Thanks for the question, that definitely sounds frustrating.
The following article outlines basics for troubleshooting an iPod nano (2nd generation) when the display remains blank:
Your iPod doesn't respond, won't turn on, or the display remains blank
If your iPod doesn't respond, is "frozen", won't turn on, or nothing appears on the LCD screen check for these possible causes:
- If your iPod has a Hold switch, it may be on. Check the Hold switch to make sure it's not in the locked position. If it is, unlock it and try using iPod again. Tip: Even if the Hold switch is already in the unlocked position, it's sometimes helpful to toggle it so it's locked and unlocked again.
- You may need to reset your iPod. Resetting your iPod does not affect your music or data files.
Your iPod's battery may not be charged. Plug your iPod in, wait for a moment, press a button to turn it on, and check the screen. Here are some easy steps to get the most out of your battery. Note: On recent iPod models, when the battery is completely empty, your computer may not recognize your iPod for up to 30 minutes even though it's connected and charging.