Merritt College Fall 2012 - page 5

I have been accepted to Merritt College ADN for fall 2012. Any others that have been accepted as well?... Read More

  1. by   heartdrop
    I don't recall getting a schedule at orientation, that was later mailed to us shortly before the fall started. it looks like there might be a shift in the schedule according to the Merritt Fall Schedule.

    As I remember, plan on being on campus everyday for the first 9 weeks, some fridays off. That is unless you test out of DDC, you might get an extra day off to study. There is also Open Lab that is in the late afternoon/evening, it would be wise to take advantage of this extra practice time and instruction.
  2. by   heartdrop
    This might be a good time to mention to make an appointment with your doctor. there are health documentation you need for the program and they are very specific to what you need. you will need: a physical exam, titers drawn (for TDAP, MMR, Varicella, & HepB), 2 step PPD, and CPR card from American Heart Association (current). these are the things you can get done earlier before it comes down to the wire and some people were experiencing difficulties with some of the things. youll get more info for the drug screening and background check, but you can go ahead and make a MD appt for after 6/5 and you be set up with the paperwork.

    good luck
  3. by   Eccentricity
    After extensive consideration, I have decided not to attend Merrit College in the fall, and here is why:

    1. The College/Department is clearly unorganized and disrespectful. To support this claim, I offer the following examples:

    Their correspondence is chock-full of errors. In information about the TEAS, it says that students will be provided with “scrap paper.” Surely they meant scratch paper. Then again, do they even know difference? Directions to the college were copied and pasted haphazardly, resulting in codes of special characters (e.g., a capital A with an accent mark over it, or something to that effect). Moreover, nowhere in their correspondence did it even indicate the building/room number in which the TEAS was to be implemented.

    The Department requires that acceptance forms be hand delivered to their office. This is fine with me, yet nowhere does it indicate the days and times that the office is open. Upon arriving at the Department to deliver the form, the door was locked, the office was empty, and a sign on the door indicated “On Break.” OK, fine. I walk around the campus for a while, during which time I realize how poorly kept the campus is. Upon returning more than 30 minutes later, I once again encountered a locked & empty office with the “On Break” sign in the window. Sure, people should be given breaks (it’s the law, after all), and a limited staff can reasonably result in reduced office hours. Obviously, publishing those hours or indicating when the office will reopen (i.e., one of those “we will return at” clocks or a handwritten note) is too much to ask.

    2. There are innumerable horror stories about the program.

    How many nursing programs have been written up in local newspapers talking about how terrible they are? Complaints run the gamut: inaccurate textbooks, a simulation lab that is only open 2 hours per day and where little if any simulation takes place, tests not related to lecture material, unapproachable and unsupportive teachers, and a system designed to weed out the vast majority of the incoming class.

    3. The campus is unattractive.

    While in a nice area of town, the campus is nothing to write home about. Upkeep is clearly lacking, and the attitude of the maintenance/janitorial staff seems to be in keeping with that of the administration. There is a large pile of debris in what appears to be the maintenance/receiving area near parking lot D. There is little foliage or other natural beauty to enhance the campus surroundings as can be found at most colleges/universities, even relative to the average California community college.


    I have attended a wide spectrum of community colleges, including Diablo Valley College, Contra Costa College, City College of San Francisco & Mission College. Each of these institutions varies widely from one another in character, administrative standards and accountability, demeanor of staff, professionalism, and so forth. When basic standards of accountability and respect and absent, ignorance and mediocrity become commonplace. Staff is unaware of basic policies and procedures as they disseminate incorrect, misleading and ultimately counterproductive information. Consequences for ineptitude are nil, and thus the cycle repeats itself.

    Meritt College has all of the warning signs of a dysfunctional institution, and I want no part of it. I am on ADN program wait lists at multiple institutions, and will probably be starting in fall, 2013. Sure, it’s another year away, but I’d rather have a much less stressful life over the next 3 years than subject myself to what is clearly the doldrums of academia.

