Hey man, you will hear a lot of varying ways to go about this. In all honesty, you really need to pursue the avenue that best suits your family, which usually is the cheapest route in my book. I graduated with a BA in psych, and then went back to school to get my ADN from a CC. Had no issue with getting hired, nor was there any stigma associated with my ADN vs BSN. In fact, many of the managers I knew "preferred" the ADN vs the BSN prepared RN's because they seemed better prepared clinically to take patients from the get-go. Usally this is the result of the BSN students having to devote time to non-clinical subjects such as Theory, Law/policy, etc...I then obtained my BSN via online at the University of NC at Chapel Hill. It took one year to get it and I was able to work full-time. It is extremely nice to have income coming in when your in school! I now am in CRNA school and will graduate with my MSN in 10 months.
Did my BSN help me out with my job? NO. Did my BSN increase my pay? NO. Did my BSN change the way I practiced? NO. Will I most likely will get shunned by someone on allnurses. for saying that---yes....however it is the truth. A BSN most likely will get you into management positions quicker as opposed to an ADN.
Although you already have 4 year degree, it unfortunately doesn't mean S*%T in the nursing world. Sad but true!! :) Unless you took a lot of pre req's already I would bet you are going to have to take some chemistries, math, biology, etc just to get into a program. Again, do this the cheapest way. Find a community college that you can take these classes at and many of them can be taken online...ie...easy to continue if you MOVE.....
You said your end goal was to become a NP. Once you become a RN, there are numerous RN to MSN programs and even more BSN-MSN programs. Cannot stress it enough----find what will suit your needs accordingly. If your wife is still Active Duty, then online programs may be the best route for you.
Hope this helps....i'd be glad to talk more if ya want to. Also, THANK YOU----to you and your wife for serving our country!
i was a USAF brat.. (dad was a full-bird). I know what you go through!