I went to UCSF. I *just* graduate, really. My GREs were nothing to write home about, nor were my undergrad grades. I think I got a 550 in verbal and 720/730 in math. Undergrad I had a 3.0 GPA. Each school likes different profiles. UCSF loves candidates whom love the community and are big public health advocates. Almost all of the profs choose UCSF for its emphasis on community and diversity. Different schools
, different themes. You need to dig around to fit the personality of the school that matches you best, in terms of MEPN/GEPN-type programs.
RN jobs were a tough find, to be honest. Most of us went straight through to our Masters (NP,CNS, etc) to avoid the market. However, everyone seems to generally be finding gigs as an NP within 6 mo or so. SF is an awesome place to be a nurse, but the market is pretty darn saturated.
Again, if you you know want it and don't want the step-up years, go MEPN. The ONLY exception is if you want to be a critical care or inpatient NP. You need floor experience and plenty of ICU time to really lock up one of those NP positions. Soooo... there's my caveat... think where you want to be and then go for the most direct path. I did not have much medical background, but I came from psych. I am in primary care now, and I can safely say that it didn't matter that I lack RN floor experience. Being a med-surg nurse is great, but in primary care APRN-world... not necessary
Another very cool idea with your background would also be looking at the occupational medicine world with the animal therapy specialty. There are fantastic programs for that, too.