Surprised? Not really. I expected school to be difficult and it was. It's very time consuming too. I barely worked while in school. Being an LMT was nice because of the flexibility. As for working as an RN, the first year was very, very difficult. I worked with some mean nurses, techs, and docs. If you are in a better environment, it won't be horrible but it will be difficult. Now, nursing is easy. With the experience and knowledge gained comes confidence.
LMT vs RN? I love having PTOs, 401k, steady income, health insurance. I also like telling people I meet that I'm an RN instead of LMT. There is no doubt in what i do for a living. You know what I mean when you tell people that you are a massage therapist. So annoying. With at least one year of nursing experience and a BSN under your belt, you will always be able to find a decent paying job.