I am not sure I can be of any help, but I will give you my .02 worth. I graduated from nursing school in 1973 with an ASN. I was 19 years old, and still a child, but I blasted my way into the profession. It has supported me financially, sprirtually, and intellectually for 32 years. It was there for me after a nasty divorce and the support of 2 beautiful children. We were never rich, but we were never hungry either.
I was able to work just week ends for most of the years my children were young and worked home health in their high school years to be home for them in the evenings and week ends. I was able to attend all the band concerts, ball games and practices, social activities, etc.
Nursing offers the flexibility of schedule, decent salaries, variety of positions, etc. that no other field allows. You are not stuck in a 9-5 world.
I was able to go back to school at my employers expense and get a BSN taking one or two classes per semester and for that I am grateful.
All of my "good stories" come from my years as an ER nurse. It's fun to share war stories, but you have to be careful of your audience. You may think something is sooooo cool and interesting, and you notice everyone around you is turning green. Working in an ER shows you the very best and very worst life has to offer. You have the capacity to change as well as save lives. Folks in most professions won't ever have that opportunity.
You also see a seedy underbelly of society that most could never imagine. Police, paramedics, and ER staff see things most people don't even know exists. It will make you cynical to a degree, or it will run you out of the business. You develop your own coping mechanisms. Sometimes it is with tears, sometimes with gallows humor. Those outside the profession generally can not understand what you see daily and what you go thru just to survive each shift. If your spouse is not in a similar profession, don't expect them to understand or be particularily supportive. It is not that they may not want to support you, they just have no way to understand what you experience every day.
You will sometimes be so short staffed you don't think you can survive. You will work for employers who only see you as a number on a schedule...a FTE (full time equivalent), nothing more. After all a nurse is a nurse is a nurse, right?? But you will also have more opportunity to see life as it really is than you can imagine. There are subtle things that make nursing worth it. I can't begin to explain that to someone who has not experienced it. I think it is like childbirth....you really have to have been there to understand it.
Did I encourage my children to go into nursing? No, and they didn't want to. I have mixed feelings about encouraging someone I love to go into something this scary, challenging, and many times dangerous. We are facing worsening shortages of nurses, worsening financial situations in hospitals, more demanding patients and management and more deadly diseases.
I am glad I had nursing to support me all these years. I am now a travel nurse and am free of a lot of the political hassles that being on staff brings. I will not travel forever, and will probably return to home health or out patient surgery PACU if I decide to settle down. All the years of nights, week ends, 12-16 hour shifts are starting to get to me. I have raised my family, our financial situation is stable and I want to spend time with my husband, my dogs, and my garden.
Should you persue a career in nursing? Ask around, see if you can volunteeer at a hospital, take a CNA class and start to work at a hospital or nursing home. Many nursing schools now require that you have your CNA and I think that is a great thing! Get a little hands on experience first, then make up your mind. In the mean time, you can be taking basic liberal arts classes that would work for most majors. Pick up a biology and a chemistry class along the way. There are many options for nurses now. Maybe it will be for you, but only you can decide that. Good luck from this old nurse.