I don't know why you were advised that community college would be an easier way to go ... Community colleges in NY are just as competitive because of the price. And they are good programs.
But it is not impossible for you to achieve your goal. I did it. I left college to work 15 years ago, and had a 2.3 GPA, I came back to school and got all A's in prereqs except for a B in micro... Applied to nursing school, ASN program got in my first choice, graduated this past December, passed nclex with 75 questions in January, and landed a great job in Obstetrics in a hospital! I start April 6th.... So like I said. I can be done!!! It took me three years to reach my goal after returning, from start to finish. (Pre req's and nursing school)