I think it depends on the individual and their situation. For Here.I.Stand - no offense, but based on your husband's salary, I'm guessing you can "afford" for it to NOT be all about the money. You have a family income that most likely entitles you to choose your work based on what you love, at least to a degree. Yes you want to make more money, rather than less, but I venture to say that if you really wanted to be, say, an L&D nurse, you could go for that. Hypothetically speaking.
I speak from the opposite standpoint. I am married to a zero-income earning stay-at-home dad. I am the sole bread-winner for a family of four. Based on our individual and combined history, (long, long story) we are not at an ideal place financially. In other words, we are struggling paycheck to paycheck. And often we come up short.
So I am a nurse, and I have to absolutely maximize my income. I can't just get a higher paying career now that my family needs more money. So instead, I...
-Work 2 jobs, consitently 4 to 5 12 hour shifts per week (for the last 3 years)
-Work float pool to get the extra differential (I have always wanted to be an L&D nurse, but I can't afford to give up my float pool income to go floor based).
-Work strictly night shift
-Work every possible holiday
-Work every weekend shift possible
-PTO only for when I, my kids or husband, am too sick for me to go to work - no vacation in 5 years.
I got the idea to try to see beyond our current financial nightmare and go to CRNA school. So I worked my butt off on meeting all the requirements, making myself a great applicant, taking the tests, getting the certifications, interviewed, and MADE IT IN TO SCHOOL! And then after all that, had to make the difficult decision to turn down my acceptance because my husband can't support our family on his income (if he went back to work), and beyond that, I had trouble getting approved for loans.
So I'm stuck.
I am not saying this to whine about my position. It is what it is, and I do what I have to do to take care of my family. I just wanted to point out to people that for some of us, it really IS about the money.
I am actually a second career nurse and I enjoy my jobs. I really like being a nurse. But sometimes I feel like my compassion is broken. Sometimes it is hard for me to drum up "caring" for certain patients. But what saves me (and my patients, I guess), is that I do CARE GREATLY about doing a good job. I may feel any degree of compassion for a particular patient, but I'm still going to take stellar care of them, because I have that kind of pride in the job I do.