Well i didn't buy the pocket companion at all, just the actual book which you do need.
My first quarter was not bad but coming from a semester cc, i had some getting used to.
You guys will most likely be affected by the quarter to semester change. I think in the fall of 2015 or 16 theyre changing the whole school over to semester system. I dont know exactly how it'll work, but you guys will be OK.
One of your classmates asked me a few questions. I hope this helps
"I have some broad questions for now:
1) Which class(es) do you think are the most challenging?
2) Which professors do you recommend and don't recommend?
3) How "hard" is it to maintain above a 3.7 GPA by the end of the program?
4) Which hospitals can we choose for clinicals....or is it different for every cohort?
5) Did you work during these years? Do you think it's manageable to work as a CNA or some kind of physically demanding job?"
So let me start off by saying that everyone studies differently and gets different grades. Nursing school can be quite easy or it can be hard, all depending on your individual strengths and discipline in regards to studying.
1) If you were to take a poll for graduating seniors, I think most would say that in their three years, the class I'm taking now is the hardest. ICU. But I have a very good grade right now so again it varies. Before this class, it would have been one of the med surg classes.
2) For professors, I would say the best ones are ----------------------- just because he is a great lecturer and we have him for about 3-4 quarters. Other professors such as ------------, ---------------, -------------------- are also very good. All the teachers are pretty nice and solid in terms of teaching ability, but the only time you get to choose teachers is when you choose clinical sites. Lectures are usually the same for everyone, and at the same time.
3) So I came in with a 3.96, and it's now 3.85. I came from cc so I did not have an +\- in my school, but CSULA does. It can be a good thing if you're at the B+ but bad if you have a 91%\A-. I don't think it's too hard, as all the people they admit are smart.. you just have to stay on top of reading/assignments and learn to prioritize where you should study more or less. You'll find that amongst the smart students they admit there are also levels of smart, if that makes sense. Some get labeled as smart through perseverance and disciplined studying, others just get the material on their first go around, and others get labeled as being not asss smart, due to lack of trying or difficulty in grasping the concept.
4) So we get to choose from a wide variety of hospitals, most of which are awesome! So far I have gotten to go to LA county USC, USC Verdugo Hills, Cedars Sinai, Kaiser Panorama City, Children's Hospital LA, White Memorial, Glendale Memorial, and other hospitals include Huntington, Rancho, other Kaisers and a couple others I can't recall. We really do get some of the BESTTTTTT hospitals to choose from and when you go to the hospitals they really do love CSULA because they know how impacted the program is and how bright the students are. Lets just say that the job market it tough right now but with a BSN degree from CSULA you're a little bit more marketable.
5) Personally I have not worked during school but I have taken on leadership positions in my class and in clubs, which can take up time planning and scheduling fundraisers, or attending community events. There are those in my class who work, and some people even work 40+ hours a week. After the first med surg I think we're allowed to take on student nurse jobs, which the school highly recommends as it helps you get your foot in the door. I know some places such as ucla pay their student workers 20/hour which is probably the highest and they even work with your school schedule. I would not recommend working the first quarter and maybe not the second either, but if you have to I would recommend getting a feel for the classes and then get hours based on what you can handle.
I wish you the best of luck and message me any time!
Hope that helps :)