I'm one of the many who went into nursing because I couldn't find a job in my chosen field. I decided that if I had to be a servant, I would be a well-paid servant. I also have a knack for choosing career paths just before the bottom falls out of a field (print media, then tech).
I graduated from nursing school in 2008, just before the economy collapsed. I thought my previous BA would count for something, and until about a semester before I graduated, it did. The job market when I graduated was completely different than when I started. I lived in a city full of hospitals and *no one* wanted new grads, especially new grads without a BSN. A 1-star nursing home turned me down. My husband didn't want to leave his father, who was old and in poor health, and my mother was diagnosed with cancer 2 weeks after I graduated, so moving was not an option early on. I did not have the time, money, or inclination for more school.
After 8 months and a cancelled job, I convinced my husband that we had to move. Two months later, I found a job in assisted living, 250 miles from home. I never wanted to work in LTC, but I had no other offers, and I figured experience was experience.
After a year of passing meds and acting badly as charge nurse, I started job-hunting again. Now the jobs that had required 1 year of experience wanted 3-5 years of experience in the unit you were applying for. I took a job in what turned out to be Nursing Home Hell. I ran screaming after 6 weeks.
After that, I found a job in home care. It didn't pay well, but I learned a lot. If I hadn't been hired, I would have walked away from nursing altogether.
In school, we were taught about teamwork, and warned about being "task-oriented" because nurses had to be flexible and creative. When I got to the floor, it was all about following orders and doing as you were told. I hated LTC because there was no teamwork and way too many patients. We had to get orders for literally everything. Everything was a big deal, and everything was the nurse's fault. I'd worked in foodservice for very specific clientele, so I was used to being creative under pressure and handling angry customers. Ever tried planning a breakfast buffet for 40 vegans, or food for a bris? However, none of that is life-or-death, even if the customer acts like it is.
Then again, most fields aren't as stable as they used to be. There are no "sure thing" majors anymore. Both my sisters went into the law, which has collapsed over the last 10 years. One has had a bunch of jobs go south spectacularly. The other went through 3 jobs in 3 years, and wound up waiting tables at the airport before joining the Army and becoming a JAG. She retired injured, and is now working on another degree.
Financially, nursing pays much better than the call center, though that wasn't always the case. I had health insurance, though not necessarily good health insurance. I've had to leave 2 jobs due to lack of work. People say nursing has "so many opportunities" but I've only found that to be true for nurses with the right combination of education and experience. Without a BSN (BA does not count) and hospital experience, a lot of paths are closed to me. At least my student loans are paid off.