Thanks for the additional information. I am in Texas, not Arkansas, so am providing information from Texas, as that is what I am familiar with. Arkansas should have similar information.
First, you are correct about the flat wages. That is because the unemployment rate in your area has not come down enough to drive wages up. Second, I note that you say you have connections in the medical field. However, they have thus far not been able to get you in the door. Be careful about thinking they will be able to do so once you get more education.
Now, if you want to pursue another field, look at what is called the "targeted demand occupations." This information lets you know where the experts predict the growth will be - the best opportunities for a decent paying job, educational requirements, and average salaries. Sadly, this information is depressing. I believe it is difficult to live on less than $15/hr. Yet, most of these occupations in the healthcare industry post an "average" salary of less than $18/hr. This is the average salary for experienced workers - not the entry level salary!! https://www.netxworkforce.org/129/Target-Occupations
Look at the link. Click on the number to the left of "respiratory therapist." It will give you a detailed report, as far as how many there are, how many will leave the profession, how many others are needed due to growth, experience and education levels, entry level salary ($42,000), etc.
If you are going to go to school, please do this type of research first. Prior to completing your schooling, please try to get some experience in healthcare. This would be through internships, or, even through volunteering. Volunteer experience can be listed on the resume. If you want to continue trying to get a job in healthcare right now, I encourage you to look towards dietary or "patient transporter" positions in hospitals. If you can get a position in a hospital, ANY position, even housekeeping, it is possible they have tuition assistance programs you will be able to take advantage of. This may be more cost effective than taking out more loans.
Hopefully, some of this helps you as you continue to try to think this through. I'm happy to help if you have more questions.