When I was looking for a school, I'll be honest, I just checked that they were accredited and that it would work with my schedule. I work FT, but as I've been in management for quite a while, I don't typically work more than 45 hours a week. I'm not terribly challenged at this point in my career -- and have grown to detest being in middle management. It has, however, given me a greater understanding of the internal workings of hospitals and hospital systems. I know the hows and whys of getting paid and of quality and safety. All good things to know.
The online classes have been fairly easy, thus far. Nursing theory, leadership, ethics, etc -- all research driven content that relies heavily on reading and writing papers. Next semester I'll be in the advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology and expect that I'll really have to study. Advanced health assessment, with a clinical component will be in the spring (2018), which I'm looking forward to -- but I'll have to arrange for my own clinicals (a minor worry). By the time full-on clinicals start next summer, I'll really have to be looking for a weekend option for clinicals (urgent care, maybe?) but I'll have to find a new job by the time maternal/peds clinicals roll around -- nothing is open on the weekends, probably. I'm salaried now in the low $80k range, so I'll take a pay cut. But that's life. I'm in this for the long-game. Meaning that even though I probably won't see a huge increase in pay right away for being an NP versus sticking with management (my last management job, I made over $100k),... you CAN do part-time NP work as you edge towards retirement, and that's simply not an option when you're in management.