I was a teacher for about 7 years, all of them long-term and short-term subbing. When it became apparent that contracts were not available in my part of the country, I decided to cut my losses and start over. I explored all sorts of programs, and finally came to the conclusion that the best thing for me, with my two kids, husband and mortgage, was to transfer my prereq's from my college transcript (psych, soc, biology, math), spend a year while still working taking the rest of my prereq's (A&P), and complete a one-year LPN program at my local community college. Sure, I would have liked to skip straight into a ADN or BSN program. But the reality was, my family couldn't afford to lose my earning power for more than a year. It was tight sometimes, we even got a few months behind in our mortgage. At the end of the tunnel, I got a job straight out of nursing school that paid more than what I would have made for a first-year teacher. (However I worked 12 months, not 10).
Being an LPN for starters is the way a lot of mid-life career-changers do it. Taking small bites while keeping one's head above water makes the immense task more managable. There are so many ways an LPN can advance in good time. I'm in my third year of nursing now and changed jobs already, and doing very well financially. I make now about as much as a teacher with 10 years behind him/her. I have NO desire to be a student again at this point in my life, and that's ok. I don't have to. However, it was my original plan. I still think about Excelcior and I will probably do that when my girls are older.
So I guess what I'm saying is do not discount other paths into a nursing career. LPN school was NOT easy. I took master level education classes when I was a teacher and I have to say that my practical nursing program was intensely more challenging than anything I ever did in my advanced education classes. Good luck!