Merritt College Fall 2012 - page 7

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

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    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:

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    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.
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    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).
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    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!!!
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    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
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    Hey guys!!!

    I got accepted into fall 2012 too! I have heard a lot of bad things about Merritt, but honestly it does not put me down at all. I am so excited to start Nursing. I live in Sunnyvale, and will have to commute every day back and forth.... a whole hour!! I love my sleep, but will have to give it up.
    Chris, thank you so much for your tips, I am sure it will help us first timers. We hope to meet you around the college, as I am assuming most of us are newbies in Merritt.
    I have a very important question: Do you guys have any idea if we have to take "Nursing to Success" 250 ? I have planned a trip back home in Spain in summer. ( I planned it so I have plenty of time before fall session starts, but I saw this class on the ADN handbook and got dead nervous!) Chris, did you take it?

    Where abouts is everyone from??
    Btw... I am Jayshree, I have been in US for over 2 years now, I am Indian but I was brought up in Spain.
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    The summer course is optional. But if you don't take it you should grab the textbook and study during the summer. I know studying on vacation does not sound like fun but you will learn that you don't really get breaks in this program (or any nursing program) you only get opportunities to read ahead.
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    Hey Chris, thank you.
    Its a great relief to know it is optional. Dont get me wrong, I do want to take the summer class, but its the first time I am going back to my home and it would be painful to cancel the tickets. If it was mandatory I would have skipped it (with a lot of pain!)

    So you recommend to study the Fundamentals book? What about Law and Ethics and DDC?
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    You should read my first post on this thread it covers preparation for the summer including chapters to read.
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    I completely missed the first page! Thanks Chris, it is very nice of you to help us out.. I truly appreciate it, specially with so many negative comments...

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