supposed to feel guilty for discussing money.
I LOVE my paycheck, and I feel no shame in that.