A nursing student's perspective, hope it helps you!
I'm so glad I read your post in a timely fashion. I'm not going to tell you what or what not to do; I will tell you my experience and hope it helps you.
I am presently a nursing student two weeks away from finishing my third "block" (I'll explain something about this later) with one "block" to go before I will have my ADN (Associate Degree Nursing) from a local community college. (This is the quickest way to get to RN. In your case, you'd get a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) before being able to sit for the NCLEX-RN (the state board test to become a RN.)
About the "blocks" - I'm not sure if the university at which your hubby works does it this way, but "blocks" of classes are typical in nursing programs, which means you don't take separate 3 or 4 credit classes here or there, with the ability to adjust your courseload from semester to semester or repeat a single class if necessary. Instead, you take a "block" of classes, which all lumped together equal about 12 credits - a complete falsehood because the workload - timewise - is WAY more than full time. (I have an unrelated bachelor's degree AND some master's level credits under my belt and I can tell you this lumpof 12 "credits" is heavier and more challenging than past semesters in which I've taken up to 21 credits!) The trickiest catch to this is that if you need to repeat - for any reason (maybe you were to fail the pharmacology portion, or perhaps you missed two days of your clinical rotation due to illess or family issues), you must repeat the ENTIRE block. There is no flexibility of hours, and the pace is relentless. You MUST be at clinical (hospital) very early to very late, rain or shine, sick or healthy, with no provisions for "life" happening. You simply can't miss a test, and if you miss even a few hours of lecture your grade will suffer.
So, part of what I am trying to share with you is that the committment to nursing school is ENTIRE. Should you decide to do it, it will BE your life, not something you do on the side. You will see a lot that you don't like, a lot of suffering, a lot of calousness, a lot of competitiveness, and the hospital setting, the patient suffering, and all that goes with it take an emotional tole. You will be doling out meds from your first semester. You will spend days where that is almost ALL you do, rounds of dispensing meds like they are candy. You will use a lot of technology and be surrounded by flourescent lights and machines. Of course, there is the nitty-gritty...nurses do EVERYTHING for their patients. You will spend countless hours changing adult diapers and cleaning up every fluid the human body produces
(and some you may not have even known we could produce, ha!) All of these things have their place, and are not inherently bad, but if it is not your calling, and simply a means to another end, you may struggle - as I am.
So, if nursing is not your love, if you are not willing to DEVOTE yourself to it, then I encourage you to go a different route. In a nursing program, you will give a lot of time learning about MEDICAL problems and procedures. Very little time is devoted to OB (one quarter of one semester.) There is no way around putting a lot of time and energy into all the other areas - med-surge, psych, intensive care, long-term care, and if you are not really "into" these things it will be a long, tough haul (I've found, anyway.) If you are like me, and "just want to keep people healthy" you may get discouraged with caring for people by throwing medicines, tests, and procedures at them, with no discussion of prevention, or even how they ended up in the predicament in the first place. Again - I am not knocking medicine, it is very necessary, life-saving, etc. I am saying that if MEDICINE and caring for SICK people is not your thing, then turn away from nursing.
Now, if you're still with me, let me address your hope to possibly get a job in OB to get experience. As much as I don't want to be negative, I'm just going to lay it out in very simple terms what I have seen. At this point in time, it is very difficult for new grad RNs to get ANY job in nursing, let alone a specialty like OB. Fact. I know the media talks about the "nursing shortage". This may change in the future, but the reality is that, for a combination of reasons (a separate discussion - do a little research on the inet, start with "allnurses.com") there are not enough jobs for nurses. A few years back new nurses could choose which job offer they wanted, walk into any specialty, and start with a chunky sign-on bonus to boot. That is no longer the case. OB is one of the most difficult areas to break in to. An older nurse pretty much has to retire or die to create one opening. Nurses who do have jobs are hanging on for dear life. Most master's CNM programs require a minimum of a year or two nursing experience, and some programs require that it is in OB. I myself don't know how thats going to work with the job situation as it is. I am now trying to adjust to the idea of working med-surge or long-term care (where there are some jobs) for two years, and not liking it.
Had I known a few years back what I know now, I would have gone the CPM route. I still may! Nursing school has been SO stressful that I admit I - someone who had been "in" to natural health and wellness and wholistic ways for a very long time - have resorted to using some of the medicines I abhor for headache and depression. I realize that is a personal issue you may not face, but I do know I'm not alone in it; i've seen many of my classmates suffering alongside me. I hoped nursing school would be a wonderous time in my life. I imagined nurses, nursing instructors, and my fellow students would be, as a whole, a group of very caring, compassionate people with whom I might form a lifetime bond and create fun memories with while in school. My experience has been quite the opposite. The problem isn't the people really, it's the system. There simply isn't time to enjoy anything. We become robots, showing up day after day, studing night after night, taking test after test, doing as we're told by one superior after another (who often tell us to do opposing things), becoming sick ourselves from the stress, lack of time to contemplate and take care of ourselves, and from what I can only describe as "lack of "heart"".
I said I wouldn't tell you what to do. I changed my mind. DO WHAT YOU LOVE. GO WHERE YOUR HEART TELLS YOU, not what society or financial plans deams the "smart choice". Society and finances are fickle! I'm betting that your heart is not.