And I offer little in the way of solutions, my aim here, is to warn people of being overly exuberant as a result of idealism as opposed to realism. I see too much dissatisfaction and down right unhappiness at the bedside level due to just plain old unrealistic expectations.
Theres an old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."
I'm not so quick to bridge to the MSN for advanced licenses as a result of my airline experience, and CRNA would cost me a neat 500K in opportunity cost. Management? Been there done that, keep it.
It's quite the eye opener to put your heart and soul into something only to find in the end that you were simply expendable. So I purposely put the brakes on at the minimum required for the license, and sat tight for the past 17 years.
The payoff: I'm better off than I would have been remaining in my chosen industry. But most importantly, my position as a long term actively practicing ICU Nurse, makes me solidly employable in all 50 states (even in this economy) and beyond. To me, that's power, and a comfortable nights sleep.