I would say that if you have the resources to do the BSN off the bat, you will put yourself in a better position when you graduate. Unfortunately, there are not tons of nursing jobs in the northeast, so having your BSN makes you more competitive in the job market. There are online courses for ASN- BSN, though. I know Umass Boston has one.
As for RIC- I'm in my first semester here (I am a second degree student with my first being a BS in Biology) hoping to start nursing in the spring. I don't know too much about the nursing professors and classes yet, but I have heard through the grapevine that while the program is competitive, it isn't AS BAD as most people think. Someone said there are 120-150 applicants for around 80 spots. So basically if you're in the upper 2/3 of applicants you have a good shot. Just be sure that your pre-req classes (Chem 106 [organic/bio chem], Developmental Psych, and Anatomy/Physiology) you do well in. From what I understand, your transfer GPA counts, but your RIC GPA counts more. So if you were to transfer from another school with a 3.0 and you transfer to RIC, take a few of your pre-reqs and have a 3.8, they will weigh the 3.8 more heavily.
Hopefully come the spring I will be able to answer more of the actual nursing questions