Sure, an independent NP won't make as much as a physician, but it's a much shorter and easier education path, unless you really would prefer to be educated under the more rigorous medical model curriculum (and for those with a higher level of intellect, that educational model probably provides a more preferable level of intellectual stimulation).
But to think that someone could graduate high school, do a 2-year RN program at a community college, then an online 3 - 4 year "bridge" program to become an NP is just unbelievable. From the perspective of someone who realizes how foundational a medical school education is to the notion of practicing independently, it's a frightening prospect. But to an individual who would like to earn a six-figure income after a relatively short and easy educational process, it's an unbeatable deal.
Again, while many people might have an issue with the notion of an NP practicing independently, the fact is, if NP's are going to be granted those privileges, then it becomes hard not to consider that as a viable career option.
I am actually trying to decide if I want to become an AA or an independent NP, and I know that many of you are probably to say "BE AN NP" because you don't want an individual going into the AA profession who would also be willing to "sell-out" and work independently as an NP, especially when the physician and PA communities condemn the mere notion of it.
But if AA school or even CRNA school doesn't work out for someone and they don't want to spend years in medical school, how can you beat the prospect of becoming an NP, working for a few years and saving money, and then opening up a few small primary care clinics and making great money?