Years ago, my wife (girlfriend at the time) and I moved states. During this time, we needed jobs so one of her family members gave me a job as a Jr. Programmer at their company. During the years, programmers have come and gone to where it is only myself doing development for this company's software and has been for some years. Essentially, I am the Lead Software Engineer. However, recently I have come to realize that I programming is not a profession I truly enjoy and something I struggle to see myself doing for 30+ years. However, I have found after some very serious consideration that the field of nursing is something that ignites a bit of a passion in me. I have always wanted to go into the medical field, but I never truly made any action to do it.
This move will involve me going into nursing school for a 2 or 3 years. During this time, I planned on continuing work with my wife's family member at their company. Given the very intensive schedule of nursing school, I will need to notify my employer that I will need to change up my schedule and for what reasons. I will also be notifying them that I will be leaving the company when I complete the program to pursue the profession. Essentially giving them notice as long as I am in school.
Here is the problem. I am a developer being paid roughly half of what an equally experienced developer would be making, with no health insurance, dental insurance or 401k/retirement plans. For me? These aren't huge issues, I've always made a decent living between me and my wife's income. However, at the rate I am being paid, I suspect another developer may be less keen on taking this position once they hear the offer. So getting a replacement developer may prove to be a challenge and without a developer, I am unsure about the longevity of the software without a developer to keep making changes and supporting the software.
On top of the above mentioned, I am nervous that the family member will take my leaving quite personally and result in some fairly large fallout because I sense some aspirations that they are wanting to give me the company. This fallout could certainly result in some resentment/malice from an entire segment of the family and I certainly do not want to cause my wife any drama.
What should I look to do during this period of time?
Edit: Just to clarify, I am very grateful for the opportunity and job that was given to me and I will make every effort to be deliberately tactful and easy as possible during this event.