Hi, I just came across your post. I see that it was posted over a year ago, so hopefully by now, you have come to some conclusion regarding your career route. I was in a similiar situation so I thought I would comment for what it is worth.
I had a degree in Psychology with a minor in art (Photography). I too decided to go back to school for better pay and benefits. SInce I already had a degree I chose nursing school
because of the flexibility of the job and ability to travel and work anywhere and I got a job right away as soon as I graduated. I took 1 and 1/2 years to complete prereqs. that I did not have from my previous degree experience then two years for nursing school. Not sure why the counselor told you 6-7 years, that sounds too long. I worked as a RN for several years then I went to Nurse Practitioner school. I have been a NP for two years now. I work with PAs and NPs. The NPs that I know treat the patient as a whole, have alot of experience which was gained from past experience working as a RN and have better personalities. The PAs that I have worked with, work more often than not, tend to work in a surgical area. They tend to do more procedures and are trained more like MDs. In other words, they do not look at the patient as a whole, they just want to fix the problem at hand. Both jobs have a great potential to earn money and have a nice life. NPs work under their own license and can open their on clinics in most states, while PAs usually do not work independently. I think PAs are at a disadvantage for not having hands on patient care experience before they practice as a PA. but that is just my opinion. I would consider your age, what you want to do in the future and the length of time that you have available to not work. NP programs can be done online while you work as a RN and PA programs can not. Think about the kind of training you desire, I.e. ..treating patient from a whole body perspective or treating them from a purely medical standpoint like a M.D.
I hope this helps!