Ah, you know I contended with this issue not too long ago. I chose Nursing/DPT over podiatry, here's why:
Podiatry school costs: When you include room and board and other miscellaneous fee's it's going to cost you about 50-60k per year, 200-240k overall, + interest, your looking at about 300k in loans upon graduation. It will likely take you 10 years to pay back those loans.
Obamacare: With increasing malpractice insurance costs and lower reimbursements, the field isn't as attractive. School costs are going up while your salary is decreasing.
Salary: Your salary will be similar to a family physicians, about 150k is the average. About 30% of your salary will go into government taxes.
Residency Shortage: I know of people that couldn't land a residency. Your not guaranteed a residency upon graduation.
Profession: Not well-known/recognized.
Risks Involved: You may not pass the boards or may not pass your classes and you'll be left high and dry with a zoology degree. Podiatry school has a high attrition rate.
Profession is well-known, highly respected, and is advancing.
A degree that offers both variety and many opportunities for advancement. You can work in both clinical and non-clinical settings. The sky's the limit.
Advanced degree options, DNP, CRNA, CNS, PHD, ect....Some RN's are CEO's and make millions, some practice Law, Some run clinics, the management and leadership opportunities are endless as well as the teaching and research opportunities are amazing.
Cost of school is relatively low compared to podiatry, esp state schools.
The ANA supports obamacare, Advanced practice nurses role is expanding and are gaining more authority. NP's in some states can practice as the patient's primary care provider and you have prescription authority in all 50 states.
You can work while pursuing your RN/NP degree and not have to worry about pulling out loans. Some hospitals will even pay you to pursue higher education and their are sign-on bonuses as well, something unique to the rn, np and pa professions. You'll likely not to have to worry about paying back any loans and can start making bank upon graduation
Your not limited to the feet, you can specialize in oncology, psychiatry, ect...a lot more interesting specialties and you'll really touch a patient's life. Nursing is now also moving into the surgical specialties, like plastic surgery for instance.
RN degree is recognized internationally, podiatry isn't.
NOTE: Yes CRNA is competitive to get into, but realize you also need to get decent grades in podiatry school to get a residency, a 2.0 gpa in podiatry school will unlikely get you a position. And you'll likely be a bad healthcare provider. You need good or at least decent grades in any health profession. Also you need to like and be competent in surgery to go into podiatry since this will be an important job function.