I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through all the forums over the last couple of days... so thoroughly that I have hardly studied at all. :P
I will try to condense my life story into a short paragraph - it would be nice to meet some other peeps who are in similar situations. Let's see.. I turned 30 this year, am happily married with 2 rockin' kids (3 and 7 months) and I am still trying to figure out what I want to do with my own career. I have a BS in Earth Science and have been in 3 graduate programs since then. Yes, I have a hard time deciding what I want to do.
For the past year, I was working toward a goal of starting med school in 2009. Just this weekend I found all sorts of discouraging opinions about med school and medicine in general on various blogs. I had heard things before (oo, beware the hours) but for some reason did not take the time to seriously think about them and put myself in that situation. But the more I thought about it, the more worried I got. Enter some research on a career as a Pediatric or Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. I was really impressed to discover that I could get my BSN or MSN in less than 2 years and then get into a DNP program, all the while getting student loans at least partially paid off for me. The financial implications of becoming a doctor, on the other hand, are simply mind-boggling!
My passions lie in serving as an advisor to parents. I am an advocate of breastfeeding and every other aspect of attachment parenting, while still maintaining respect for alternate choices. I have my own business teachign parents how to communicate with their babies through sign language. I am fluent in Spanish (loan forgiveness in migrant worker clinics???) and can get by in ASL. I wanted to become a pediatrician. Now I think that I can satisfy my desires as a PNP in private practice. I don't like being told what to do.
If I am to have that kind of autonomy, I feel I need to go beyond the RN to NP.
What's scaring me away from med school? Time is the biggest factor. I can't fathom 30 hours on-call and 80 hours a week AVERAGED over three weeks. I love my kids and I don't want to sacrifice a healthy relationship with them for the sake of my personal career. Horror stories about how awful residents and attendings can be to work with... (although nurses have to deal with that too) And pediatricians are the lowest paid physicians from what I can see... average salary of around $145K - if I can max out at $90K or $100K as a PNP, why would I want to suffer through med school to get the same basic job?
So much for condensing the life story. I look forward to e-meeting you all! BTW, I'm in Memphis and would be going into the BSN program at UTHSC or the MSN program at UM. Right now I'm taking O-chem, Physics I, and A&P I. If I decide to switch to the nursing track, I"ll take A&P II, Micro, and Nutrition next semester, then start the nursing program in July.