my brother (also an RN) talked to an MD today, from the LA area. He was a resident in podiatry. Making $3,800/month, having to work 70+ hours a week, and with $330,000.00 debt. He has a newborn at home and the biggest regret of his was not being able to spend time with him at all..he even said that RNs are luckier, they get the same amt of money, less work and most of all have little to no school loans when they start off.
I'm not saying that these are the situations with all the MDs;the knowledge and two initials after your name cannot be compared to anything.
Realistically, you need something where you can get a faster degree so you can earn $ quicker and the RN route is probably it. Later on, you can go into FNP, which is a mid level practitioner; then, you will be able to diagnose and prescribe meds etc.
Honestly, even with a BSN you can get years of experience in a field, get a couple of certifications under your belt (like RNFA) and make the same wage as an entry level FNP, from my understanding.
Good luck with your decision and hope all is well with your mom