I have spent 11 years as a nurse. I have had the experience of floor nursing, tele, cardiac step down, emergency, travel, infusion, and now home health. I wish I could tell you I felt my $47,000 dollars for a BSN were worth it, but I don’t. I, after 11 years as a nurse, would tell you to change your degree or take a lower paying job in any other career field job at $10 an hour to start. In the long run you probably will be happier and end up with greater income potential. In 2008 when I started as a tele floor RN, I made 20.47/hr which was a dollar an hour more than anyone who can to the position never being a nurse aid prior to their first RN
Yes, I LOVE my patients. The thought of failing them and the crappy world of medicine I would be leaving them with is a large reason I stay. But that reason is starting to fade. The realization that the only people I can rely on is my family and I cannot continue to let my oath to my patients continue to impede that. It is not worth it. If you cannot be a salesman for medicine or think of people as dollar signs, then do not go into medicine. If you think you will make a decent living and that the school debt is worth it, it may be, but only if you start with an associates degree or plan to go into management 2 years after you get your BSN.
I wish I could advise you differently. I wish I could tell you that all the sacrifices you made to get where you are were meaningful and will lead you to great things, but I can’t. For most of you it won’t. The idea that nursing is a ‘calling’ is a subtle way to keep us under paid and permanent scapegoat for the field of medicine, don’t be one of the dunces that fell for it like I did.