I am in 2nd semester at SDSU and both my experiences within the program as well as what I have been told by others that the program is excellent. Its the biggest one in the state (accepts 90 students for each Fall and Spring), it also has the best scores on the CA NCLEX. There is a brand new president, Dr Catherine Todero (a PhD in Nursing, very cool!) who is bringing in some new ideas, getting the program into even better shape, and critically looking at the program to see where it could be improved. (i.e. in the administrative office. They run a tight ship there...so tight i think its causing anoxia...i would advise that anything you submit, you have copies and you have the receptionist sign off on the copy that it was submitted.) Also the SON does not communicate whatsoever with SDSU in general, you are the one responsible for that should you apply.
The clinical instructors that I have worked with have all been excellent. They encourage questions, are patient, and know that they are there to facillitate learning to make us incredible nurses. My 1st semester Clinical instructor is completely my hero, when I grow up I want to be just like her!
From what I am hearing from other students further up the line that this isnt always the case, but so far I have been lucky.
One thing i REALLY like about the program is that theyre definitely evidence based, and they monitor the curriculum very closely for what works best. For instance, in 1st semester, in Assessment, what they used to do is teach you how to do assessments, but there would be no assessment examination until the end, where students had to perform a head to toe assessment that would usually take about an hour...Everything. However when I got to my assessment class they changed it and so half way through the semester we performed assessments on the critical things we needed to know, heart/lungs/abd/skin etc, and then at the end of the semester we were examined on the less urgent systems - eyes/ears/muscluloskeletal etc. This did 2 things...made the end of the semester incredibly less stressfull, as well as making sure we knew how to listen for lung sounds before we went into the hospital. We were doing patient care within 2 months of starting, and knowing I had that knowlege reduced the anxiety. I have a buddy who is one semester ahead of me, and she said that she would much rather have had it the way it was for my group.
One thing is that the student body is incredibly young, the mean age for my class starting out was 21. This is a second career for me, and im older so I have the benefit of that life experience under my belt that a lot of these kids dont. Its not a problem per se, but it can be a challenge sometimes, especially with group projects. Theyre not so far out of highschool where if you show up you get a C. Not so much the case for Nursing school. Its a competitive program, so I know that if they got in, they arent slackers...its just a different culture than lower division courses.
Wordy I know! Hopefully it helps!