When I started my nursing program, I still remember the advice my nursing instructors gave to us that first day of nursing school. "We strongly advise that your do not work." Only 45% actually graduated from my original nursing class.
Some people worked, I myself took out loans and committed my self to nursing (that's a fun pun!). I know that some struggled, some got A's, some got B's, and some just passed. While grades are important, something to consider is whether your can easily apply your knowledge to direct patient care. Some students who did great on exams could not, and some who did great on the floor had trouble with their exams. Depending on the program you could be in school 5 days a week, and clinical hours could be during the day, evening, or noc shift depending on available times and locations.
The possibility of last minute changes in your program can come up and again, you have to be committed to completing the work.
You passion for wound care is awesome and it is a realistic goal. I would recommend going straight for your RN because it will take you less time. As a RN you will be able to assess admissions, discharges, review meds and form treatment plans, which is required to assess, diagnoses, plan, implement, and evaluate wound care patients. You will need to know pharmacology because medications can affection the healing rates of wounds, meds can cause skin problems, drug interactions can promote or inhibit length of stays.
Yes the RN degree is a generalist degree but what does that mean? If you study hard and study more than just what is assigned to you by your instructors, your RN degree may be more than just a general degree. Learning for life, not just the class is something to consider. When I applied for a psychiatric nursing job out of nursing school and was interviewed, I knew my drugs and side effects. I could recommend nursing interventions for specific psychiatric diagnoses and was able to provided appropriate medical interventions for specific scenarios. I got the job because I was prepared.
RN programs are inconsistent with training depending on the area of nursing practice. Pediatric, Psychiatric, Wound Care, Cardiac, and ICU rotations may be limited if non existent. Definitely get subscriptions to ANA and Nursing 2018 magazines to keep up with current topic and issues. Consider getting a student membership to a nursing wound care organization. Free classes can be found and you can find great resources if your text books are not clear.
Another thought to consider, if you had to work, you could try and get a position in a wound care clinic. Even if it was a clerical position, you could still be focusing on what you want to do and it would be a good experience. Another part of wound care is understanding the supplies needed to be used on the different types of wounds. Cost is a big factor and knowing which companies to order from and which insurance plans will authorize payments, will get the best and affordable products for your patients. That would be great knowledge to have.
Good luck and much success!