I was also a pre-PA student that switched to nursing, although my situation was different. I worked in an ICU in a downtown hospital and once I didn't get in the first time applying to PA school, I took it as a sign to pursue nursing. I'm in my first semester now and am doing great, but it is just as much effort as pre-PA classes were, so don't do it if you're not prepared to do the work, because I thought the same thing you are probably thinking, that it's easier, and it's not, just different and challenging in other ways. However I will say I focus and study a lot better because the information is a lot more interesting-it has a lot more to do with the human body then organize chemistry does at least. I also find it crazy that the others who replied think nursing school competitiveness is the same as PA, unless they can speak from first-hand experience, because I can promise you they absolutely are not, regardless of school, regardless of region. PA is overly saturated with outstanding applicants, and plus you are expected to gather healthcare experience while taking your coursework. I feel I have a valid opinion on this because I had almost a 4.0 in both overall GPA and science, had 3,000 patient care hours, two undergraduate research projects, a number of graduate level classes, was in the honors program at school, etc. And I still did not get in. I got into every nursing school I applied to last summer. Competitiveness is not the same between the two. And that's okay, because that doesn't mean one is harder then the other, just have different obstacles.
I would say do some shadowing-go to a few different hospitals, a few different nursing jobs
, before you make your decision. I wish I would have done that instead of writing nursing off as something that I now know it is not. There is autonomy in nursing, but it is definitely not the same as being a provider. However, that doesn't mean it won't satisfy you as a career. It can also set you up with a solid medical knowledge that you can expand on later in life if you wish.
Additionally, it is nice because the flexibility with lateral mobility in the field is much more then that of other healthcare professions. You can go back for your MSN and get involved in education and leadership, both of which are rewarding and pay well. Or do NP-I am not sure what the other commenter means by several years. Now a days, NP schools sometimes don't even require a year of experience as an RN, it just depends. I am not saying they aren't competitive, just different! And that is good. Ultimately I am happy with my decision. But I also had a lot of exposure to nursing prior to making that decision.
Poke around on this website, see what you can find about nursing and different specialties, then do some shadowing like I said. You don't want to start nursing and have to quit, because unlike regular college coursework, nursing classes do not transfer. And if you do poorly they can really hurt your GPA-one of my classes is 7 credits right now.