When hospitals talk about "experience" in connection with RN positions, they mean experience as a nurse
-- they aren't interested in any other kind of experience. Your maturity and life experience might give you an edge over a younger new grad, but I'm afraid you won't get any "credit" for your previous career. This is a concept that is often v. hard for second career nursing students to accept -- it's understandably hard, as a mature, seasoned adult, to embrace the idea of having to start over "from scratch," and have everything else you've accomplished in your life count for (practically) nothing.
Also, the nursing "shortage" was always overstated and many of us have been saying for years that it was nonsense. Plenty of older threads here on that subject! Now, with the economic crash, what "shortage" there was has basically evaporated in most areas. Hospitals have reduced hiring, and many nurses who didn't "have" to work before have returned to the workplace. Even experienced RNs are now having trouble finding employment in many areas. As caliotter noted, lots of new grads are finding they have to relocate to an area that does
have a shortage to find a job.
This is not a particularly good time to be going into nursing. However, things are sure to turn around eventually (if not, we're all
screwed, aren't we). If nursing is really what you want to do, there will be a way to make things work out. Best wishes for your journey!