Hi everyone and good luck as you go through the interview process. I happened across this thread (even though I should be studying!) and saw some questions about the program addressed to current students, so I thought I would answer.
I am in Cohort 5, so I am in my second semester of the program. I am really happy with the program overall and am happy that I decided on the MEPN program. It is not a perfect program and we, as students, definitely have a list of things we would change if we could. But overall I am so happy to finally be in nursing school, and I am really happy with the quality of my peers; the good definitely outweighs the bad.
Here are some suggestions/comments that you may find helpful:
Be patient with the process. Nothing in this program happens in a very timely manner, so the sooner you accept that fact, the better. It can be VERY frustrating, but that is just the way it is. Stressing over it or complaining about it doesn't change it, so you just have to try and accept it and move on. (We literally didn't find out about our classes and clinical sites until a week or so before we started last August.) However, I have heard similar complaints from students in other nursing programs, so I don't think CSUDH is too unusual in this regard.
On working: There are people in the program who are working, though not necessarily full time. It is possible if you are someone with really good study habits and don't mind having very little personal time, but it will create a great deal of stress and you will probably feel like you are always playing catch-up. Also, if you are working, you will need to manage your work schedule around your school schedule and not the other way around. They will not accept "I have to work" as an excuse to change classes or rotations. So your work schedule would have to be VERY flexible.
If you are trying to decide between a community college AA program and this program, know that you will probably receive better clinical training in the AA program. We do have a lot of classes that are required of master's level education (policy, ethics, research) and honestly, they detract from the clinical skills we are trying to master. You just have to decide what is more important to you, based on what you will likely want to do after you graduate.
If you are accepted and find yourself sitting around bored in the summer, spend some time trying to memorize basic lab values (electrolytes, etc.) and understanding acid-base balance. Having these under your belt will help you down the road.