Getting experience is important. I started as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) after a one-month long class at my local Red Cross. I took my state exam, and got a job! Then I went to school to be a Licensed Practical Nurse, took my state exam, and got a better job! After that I went to a local Community College for my ASN, took my state exam, and worked as a RN! I then went on to earn my BSN, no licensing exam required! I then applied to a Master's Degree program. The basic experience I gained as a CNA and LPN was invaluable and I highly recommend that you work as a CNA before/while you are studying for your RN.
I should preface all of this by saying you need to have excellent grades. Getting into nursing school is VERY competitive. However, if your grades are not so great you can go the LPN route first which, for me, was the best in terms of getting experience.
Nursing is a great career. You will ALWAYS be able to get a job, and everyday is an adventure!
This being said you need experience as a RN to understand the field and get your skills and insight to be an effective NP. My experience is in Trauma Medical-surgical, psych, and informatics sprinkled in there. Became an RN and find your nursing path and get your experience.
Heather recommends the following next steps:
Gain some professional experience as a nurse
Apply to and enter a nurse practitioner school which will be a combination of classroom lectures and clinical work.