I am not a nurse, but I am currently in a respiratory care program. I am loving it so far! The curricula of either program will challenge you, but it is do-able. As for RTs being unrespected and underpaid... I think both of these statement are false. I know that RTs are paid well, and team work among all medical professions is necessary for excellent patient care. From what i have seen in clinicals, most physicians and nurses get along well with RTs... we are specialists and often the first person they come to for advice when a patient is having respiratory distress.
Your decision should also be based on what type of career you would like to have. I do think RTs have more of a "glass ceiling" so to speak. RTs are specialists and would need more education to go into other health care fields. However, nurses could take many different career directions. There is pulmonary nursing, long term care nursing, dialysis, oncology, ob-gyn, etc. I would advise speaking to an academic advisor at your school to get more information.
Hope that helps!
Last edit by RespiratoryGirl011 on Sep 6, '09
: Reason: to fix spelling errors