I hope your sister is doing well !! Congratulations on your decision to go back to school for nursing !!!
I'll tell your my story(condensed)-I have a BS in Human Services/Sociology and couldn't find a job to save my life. (everyone wants a masters degree). so, I worked a great job at AT&T. Until February when I got laid off.(along w/400 other people). It was then that I realized this was an opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do !! Nursing !!
So, I too looked around at the local colleges. If your 2 colleges are REALLY competitive, I would still go for it, but if you don't succeed there-look into a 1 year LPN program. That is what I'm doing. Even though I have a BS already-I'm lacking the science prereq's...So, I'm going to go the LPN route-then work as an LPN while doing the prereq's at night. Also, the colleges here allow LPN's to "bridge" into the RN program-while taking a year off the program's length !!
I know immediately following my post will be others telling you to go straight for the RN !! Which if you can-go for it !!!! But if not, then I urge you to check out the LPN schools as well !!
Good Luck and let us know what happens !!