What is it that you heard? Samuel Merritt University nursing graduates are generally well regarded by hospitals and nurses. A large portion of the students hired into my new grad program are from SMU. The school has a very good reputation. It's been around for a hundred years, and graduates more nurses annually than any other school in the state.
The only negative things I ever heard about SMU students/grads were rare statements that they're "prima donnas" or that they "bought their degrees." Keep in mind though that these statements came from students at other schools
, not nurses, and that it's an assumption made based on how high SMU's tuition is.
I guess people have a hard time comprehending the truth that SMU students aren't generally spoiled or rich, and they don't get any kind of special treatment or consideration in return for their tuition (aside from maybe smaller class sizes). The program is just as difficult as any other out there, and it's not going to hurt your chances of finding work. It might help.