I'm wondering what kind and how much experience nurses have had before they matriculated into a PhD program. Also, did you have to finance your PhD yourself or did your institution give you a tuition waiver or living stipend of some kind?
Out of curiosity.
I had 12 years. 2 years as a BSN staff nurse ... got MSN ... then 10 years as a Clinical Nurse Specialist ... then back to school to get the PhD.
I had funding for most of my direct PhD expenses (tuition and books), but my stipend did not cover all of my living expenses. So I had a small student loan when I graduated that I was able to pay off easily over about 3 years and also spend some of my savings for living expenses. I funded my education with money from a variety of sources -- federal grant, school fellowship that included work as a research assistant, school research fellowship, personal savings, and student loan combined.
Working on a PhD is a personal choice. I am working currently working on a PhD. I have been a nurse for over 30 years, had a MSN for 8 years, before I decided to return to school.
The best advice I can give is to be sure you are passionate about your dissertation topic, because you will be sitting with that topic for a few years.
I got a loan, and changed to a less stressful work environment. I still need to work to sustain my life style and maintain my monthly expenses.