I, too, wish I had done it sooner, although various laws and insurance regulations would not have been in my favor at the time, back in the day, as a PMHNP.
I never expected the PMHNP role to expand the way it has, with Medicare and other insurances giving parity by law to mental health problems. At least superficially.
Life is a bumpy road, and the job market changes every few years. Employers will change as well.
You don't know the real story until you yourself are in it. And your perspective will change with each job.
In my field, I have known a number of people who think that 15 or 20 minute appointments with Psych providers are horrible, abusive, constitute malpractice, etc.
With all my experience, I feel exactly the opposite. Of course, there are times where a longer appointment is needed.
However, in my experience, most longer appointments are not just wasted, they are counter-productive.
They feed into the dysfunctional narrative.
Either rehashing the same old trauma story from 30 years go, or trying to convince the patient to do something they really don't want to do.
I am so glad to be in a job now where I seldom have to deal with this.
So, the very odd thing, haha, is that different people perceive the same job so differently.
In my field, LTC consultant, most of the PCP's appreciate the relatively low stress level. The ability to make your own schedule and work at your own pace.
But there are some who don't like it, and feel like they have to do too many visits, although the expectation is only about 12-15 a day.
I had an intense desire to become an NP, long before there was any money at all in it. I wanted to work in health care and had been burnt to a crisp as an RN.
I would have been satisfied just to escape all that BS and disrespect, with no raise at all. Thankfully raises did eventually come.
The market is so different now. Of course CRNA and FNP are very different paths.
Overall, if your heart isn't really in it, you will probably have regrets.