Folks, I need some advice.
A little back ground. I am a forty-two year old, husband and father of two that has been employed as a sales engineer for the past 20 years. Several life experiences, including an exposure to flight nursing via my service as a first responder and volunteer firefighter, have led me to the conviction that my calling is to serve others as a nurse. I am close to completing my pre-requisites for nursing school and have been accepted to a local accelerated BSN program (16 months) which begins this fall.
I am posting on this forum because I need input from all of the other (please tell me there are other) "older" dads out there who are pursuing a mid-life change into nursing while having to support a family. Specifically:
* How are you financing your career change?
* How much is this costing you (tuition and living expenses while in school)?
* How much of a pay cut are you taking to pursue this calling?
* Have I lost my ever-loving mind?
I am sincerely looking for input as I am currently riding the roller coaster of excitement for finally finding my calling and the feelings of quilt/fear for what this may mean financially to the family that I love. Some input to consider as I seek your advice:
1) The BSN program that I am pursuing will cost over $30K and I expect to spend another $45K in basic living expenses for the family. (There are no local public school programs that offer an accelerated format and time is money with a family of four.)
2) My current income is approximately $90K.
3) Upon completion of my BSN, my goal is to immediately enroll in an ACNP program while working at night at a local Level 1 Trauma Center. I would ultimately like to work as a Nurse Practitioner in an ER with a PRN position with a flight program.
4) My wife supports me on this 100%. She is great.
Am I crazy for giving up so much financially to pursue this goal. Will this financial sacrifice be forever or can I expect to get reasonably close eventually. Has anyone else done this? Should I "punt" and resign myself to an empty (but profitable) career?
Sorry for the long post. I really need to get all of this out. Thanks for the sounding board.