Most direct entry nursing programs with an NP component will require that you pick a specialty prior to joining their program. One of the reasons is logistics, if you had an entire class of prospective Psych NPs as an example, there just isn't enough clinical sites in CT to be able to accommodate so many people. You can either have a very small cohort of only Pysch NPs or a larger cohort with people who want to go into different specialties. Secondly, as you progress in your education and obtain graduate degrees, the expectation is that you do become more specialized in your field before becoming a subject matter expert in your field when you have obtained a doctorate which is the terminal degree for most areas of study.
Yes, you will have a better chance of getting into a specialty that isn't as popular with applicants but that is offset by the fact that those specialties accept a smaller number of students. This is true regardless of which program you apply to.
The important thing that all applicants need to understand when you apply to this or any other direct entry nursing program is that you need to have a clear idea of why you want to go into the specialty that you have chosen. The expectation is that you have explored and researched your chosen specialty prior to applying and know why this specialty speaks to you as a future provider over all the other specialties. If you do not have a clear idea which specialty you would like to practice in, take some time to explore other specialties prior to applying. Shadow a provider in the area you are interested in, volunteer, calling friends of friends who are in similar programs. Leverage your network if possible.
Not knowing or being sure of why you have chosen your specialty is the second most common reason not to be accepted. Alternatively, the Physicians Associate programs might also be an option for you since as a pre-med student you might already have the classes necessary to apply but you might still have to retake the classes since it looks like some time has passed since you took them. But they might be easier for you to complete since you have previous knowledge to leverage upon. PAs come out as generalists and might be a better choice for individuals who do not know what they want to specialize in. It is the nature of being an APRN that we specialize and it is reflected in how graduate NP programs are structured.
There is always a portion of direct entry nursing programs with students who have had very long, varied, and diverse experiences in other careers. But the proportion of these individuals are small compared to the rest of the class. The average age of the current incoming 2019 cohort is 25 so the majority of individuals in this year's cohort either have had 2-3 years of work experience or they just graduated with their bachelors. It is rare at least in the programs that I have looked at to have individuals who have more than 5 years of pure work experience in another field. When you start looking at individuals with more than 10 years of experience, it is almost non-existent. Like you, I also had a long career in another field prior to applying and being accepted into Yale's program. It is looked upon favorably by the faculty and the admissions committee to be an older student with experiences in fields other than STEM. We have people coming from backgrounds in finance, scientific research, and the arts but that is more the exception than the rule. Most of the individuals who apply and are accepted have some background in the sciences like neuroscience, biology, health sciences, psychology, public health etc.
I can tell you that there have been a few individuals with a dance or art background who have applied and been accepted into Yale's program over the last few years so you are in good company with your 12 years of dance and professional experience. Yale does value individuals with different and unique experiences and you have that coming from the arts.
Re midwifery - I would suggest that if you want to go into this specialty and this is the area you want to specialize in, that you try and obtain some birth-related work or work with babies and children prior to applying. Volunteer birth doula, postpartum doula, MA on an L&D floor, tech on a postpartum floor, nanny etc are all possibilities. The admissions committee would like to see that you took some time to explore and be sure of your specialty prior to applying as I discussed earlier. It also gives you a chance to explore if this specialty is for you as well. Perhaps you didn't know that you didn't like amniotic fluid prior to working with birthing mothers or that baby breast milk regurgitation causes you to be nauseous or that laceration repair is just not for you.
Lastly, I repeat again that all applicants need to have a clear vision of why you want to go into your specialty especially the CNM/WHNP specialty. This specialty after FNP is probably the hardest specialty to get into so have a clear understanding of what a midwife does, what their job entails, the population that they focus on, and the types of procedures that they perform.
There is a lot more that I can say but hopefully, this will help you get started thinking about your application.
Good luck to you.