I never realized how painful it would be to work weekends, 12 hr shifts (you will NOT see your kids if you work 12's except for long enough to kiss them goodnight), and holidays until I started doing it. I thought having 4 days off a week would make up for the missed plays, back-to-school night, and holidays. I found out I was wrong. I also was pretty disillusioned with bedside nursing.
I agree with the previous poster that some of the best parents out there are hard working nurses. I just didn't feel like one.
Luckily I found my dream job in an office. I work m-f 9-5, never a weekend, never a holiday, never a night. I love the job, it provides incredible autonomy, many skills, lots of prioritization, pt teaching, and opportunities for building warm, caring patient relationships. Of course, with the exception of school nursing and management positions, m-f positions are definitely rare, but I just wanted to make sure you have considered starting in a clinic, especially because a clinic NP is your ultimate goal. You may find you like it, and it would be a good starter for you before you embark on further eduacation. Of course, as a PNP with her own clinic, you will work an insane amt of hours at first, but that is another story!
I will say right now though that the trade-off for such a great schedule is expensive. The money is definitely not in the office. I could make $5-6 more elsewhere but am lucky enough not to have to. Just make sure you've thought out all of your options before throwing in the towel entirely.
Best of luck to you,