Quote from kikuyu
Thanks for your support. My current co-workers who have been working for this organisation 20 years + are only making lower 50s. My problem right now is that where I live, nursing start at a lower pay than I am currently making-about $18/hour, so I would be taking a pay-cut, plus huge student loans and 2-3 years loss of pay (when I am in nursing school). I have a 3 year old and another one on the way and so I am really not sure what to do. I am in my early 30s.
I can see why you are asking the question. After you pay for your schooling ... and for your living expenses while in school ... and for the interest on the loans you will take out to finance all that ... you might not come out ahead in the long run.
You are going to have to sit down with a pencil and paper and actually do the math to figure out the purely financial aspects of your question. I suspect that you would not recoup your school expenses for many, many years. In the meantime, you could find ways to boost your income in your current line of work -- get a 2nd job part time -- etc. and come out ahead.
Digging a hole for yourself financially at this point of your life is not a smart thing to do. By the time you finish school and work a few years to get a basic foundation of nursing experience, you will be approaching 40. Who knows what your life will be like, how your health will hold up, etc. by then? Also, you need to know that the route up the career ladder in nursing often involves additional education and/or working the unpopular shifts or relocating to another town. There are great jobs out there in nursing, but they don't plop into your lap the minute you get your RN. Landing those good jobs usually requires hard work, experience, and sacrifice.
All that said ... if your heart is set on being a nurse because your life won't feel fulfilled without it, then by all means do it. It is possible and it can work out for you if you are willing to do what it takes to succeed.
If you decide it is the right path for your life, I would thoroughly investigate every avenue available for financial assistance while you are in school. It's one thing for a 20-year old with no kids to take out a big loan: it's another thing for a mother in her 30's. A 20-year old can "live cheap like a college student" for a few years after graduation and pay back a lot of the money quickly, but that will be harder for you in your late 30's with 2 kids who will have needs. For example, check into the tuition reimbursement and scholarship programs at local hospitals. You might find one that suits your needs.
Good luck to -- whatever you decide.