I too am finishing pre-reqs for the community RN program in Northern CA., and ours is a lottery/waitlist. I have looked into options for awhile and some advice for people who don't want to wait:
A private school of your choice is expensive $38k(+-),compared to the $3-4k you pay at community, however, considering RN's make good money, you can get a government school loan that is low interest and some deals you start to pay after you have worked your job for 12 months.
So yes you'll have a loan payment, but you'll be working and NOT waiting to the point of needing to change your career for financial purposes. So if you make $30-40k to start, and have to pay a $400./month loan back, you will probably not miss the $400. a month if you're making a good wage compared to what you are making now, which for some, is nothing!
I had a school loan once for $10k under a govt. loan program, in which I paid back $100. per month on $10k. So if you are looking at $38k+, you do the math. I paid off the remaining loan (approx $8k) with my tax return after buying my first home.
It's an option worth looking into. Be carefull to find colleges that are accredited and ask the local hospitals HR personnel if they hire from those colleges. It is very very important that we all investigate schools
, loans, and hospitals as if your life depended on it. Because for moms like me, it does.