i'm recently in a crossroads in my life on whether or not i should continue my pt program or pursue a career in nursing via accelerated bsn. i know i don't want to waste this great opportunity i have at the college i'm at, but my closest friend just deferred his position here. this in turn led me to research more on this field. my first summer semester has been tough coming straight out of undergrad, and i maybe feeling the symptoms of a typical burnout student. but my concerns of the future of the pt field are overwhelming now as i am starting to learn more about the stressors of having the degree, which the faculty keeps hidden. physical therapy is something i've always aspired to do since i was in 8th grade, and now that i'm finally on my path it seems like it's not as bright as i thought it was. i fell into an idealistic dream of wanting to help people, be in the medical field, and working with athletes/sports field, but it's not as easy and as stable as you would believe it deserves to be. after reading many posts i've concluded that:- the salary to loan debt ratio isn't fair compared to other professionals- the salary ceiling on the profession peaks fairly quickly unless i pursue other options (i.e.- owning my own practice, home health, per diem, travelling...but all these choices may take years of experience and have risk)- the general salary for a person around the philly area is about 60-65k but even with 20 years of experience it peaks at 75k with the same position- the overall amount of loans for 3 years of higher education is disheartening now that i am learning more about its effects (140k of loans from undergrad + grad school)....i don't want to be spending 30 years of my life struggling to pay loans off- advancement would be hard (people say having an mba in the future will be beneficial yet again more loans and education) - why do new grads need a dpt instead of a simple bachelor's or mpt degree (ridiculous in my case because we learn the same material, learn everything in clinicals and on the field, maintain the same level respect from other healthcare professionals and patient, and earn the same base salary out of college)- the level of difficulty to maintain a certain gpa is also making me nervous for the future ( i already have a c+ in my first semester- i dont want to get kicked out of the program next spring because i received my 3rd allowable c+)...i'd start off at square one all over again if i get kicked out- stability in the field where there is a battle for md referrals, medicare limits on reimbursement, and with chiropractors and ebp- could you tell me what direct access and popts clinics mean?i know there are pro's to being a pt:- no nights, weekends, holidays (but apparently the job isn't as liberal as it used to be with a need to work another job to fulfill expectations and a lifestyle)- possibility in exploring other settings (home health, private practice, travel pt, schools, sports teams)- rewarding career with patient progression and interaction- autonomy (although a lot of people are saying it can be monotonous)i choose the nursing profession (hopefully accelerated bsn) for several reasons:- amount of loans i will have to repay will be about half compared to graduate school- less education, so i can jump into the workforce quicker- vacation time, benefits, and a union outweigh those in the pt profession- i'm not smart enough to be a pharmacist (hate chemistry), can't see myself as a dentist, and i will never test the mcat's....pa is also more difficult/competitive- my mother's and sister's success have influenced me greatly (i am a male filipino, so i will have to overcome the stigmas in society)- salary wise - a nurse can make really good money compared to a pt via overtime and there is no salary ceiling from experience unlike pt- my ultimate goal is to be a nurse practioner (currently what my sister is trying to achieve now @ umdnj) or a nurse anesthetist ....these are advancements i can obtain in the nursing field, unlike the pt field because everyone starts off with a doctorate! (there is much competition in the pt field)i do know that the nursing career is physically and mentally demanding, i can burnout quickly if i decide to work a lot of overtime and as a travelling nurse, the working conditions and tasks are tough, and i'll have to commit to working crazy working conditions and working days. however i plan to advance relatively quickly in the field through higher education and social networking/connections, which i don't have in the pt field.i know i should be choosing a profession i am happy with in the end, but i don't want to be unhappy trying to pay off my loans and living a simpler life than my siblings with a higher degree that i'm happy with. but i can work with a profession (nursing) that can have great benefits, stability, and a realistic future for myself. i look forward to everyone's responses and advice.