I am also in the process of a career change. I have been an elementary school teacher for 8 years. I worked for 7 years and had to take a "sabbatical". My husband felt as if we could make it on his salary and he was really tired of my coming home in a foul mood and lots papers to grade, etc. I never had time or patience for my daughter after dealing with other children all day. I felt so guilty when I went to bed each night. I became a totally different person during my time at home-much happier. I also did a great deal of soul searching. I have always loved science and the field of medicine but did not really feel like I wanted to go back to school. After 4 wonderful years at home, I financially had to go back to work. Of course the salary scale wasn't much better than before and there was even more "crap" to put up with from everyone. During this school year I decided I would check into nursing school and begin to take some pre-nursing courses. By the time I applied for nursing school they told me it would be fall 2004 before I began. I felt like that would be fine because I might be able to save some money. Anyway, I was surprisingly admitted into the program that fall of 2003. It all happened very quickly. What I would like to tell you is to not let anyone discourage your decision. You see, although my entire family was very supportive, many other people continually questioned my decision to change careers-even one of my nursing instructors. At least once a week, until I dropped out, I would have someone ask me why I would want to be a nurse instead of a teacher-they have their summers, weekends, holidays off! Well let me tell you that is not a good reason to continue in a job-if not for the breaks there would be even fewer teachers than there are now! (People also think you have more time for your own children, but you do not. I never got to participate in school parties, field day, etc. with my daughter because I had to be with my own students. I also had to leave my son at daycare everyday and was exhausted every evening when I picked him up.) Finally the pressure and the questioning got to me, I dropped out and went back to teaching-dumby me! Only after a couple of months of teaching again, I remembered why I quit in the first place. Also, most of the teachers were very encouraging in my decision to go back to school-many of them would make a career change if they were not so invested in their retirement.
I am now going back to nursing school this fall and I refuse to let all of the comments from others discourage me. If you have never been a teacher, you do not understand what we put up with. I do not think I am making a career change to a less demanding, less stressful field. I know it is also hard to be a nurse sometimes. I can also tell you that when I wanted to become a teacher, every teacher I already knew discouraged me. Before I decided to go to nursing school, I asked every nurse I came upon if they liked their job and most of them said "I LOVE IT!" Most all nurses were very encouraging.
Sorry this was so long! I'm afraid it is the teacher in me.