Thanks for all of this great info because it is so reassuring to me as I continue to consider all the facets of this....
The more I am hearing about LPN work the more encouraged I feel. I know that no job is perfect. I know that nursing is far from a perfect job. But... if I could earn $40k to $45k per year for an honest day's work and not take home bucket loads of papers every night to grade, I would think I had died and gone to heaven. Even now, as I type this, I am listening to my printer run off dozens of copies of things (with ink and paper I paid for) because my school is too cheap to get our copies back to us in a timely fashion. I mean, I'm only doing it because I care about my students and I want them to have proper materials, but still.
Imagine me spending my downtime studying toward a second degree, rather than working for free on a bunch of paperwork... sounds like a no brainer to me.
I would like to think that I could teach full time and nurse on the side, but honestly, my current job is so draining that I don't see how I would have any energy left over for nursing, except maybe during summer vacation.
I've often had very stressful and fast paced jobs in the past, so if nursing is like that, it won't be anything new to me.... I have always been a work horse so in that regard I would definitely be prepared.
It sounds like you have found a really nice niche, one that allows you to use your down time to continue studying and furthering your education. I hope one day soon I will be in your shoes. Thanks again for sharing all of this *great* info.
Also, as far as your friend who is the teacher... if nursing is too much "blood and guts" for her, maybe there is something else in the medical field she might consider. I was originally thinking of going to Florida Hospital College for the occupational therapist assistant degree, but I couldn't do it because it's a daytime program.
US News/World Report recently did a cover story on excellent careers for the future, and occupational therapy/physical therapy were two of the jobs that made the cut. They are different from nursing because they don't require so much scientific training and the patients tend to have a higher rate of success, according to the article. I may eventually consider becoming a nurse on an occupational therapy unit. Or who knows, I may go for a master's in physical therapy rather than a master's in nursing. The great thing about medical careers are that the possibilities are endless.
Here is the link to the article: USNews.com: Money: Excellent careers for 2006