Starting out as aide is a great experience. I began my nursing career as an aide. I wanted a real feel for being around patients as well as an introduction to nursing. My training was paid for by a local nursing home. There may be some nursing homes that still pay for training. Just do a little research. Not only did they pay for my training and my test, but they paid me an hourly wage during my classes. At the time I could barely afford the gas to get to these classes but I knew it was a good opportunity.
I worked in 2 skilled nursing facilities, one home care agency and then began working independently in home care. I also landed a position in a psychiatric setting due to my background. All of this before becoming an RN. I learned a little bit of this and that from each job that I worked. I believe that it helped me become the nurse that I am today.
Being an aide is definitely not a high paying job, but it is very rewarding. Some of the nurses were very approachable and helpful while went through school, others I knew to keep my distance...but that's pretty much with any job. I deal with that even as a nurse. I am faced with other nurses that are not very helpful at times, ones that leave me with their unfinished work and aides that do not do their job. But then there are some wonderful nurses that I work with that are extremely helpful, aides too.
As for disrespect you're going to deal with that everywhere. Even nurses are disrespected. A lot of times I think the aides are unaware of what nurses have to deal with and they kind of take it to heart when we delegate tasks. In the acute care setting you will see more primary nursing than long term care. Nurses working in the hospital are doing bed changes and fetching water pitchers just as much as any aide. What is very frustrating for nurses is when they are able to do everyone else's job but not everyone is qualified to do their job. No one else can do the nurse's assessments, pass medications, take orders/talk to the physician or document. When orders are not followed it comes back to the nurse (some examples are intakes/outputs, vital signs, walking patients). In text form it doesn't seem like a big deal but it actually is. Aides are a great resource for nurses. Even when I am irritated with an aide I do not talk to them like they are garbage. They are only human and make mistakes too. I always try to encourage them and correct them gently. I try to let them know that I am consumed with something else and need to focus my attention on what is important first. I know that I really shouldn't have to explain myself, but it gives them a better idea of why I need their help at the present time.
Anyway, don't let anyone talk you out of something you really want to do.
Good luck :)