Nora is BOTH a victim of circumstance and someone who brings about some of her own problems. She is clearly not a villain, however. Because of the time period that the play is set in, Nora is already at a disadvantage. She is limited as to her "freedoms." Women were treated differently back then and were not allowed some of the freedoms that women have today. They were expected to stay home, raise the children, and take care of the home. Their opinions concerning serious matters like finances and family crises were not really welcomed or expected. Therefore, Nora was a victim of circumstance. However, she also created her own problems, as well. She went behind her husband's back and was deceitful and "sneaky"; she kept information from her husband, as well, which was not beneficial to her or to her marriage.
Ibsen, in my opinion, wanted his reader to see BOTH sides.