Samuel Merritt University Nursing Success! Seminar

  1. Hi everyone! I'm currently a first year ELMSN-FNP student at Samuel Merritt University at their Sacramento campus. I absolutely love this website and forum. I found great support and advice when working through my pre-nursing prerequisites, applying to nursing school, as well as trying to get through the past two months of nursing school.

    I just wanted to pay it forward and get it out there that if you're interested in applying to Samuel Merritt University's BSN or ABSN programs, they're having their very first "Nursing Success! Seminar" this summer at their main Oakland campus!

    It sounds really amazing; they'll provide you with good advice and tips in applying for their program. Plus it's free, along with free food! Who can say no to that?

    Here's the link for those interested:

    Okay, back to studying! I just got through five exams in the past three days. And now I have two more next week. I tell you: the work never stops! But honestly, I love nursing school! I am so happy and grateful to be here.
  2. Visit elegant.lil.lady profile page

    About elegant.lil.lady

    Joined: May '12; Posts: 44; Likes: 22
    from US


  3. by   lilfoot293
    I just submitted my letter of intent & paid my deposit for the ELMSN-FNP for this coming Fall 2013 at the Oakland campus. How're you surviving? How was the first semester? I'm planning on quitting my full time job, but keeping my on call jobs. Do you live close to campus? Sorry for the millions of questions lol. I'm just trying to prepare for this 3 year challenge ahead of me :-)
  4. by   elegant.lil.lady
    Congratulations! You should be so proud of yourself. That's a really great accomplishment to get into the SMU program, especially the FNP track. I know the FNP track is really competitive.

    I'm 2.5 months into the program and it's pretty busy. I'm taking 5 classes right now: Integration of Pathophysiology/Pharmacology, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Health Assessment, Nursing Skills I, and Transition to the Professional Role of Nursing. We just had 5 exams last week, and 2 more this week. Plus a paper due this week. And then I also have to proof my care plan for my clinical shift on Saturday. It's hectic. But I'm coping pretty well. Just need to take it one day at a time and study a little everyday. Everyone says the first semester is the hardest, which I can see why. It's not necessarily the material that makes it difficult, because I've heard that Med/Surg later on is the real tough one. But it's the transition and adjustment that's difficult. Especially taking the nursing exams, all those NCLEX-RN style questions. It's honestly a whole different beast lol.

    Sorry, not trying to intimidate you. You'll do great. You wouldn't have been accepted if the directors didn't think you were capable of succeeding and passing NCLEX. My advice would be to really enjoy your last few months of freedom. Because honestly, you won't have much time for everything else once school starts. I also quit my job the month before school started. A few classmates work part time, and I honestly have no idea how they do it. I couldn't, unless I wanted my grades to suffer. And I worked my freaking butt off to get into this program, I don't want to take it for granted and fail a class.

    I'm actually from the Bay Area but moved to Sacramento for school. So hello fellow neighbor! (I originally applied to Oakland but got waitlisted. Long story, but in a nutshell, I ended up re-applying to Sac and got in. So serious kudos to you for getting into Oakland!) I live like 4 blocks from campus. It's all about how close you want to live to school. Some classmates live about 30 minutes away from school. One girl lives in Fairfield and commutes almost an hour each way. It's up to you whether you want to live close to campus. (Just be cautious because Oakland has some seedy neighborhoods.) During the first term, you'll probably be on campus 4-5 days a week. But this summer, we'll be on campus only 2 days a week.

    Please feel free to bombard me with more questions! I'm so happy to help! Congrats again!
  5. by   lilfoot293
    Thank you so much for the encouragement! I don't really think I can mentally prepare for what's ahead lol! I just have to take it one day at a time! I am really proud of myself for getting into the Oakland campus and on my first attempt at applying to SMU. I heard there were 230 applicants so I am super excited and still can't believe it's real. I need to keep pinching myself lol!

    I think I'm moreso worried about the expenses and having to survive without a full time job. I've been working since I was 15 so the thought of not having income on the regular is frightening. If it isn't too personal of a question to ask, does the financial aid you get each semester take care of your needs? I submitted my FAFSA already & it said my EFC was a little over $9,000, but I don't see where I'm going to get $9,000 from if I do have to come up with some money myself. I worked too hard to get here to have to give it up you know? I think that's my biggest worry. I know I can handle the workload after adjusting to the schedule. I'm worried about the money lol!!

    So you have clinicals on the weekends also? I heard that the acute care was the hardest rotation. I haven't heard too much about MedSurg, but I guess all will reveal itself in a few short months!

    I'm thinkin of taking one last ditch vacation in July and that'll be it until I graduate lol!
  6. by   elegant.lil.lady
    Definitely go on that vacation! Take as much time to relax, hang out with friends, travel, and do whatever you want before school starts. That's what I was advised, and I definitely pass that on to you.

    You might have weekend clinicals. It really depends on what days that the clinical coordinator can wheedle out of the clinical facilities and hospitals for that term. This term, we all have a one-day clinical shift either on Monday, Thursday, or Saturday. But this summer, we'll have two-day clinical shifts on Tues and Wed. I get my weekends back, yay! So it really varies. That's why I wouldn't recommend working. You need to be flexible. (The school does let you to rank which day of the week and which time (AM or PM) you'd prefer, but that doesn't guarantee you'll get that selection.)

