I am an RN with a BSN and MS degree in nursing administration. I completed my MS degree about 3 years ago and I've had a few interesting leadership and administrative roles since then. However, I'm not fully satisfied with my career path and lately I've been thinking about returning back to school for either post-master's FNP or med school. To start at the beginning:
I graduated as valedictorian of my high school class. In high school, I was always interested in the health care field and everyone assumed that I would choose pre-med and go to medical school. I ultimately decided on nursing because I was in a serious relationship in college and I wanted to have a family-friendly career (in retrospect, this was very poor reasoning). After the first year of nursing school, I was having second doubts about my choice of major. I wasn't enjoying nursing at all, but I decided to stick it out because I didn't want to be a year behind if I chose another major. I rationalized that I could always go onto medical school or graduate school after I graduated. After graduation, I got married and started working as an RN in the ER. I HATED that job. I took a job on a med-surg unit and I HATED that job even more. Eventually, I did find a specialty that I enjoy (home health and hospice), but I still knew I had to go back to school for something that would allow me to move beyond the staff nurse role. At that time I was very torn about beginning the process for applying to med school. My husband (now ex) did not want me to go to medical school because he wanted to start a family and basically did not want to support me throughout the long process. I applied and was accepted to an FNP program. I finished a semester of FNP school, but I was so unsettled about the decision as to if I would be fully satisfied with the NP training and scope of practice. No offense to any of you that are NPs, because you do play a very important and critical role in health care. I've had an NP as a primary care provider, so I do think that NPs are wonderful! But at that time, I was convinced that it would ultimately bother me that I would be in a very similar role as a physician in primary care, but without the ultimate responsibilty, scope of practice, and level of pay. And I was unimpressed and disappointed with the foundational FNP courses that I took at a very prestigious university. I didn't think that I would be happy with the lack of depth of knowledge in the FNP program. So instead of doing the NP program, I decided to do a master's program in administration. I've had a few interesting jobs in administration since graduating, but it still isn't as fulfilling as I would like and I keep having the feeling that I've chosen the wrong career path.
Recently, I've been thinking again about beginning the process to apply to med school or to start looking into NP programs again. At this point, I am nearing 30 (but not there yet), single, and I have no children. I do have significant student loan debt from my master's degree though and the loan burden of med school does concern me. I also have concerns about the time burden of residency in particular- to be honest, I have lots of interests outside of work and I do wonder how happy I would be working 60-90 hours week while in residency, being on-call, etc. Although I'm now single, I still do hope to have a family someday (hopefully within the next 8 years or so). The post-master's FNP is looking very appealing because of the low cost and time burden. It would allow me to earn a decent salary, have better hours than MD/DO, and I do think that I would enjoy the work.
I'm frustrated that I still seem to be in the same situation that I was in while trying to make this decision in college. I feel like I should be past this point in my life! Any feedback into my situation would be helpful.