In our series My 6-Figure Paycheck , women making more than $100,000 open up about how they got there and what exactly they do. We take a closer look at what it feels like to be a woman making six-figures — when only 5% of American women make that much, according to the U.S. Census — w ith the hope it will give women insight into how to better navigate their own career and salary trajectories.
Today, we chat with a nurse practitioner from Los Angeles, CA. Previously, we spoke to a creative director from Upstate New York, and achief of staff in Washington, D.C.
Job: Nurse Practitioner
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Degree: BA in Theater, BS in Nursing, Master’s in Nursing
First Salary: $30,000 as a nanny
Current Salary: $139,000 plus bonuses and stipends
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“Growing up, I told everyone I was going to be a doctor. In high school, I got into theater, but even though I ended up getting my bachelor’s in theater, I still planned on going to medical school.”
What did you study in college?
“I have a bachelor’s in theater. In my mid-twenties, I entered an accelerated bachelor’s program for nursing and earned my BS in nursing in about 15 months.
“Then I went straight into a master’s program in nursing and completed a nurse practitioner program with an emphasis in psychiatry in about three years. So it was four years of undergrad for theater and five years in nursing school for the two nursing degrees.”
Did you have to take out student loans?
“My parents paid for undergrad, but I took out loans to pay for nursing school. It totaled about $70,000 for both degrees. I have paid them down to about $40,000. I have a total of 10 years from graduation to pay them off, but I have been working aggressively to pay them down faster.”
Have you been working at this job since you graduated from college?
“My path towards this job was circuitous at best. I graduated college in 2008 with zero job prospects. I worked as a nanny while figuring out the next step. My parents helped me decide to reconsider medicine.
“I spent a lot of time researching nursing before finally deciding it was what I wanted to do. After I became an registered nurse (RN), I got a job at a hospital and was able to work …read more