I would have to echo the same story of the last two posters. I have had 10 plus years of healthcare experience before going to nursing school where I worked many, many offshifts, nights, weekends, and holidays. And let me just say, you get extremely sick of it, very fast. It's just not worth giving up sleep, time with family and friends and a normal life for money as a traveling nurse.
And most nurses work 12 hours shifts, which are long and physically and emotionally exhausting, to say the least. I just worked my last 12 hour shift the day after this last Thanksgiving holiday. And your 12 hour shift is never really JUST a 12 hour shift, it ends being 13 or 14 hours depending on what kind of a day you have had. Usually after 12, 13 or even 14 hours, by the time I get home, I am are so tired that I can't even stand up straight, my kidneys are out of whack because I'm so dehydrated due to not having enough time to drink throughout the day because it's so crazy on the unit. Aside from this, my bowels are out of whack too because I'm lucky if I've had time to eat my lunch or anything for that matter. It takes a heavy toll on my body and I just couldn't do it anymore. So, if that's something that people enjoy doing for 100K as a traveling nurse, then by all means, you should go for it.
Oh and by the way, the previous poster mentioned something about how traveling nurses get dumped on. I have witnessed this first hand. There is a lot of politics on many of the nursing units out there and believe me, the regular nursing staff isn't gonna get stuck with the patient who is cdiff positive and stooling every hour who also needs a blood transfusion and a colonoscopy. Good luck!
I chose the NP route for lifestyle reasons also. I just got a job offer working 8-5, M-F, no weekends, no call, no nights and no holidays. I am also excited about having more autonomy as an NP.
Some things in life just aren't worth the money. Studies have found that people who work night shifts have higher rates of illnesses because it lowers the body's immune system. And too, if we want to compare salaries, we can do that too. There ARE NPs out there making over 100K/yr. It really all depends on where you work, who you work for and what you do. When I was in NP school, one of our fellow classmates knew an NP (first RN assist) making 250K/yr working with a neurosurgeon. I know quite a few NPs where I work and they all enjoy what they do and work regular hours and not once did I ever hear them complain about the pay.
Oh something I wanted to mention about CRNA school. I have a friend who is in CRNA school and her primary motive for going to CRNA school was strictly for the money. To be perfectly honest, I really think this person should have never considered a career in healthcare. It's clear to me that caring for patients is NOT something this person enjoys doing. In the end, I think when we do things for the money, we may become embittered and disillusioned because we are so disatisfied.
You have to decide what is important to you in life. Some things just aren't worth the money IMHO.