    For financial aid, I got a student loan to cover the entire tuition, plus a little extra for books and other expenses. I think everyone is on student loans from FAFSA/the government. And you don't have to start paying back the loans until after you graduate. You can always contact the financial aid department and ask about scholarship opportunities. But you have to write essays and stuff for most of those, and honestly to me, working hard for a $500 prize here and a $1,000 prize there (and not to mention that the chances of winning a scholarship are pretty slim) isn't really worth it to me. I'd rather spend that extra time studying. But it's really up to you.

    But definitely relax and enjoy the time you have now. Because you won't have a lot of free time when school starts. But don't worry about all the stress and worries about being jobless for a few years. Just keep in mind that this is a long-term investment. A few years of sacrifices and hard work will set you up for life as a nurse. You won't regret it!
  7. by   lilfoot293
    I'm definitely taking any and all financial aid thrown my way. I am of a similar mind that I really don't want to write a whole bunch of essays for minimal money, but I will wait and see what my award letter says. How long after you sent in your letter of intent and paid your deposit did they send you your award letter and packet? I'm just curious as to when I should begin checking the mail. I paid my deposit on Friday the 8th so I'm expecting it possibly beginning to mid April maybe??

    I know this is a long term invest and plan to think just like you suggested :-) I know it'll pay off in the long run. I just have to believe that God will provide all of my needs and I know that he will. It's just the fear of the unknown I guess.

    When you say a little extra for living expenses, what do you mean? Like, enough for rent, food, utilities, gas etc? If you'd rather not put this info out there in cyber space I can PM you or vice versa.

    How are clinical rotations? What do you actually do? Do you just observe a nurse in your clinical groups or do you actually get to interact with patients and start IV's and draw blood etc? I still can't believe I got in lol...I'm so glad I found you on this forum and that you're early on in this journey. You're a tremendous help!

    During my interview the program heads (the panel) mentioned that we may be able to get the DNP degree also? Is that something that interests you now that you're in the program and see the workload? I want to get my DNP, but I'll see how I'm surviving 2 years from now lol

    Thank you so much for answering my questions. You've been so helpful and have also helped to alleviate some of my worries :-)
  8. by   elegant.lil.lady
    Totally, feel free to PM me! We can talk more!
  9. by   kp32
    Hi Elegant..I realize that this post is a bit old. However, if you see this, I would be grateful if you would be willing to field some of my questions. I have not yet achieved the ability to PM people on allnurses, so if you could PM me it would be greatly appreciated Thanks in advance!
  10. by   ALXiong
    Just feel free to leave your questions here. I am in the same program as well. I am happy to answer If I have answer.
  11. by   elegant.lil.lady
    kp32, check your PMs!

    Hi ALXiong! It's me Nicole!
  12. by   kp32
    Hey elegant...I saw your PM, but can't respond because I haven't done 15 posts yet! Grrr...;-)
    email me at

    In the meantime..I would be grateful to get some opinions from people who have been through the SMU process. Firstly, if I have a stats class that's really old, how much do you think it really matters. Admissions says it doesn't matter, but I would hate to have that be the one thing. None of my other core classes are old. Could I make note of taking a refresher if I decide to? Or are there statistics classes offered mostly online in the Bay Area?

    The only two classes I have not taken is patho and pharmacology, and I know that it's "preferred" that I take them beforehand. A load of that with stats would be too much, with what I have going on, so I am trying to get some advice to make the best of my time this summer. I am applying for Summer 2014.

    Lastly, I am looking to volunteer my time somewhere..I am really interested in Women and Children's health, labor and delivery etc. I have looked into working at clinics, but they seem more impacted with smaller staffs and fewer depts where they can put me. My heart belongs to Oakland, and Berkeley but I'm open to helping out on the Orinda side of the tunnel or SF. Thanks!
  13. by   kp32
    Oh yes, and I'm also seriously considering the ELMSN, FNP track. Thank you!
  14. by   ALXiong
    Hi, Nicole. HEHE I know we are having class now, but I just could not listen to the lecture! I sit all the way in the back of the classroom.
    Hi kp32. So glad that you are looking into FNP! It really depends on what class "old" in your pre-req. I know that only Anatomy, Physiology and Microbiology have 5 years limit. Anything else on pre-req has no time limit. You may want to re-take to some to refresh your memory, but they do not care how old the course is as long as you meet the requirements. Pharmacology and Pathophysiology are only required for ABSN programs at SMU. ELMSN has its own version of patho and pharm in the program. They do not take any patho and phar course outside of the SMU (not even the ones they offer themselves for non-SMU students). It will be wasted money to take them if you are considering ELMSN programs. Volunteer is definitely a way to strength your application. You can choose whatever you want to do and I do not think they pay attention to any specific kind of volunteer as long as you are being exposed to some that is health care related. Hope this help you in some way.

    Now I need to go back to the lecture because the teacher is throwing in extra stuffs not on her slides.