    Nursing school is going to be a major challenge, and I don’t need these kinds of distractions. I’ve been through the community college and the UC systems. Sometimes you have to fight to get through bureaucracies and red tape, but it’s important to choose your battles and stay focused on your education. I do not see how this is possible when the institution you are attending is unable and/or unwilling to inform the student body of essential information (e.g., when an office is open & where a major test will be taking place), use proper English (or something approaching it) and employ proofreading when drafting its publications, let alone lacks functional laboratories, accurate textbooks, or instructors and administrators who give a damn about being part and parcel of a dysfunctional institution.

    To those that will flame me for critiquing Merritt College (regardless of their reasons for doing so, some of which may be legitimate): If merely speaking openly and frankly is to be condemned, I will not dignify your disapproval with a response. I harbor no ill will towards Merritt or anyone affiliated with it (faculty, students or staff), and I wish you all the best. Notwithstanding, I believe my critique of your institution is a reasonable one, consisting of reasonable conclusions based on first hand experience.
    Last edit by Eccentricity on May 28, '12
  4. by   Chribri
    Good luck too you then. I am sure you will find a nice nursing school with foliage in your near future.
  5. by   Eccentricity
    Good luck too you then. I am sure you will find a nice nursing school with foliage in your near future.
    Good luck to (not too) you as well, Chris.

    As for finding a nice nursing school with foliage, I found such campuses about 20 years ago (long before I planned to become a nurse). Do you know of any newly constructed California community colleges with nice foliage that have nursing programs? If so, perhaps I will apply there as well.

    Your message is quite revealing, as well are some of your previous posts:

    Jun 28, '11 by Chris SN:
    So for those of you who have felt slighted by the unresponsiveness of the nursing office, I went down there today to talk to them in person and learned that the whole office is out on vacation but will be back by mid july. I only wish they had left a message in their answering service or on their website.

    May 23 by Chris SN:
    We are down to 23 from 77 accepted after two semesters.

    Aug 28, '11 by Chris SN:
    anyone else burning out already???
    Your own experiences validate my points, foliage (or lack thereof) notwithstanding.
  6. by   DisneyDreamer
    Well foliage or not, I'm sticking with Merritt. Better to go and give it my all than to wonder "what if".
  7. by   Chribri
    Your right. Nursing school should be easy. We Wouldn't want to impose standards on the profession.Honestly, I think most current and graduated Merritt students will tell you the same thing. If you are not a strong independent student, willing to study hard (7 days a week) and ready to show initiative and motivation at the clinical site then you are probably not ready for merritt. That is fine there are other schools out there who are willing to hold your hand through the process, who will lecture exactly to the exams and who will coddle weakness in the clinical setting. The students there may get just the nurturing they need to improve or may just get passed along. In the end though it doesn't matter that you passed nursing school if you can't pass the nclex
    Last edit by Chribri on May 28, '12
  8. by   uni1602
    I'm still trying to figure out the office hours to turn in my letter
    I called, and called, and nobody ever answered.
  9. by   heartdrop
    510-434-3930 is the ADN answering machine, I called it just a moment ago and you can leave a message. You can try replying to the email they used to send out information:
  10. by   cabbit
    uni1602: I recommend that you email their office and attach a pdf of your signed and dated acceptance letter. If you don't have a scanner at home, you can take a digital photo of the letter and upload it to your computer, then turn it into a pdf and attached it to your email.
  11. by   NA_Conversion
    Hi Chris SN (I hope this is the CHRIS I'm thinking it is....)

    I started the ADN program with you last fall 2011, but I missed the 75% mark (I only had 72%), so I was forced to withdraw from the program. However, I do agree with everything that you said in your posts. The program is definitely doable, but the first test had me in a hole that I could not dig myself out of. I improved my scores from each test, but it just wasn't enough at the end of the 9 weeks of "boot camp." At any rate, I was accepted back for this fall 2012, so I'm preparing to get back into the swing of it. I'll be going to orientation on the 5th.

    I remember that you were successful in the program from the very beginning and I don't remember you being involved in any study groups (often the instructors looked to you for answers they didn't know, LOL). I am wondering if I could pick your brain and get you to give me the key to your success? Other than the Fundamentals text book, did you study anything else? Also, I read in your posts that the summer Fundamentals class is very helpful. I didn't take it last summer and wished that I had, but I am definitely going to take it this time around.

