For my area, the starting pay for an AS degree was very good. I honestly felt rich. That was over 10 years ago. (And in that time, I got my BSN.) Also during that time, I went from making $13 an hour to about $18. My last year as a bedside RN, I made $37,000 approximately. My sister, who graduated from accounting school the year after I graduated from nursing school, made $65,000 the year I made $37,000.
That is the part that bothers me. For this area, the starting salary is excellent compared to any other options (this is rural Mississippi). However, that's as good as it gets. Why does a nurse with 10 years experience top out at $35k - $40K, and the sky's the limit for a CPA? I use my sister as an example, but there are many professions that could be used.
I have left nursing. I've been in my current job for 2 years, and I get regular 5% raises (I love my boss
), and a flexible working schedule thats works with me, I don't have to work around it. I have a career, but I never intended it to run my life, so I changed to a job that pays as much (and more) but doesn't change my lifestyle. I got lucky.