My focus is in social research, so my 'lab' is out in the community, but...
I second the motion to look at BSN-PhD programs if you know your main interest lies in research. NP programs are practice-based, where the PhD is a research-based terminal degree.
Regarding what was stated above on grants: federal grants are not so easily obtained as one would think (oh, how I wish though
). They usually require the PI to have a PhD, to have done some respectable previous published work, and to be able to show that they have all the elements required to produce a scientifically sound product. The footwork done to be able to show all of this, begins with scientific work done in your doctoral program, where you will do pilot studies, publish manuscripts, present posters, etc., while working under a mentor. All of this culminates to your dissertation, which will hopefully set you up for future research after you are done.
If there is a particular researcher whose work you really admire, whose work matches your own interests, I would suggest applying at their institution's PhD program, so you can work under them.
Otherwise, if you wish to work as a RA in a lab, you can do that with a BSN, so the NP won't help you much there.