I am currently attending PMI in Tucson. Is it hard? Sure it is, but it's not social life ending hard. I have had to give up a few things like everyone else, but life is doable so far. I took the HESI to get in, and had to have a few pre-reqs done such as A&P, Psych and English. I don't know about the Mesa campus, but here in Tucson, we basically have to make APA style papers our best friend. lol. The instructos I've had so far are GREAT! They are pretty good about making the classes not only relevant to being NURSES, but also work in concert together. For instance, we'll be studying the resp. system in all our classes at the same time, so we learn not only how to care for it, but the pathophysiology of the system and related drugs to it. I just finished week 2 of second semester, but I REALLY like it. As long as you show the initiative to become a nurse and wanting to pass, the instructors will give you all the help you need to help you get through it.
Also, Tucson just graduated the first class in November, and I think there are only two or three people who have yet to take the NCLEX, and so far the pass rate here is 100%. Another thing that made me feel like I chose the right program is the fact that I've had several ER doctors and nurses tell me that they LOOOOOOOOOOOVE having PMI students there with them, and that they think highly of our program.
Again, I can't tell you about the Mesa program, I imagine it isn't that different than here in Tucson. There are a couple times during the program that they have intructors from Kaplan come in and teach us about how to pass the NCLEX. In fact, after our last semester of finals are over, there is a one week program (maybe two weeks, I don't remember now) of Kaplan instruction to help pass the NCLEX.
PM me if you have any questions I can help with.