Your right, it ain't about the pay....it's about a higher level of autonomy...a higher degree of respect...engaging your mind...and unleashing your spirit~~what have you researched with a passion--now you can make educated judgements based on this research/practice and help others with this knowledge, without first running it by the authority (a doctor). The thing is, higher pay will come with this position. And guess what? If you so choose, you can work Monday-Friday, 8-5 for this pay. Shifts? Time and a half for holiday pay? Initially, NP new grad salary may be neck-in-neck with a RN who works crappy hours, shifts, nights, holidays, or has to travel to make this "great money". After a couple years, however, the NP pay will increase. IMHO, folks who can't visualize how this is so much better don't have what it takes to be the type of professional I have described above. For this, they will stay locked into a job taking orders, sharing their negative opinion with others who have a bit more ambition than they could ever dream of. Whatever your mind can conceive, you can achieve. Leave folks like this and their negative attitudes in your trail of dust.