I always recommend the Occupational Outlook Handbook when it comes to career information. It is a really good starting place. Here is the website: http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm
The above website gives some salary info, but www.salary.com
will break down salary by metropolitan area. The drawback to salary.com is that it groups all nurse's salaries together and gives an average, rather than averages based on career level. Here in Dallas, graduate nurses start out at $16.06 per hour. I've heard starting salaries vary widely around the country though.
There are basically 3 ways to become a RN. 1-The Bachelor's degree (BSN) which requires about 4 years at a 4-year college or university (the first 2 years of prereq's can be taken at just about any jr. college). 2-The Associates degree (ADN) which requires about 3 years at a junior college. 3-The diploma, which is offered through a hospital, in exchange for your commitment to work for them for a certain period of time. I think this is also a 3-year thing, but I don't really know much about diploma RN programs. There really isn't much of a difference in the 3 in the beginning. For certain management positions, a BSN is required. Also, to get a graduate degree as a Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwife or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
, a Bachelor's degree (not always necessarily a Bachelor's in Nursing, however) is required. If you choose the ADN route but want a BSN later on, many universities offer a bridge program to the BSN degree which lasts about a year. Since you have a Bachelor's degree, you may already have many of the prereq's needed for the BSN.
I spent 3 years pursuing a degree in business because my family thought it would be the best route for me. What I really wanted is to be a nurse, though, and I finally decided to do what is right for me. Good luck in your career change. If it is what you really want, you will be successful in your endeavors.