Hi jNb716. Ive been a nurse for 3 years. I went into nursing thinking it would be flexible and always have jobs available. Im not truly unhappy in my current position, but a lot of that is willpower. I try to be happy every day no matter what.
As a second career nurse, I have seen how the other half lives: regular schedules, respectful workplaces, bathroom breaks....these things can go out the window in nursing. I always throw out the caveat that this is not true for every nursing job everywhere, but it is true for many.
As a quick example that pertains somewhat to OP's topic, i applied to and interviewed for several state nursing jobs. I received about 4 offers. Each of them had (outrageous to me) demands that forced me to turn them down. Random shifts that would be leftover from what senior nurses wanted. High ratios of SPMI and MICA patients with no security protocols. Low salaries with extensive work demands and other issues.
If OP is in a state position with good steps, he/she could possibly stay there in comfort/security and find fulfillment through volunteer work.
I am not a dream crusher- or try not to be. I try not to discourage good people from entering nursing, because they are what we need. Yet i hesitate whenever people ask me about the profession. I feel the urge to give the warning that was not given to me, although I may have ignored it and gone ahead anyway....
All in all, Im still here, no gun to my head, riding the fence between tolerating and disliking it.