Originally posted by Susy K:
Ok, on a more serious note.
I've also thought about becoming a nursing instructor - also going all out and becoming a published professor. I'm not sure if/when I'll ever attain this, though.
Susy--you definitely don't have to wait until you're officially in academia to get published. I have been published in 2 very different venues. My old hospital had a contract with a publishing company to print a book of our standards of care in a textbook, and one of my standards was published in that.
At my current job, we work closely with the CDC, and I was a contributor in an article published just a few weeks ago in the MMWR
--which I was pretty excited about, since it's an international medical journal. www.cdc.gov/mmwr
Both of these opportunities kind of came and found me, but you can go out and find them yourself. They also look good on a C.V. or grad school application!
Most university and teaching hospitals have some sort of research going on and are always looking for scut puppies--um, volunteers, to collect and organize data which can lead to your being credited as a contributor in the published study.
Don't wait! There are plenty of opportunities out there right now.