    Thank you for your help and good luck with your last year, and moving forward with your career!!! Take care,


    I Dream RN

    (I'm paranoid of social networking, so I don't use my real name. I'm sure you'd know who I am if you saw me again).
  12. by   NA_Conversion

    I completely understand your concerns, which were my exact concerns as well in considering Merritt. I attended the program in the fall 2011 and did not make it through the first 9 weeks of "boot camp" not because I am incapable or couldn't handle the program, but more because I'm learning the medical field from scratch. I have no experience anywhere in the medical field, this is a change in career for me. There was a ton of information being thrown at us, and I was all over the place in my studying. Many books were suggested, so I thought I would study them ALL instead of just the most important one. I basically fell behind, but each one of my test scores improved once I "caught on" to what was going on.

    I will say that although the program is somewhat organized, the instructors were ALL very helpful to me! I was able to go in and talk to them about my test grades and they gave me tips and pointers on how to improve my test scores. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I wish I had gone in and spoken in detail with certain instructors after the very first exam. I waited until after the second and had only one more chance with the third exam (by the end of the 3rd exam, you have to have a combined score of 75% or you cannot move on the clinicals).

    So, I will be going back in fall 2012 with all of the knowledge that I have, and am very confident that I will succeed this time. It is definitely doable; however, there were a few things that I disliked and learned to deal with in sight of my goal...which was to become an RN. In going back, I will keep my dislikes in prospective and realize that I only have to be there for 16 months of my life (4 months each semester: 4 semesters). It's truly a small price to pay to acheive my dream! Merritt is definitely not for everyone though! I have a couple of friends who have gone through other RN programs and they ALL have their cons. There isn't (and shouldn't be) a single RN program out there that is easy or perfect! If there is one, run the other way!!!
  13. by   Chribri
    I Dream RN (and anyone else who wants to listen in),

    I used the Reviews and Rationals the most of all extra resources. The breakdown of chapters closely parallells the text book so you can focus on the material we are preparing to be tested on. It also provides the most practice questions (with 50 for each chapter on the companion disk).

    Also I think reading style is very important. Try to think about reading for comprehension rather than reading for memorization. Read each chapter at a very least two times (I recommend three) and when you reading stop and try to make logical connections between the material. Ask yourself "why" questions about what your reading like "Why does the sound of brachial artery change as a BP cuff deflates and how would I expect a change in cuff shape/size/fit to effect it?". I was able to correctly answer the test question pertaining to this problem not because I had memorized the content of that table but because I had the concept in my head (Honestly the question had a logical answer). This works for me mind you, but everyone has their own learning style and unfortunately there is always foreign material that cannot be easily related back to prior knowledge that you truly do need to commit to memory, but overall you come out better going into these exams with a broad understanding than with a bunch of memorized factoids.

    Davis's Fundamentals Success is another nice resource if you are worried about tackling the concepts focused on in Nclex questions. It does not offer quite as many review questions as the R&R book but if gives a great little tutorial for dissecting an Nclex question in the first chapters. Many of these questions, especially the ones in fundamentals, are asking for you to select and use a specific tool for finding the priority answer. Your job is to first figure out which tool to use and secondly to apply it properly to the situation. Common devices are ABC's (you always protect airway first), Maslows hierarchy of needs, The nursing process (Look at the question first. is there missing assessment data? Is the question asking for what the nurse should do first? Look at the answers. Are there three interventions and one assessment?), and then various sets of principles you can apply (The best answer should: Be the safest, be the least invasive, preserve patient autonomy/independence, promote family involvement in care, be culturally congruent [without making cultural assumptions], etc.)

    I can't say anything about the summer class. Heartdrop is the one who said she attended it. I think they basically did what I am suggesting you do anyway. Pre-read the book and complete practice questions. One bonus to taking the course is that you will get instructor feedback and motivation. So if you are planning to be successful then you are planning to read ahead and do a few hundred practice questions. Registering for the course cannot hurt you.

    I hope this is helpful. I will be at the orientation on Tuesday if you wanna talk there.

    -Chris SN
    Last edit by Chribri on Jun 2, '12