Hi everyone! I am new here, and I'm desperately in need of your advice and wisdom!
I am a 23-year-old single mom. I recently lost my job - not a good thing - but hey, now I can go to school full-time, I hope. I am trying to decide between respiratory therapy and nursing. I've actually already enrolled in an RT program that starts in July, but I still have time to withdraw if I choose nursing.
RT seems promising, and I would be finished in 2 years flat, which with daycare issues, etc. is a factor. However, I'm going to have to take out a substantial loan to cover my daycare expenses, and I'm not sure it's worth it for a 2 year RT degree. There doesn't seem to be as much room for advancement in RT, and the scope of practice definitely seems more limited. Also, I don't think there's as much salary potential, and although the demand is good, I wonder if there's equal job security.
Then there is the nursing option, which is what I originally wanted to do before I found out about RT. If I do choose nursing, though, I'm left with a million more questions. It will take longer, for one...there is a 2 year waiting list for the local RN program, for example. I was thinking of getting into an LPN program that starts this September, and then starting the 2nd year of an RN program after that (plus then I could work while I went to school). However, the only school that has openings any time soon is a vocational school, and the credits wouldn't transfer to the school that does the RN program. So, while I wouldn't have to wait as long, I'd still have to get a lot of prereqs out of the way before I could start. AAAAAHHHH! Or, I could just go for my BSN to begin with, but it seems like a long time to wait for income when I have a child and need money!
I guess one of my big questions is - what are the differences and similarities between nursing and respiratory therapy that you are aware of? Advantages and disadvantages of each? Which would you personally recommend? And if I do decide to pursue nursing, which path would you recommend?
I would appreciate ANY help or advice! HELP!