If you hold a Bachelor's degree in another field there are BSN-MSN accelerated programs for non-nurses. Otherwise you would need your RN license, whether you complete your studies thru a standard BSN, ADN or certificate RN program. Some prefer to do it gradually thru an LPN program then bridge to RN and then continue on so they can work and build experience. Personally, I received my ADN 6 months ago and am now enrolled in an RN-BSN-MSN program part-time while working as an RN. It keeps the money coming in and since I'm only taking 1-2 classes a semester, I'm able to pay for those classes without taking in loans.
I would also suggest getting a part-time job as a Nursing Assistant at a local nursing home or hospital that keeps LPN's on staff. The experience is invaluable while you're at school. Once you've completed a semester of clinicals you'll be able to sit for your state's CNA certification exam (depending on what state you live in), although its not necessary to have to work as a CNA, it does help. Not only is the experience great, but it makes finding a job so much easier after you've graduated. Make sure that you apply at places that hire LPN's, because here in the Massachusetts area local hospitals no longer hire LPN's.
Having your foot in the door is no guarantee of a job once you've graduated, but it definately helps. I worked at a local Rehab hospital for 8 months before graduating and passing the NCLEX, they immediately promoted me from a Nursing Assistant to an RN, no job-hunting needed.