Um, well first they call them Ivy League schools because of the sports conference they were part of many years ago. It has nothing to do with being prestigious, though all eight schools have become some of the top schools in the world. And many people don't spend 40K a year to attend unless they have it - I went on full scholarship
, as Ivy League schools try to ensure no one is burdened by debt to attend. Furthermore, there are MANY schools you can compare to Ivy League schools. Stanford, MIT, Duke, etc. - they can easily be compared to Ivy League schools, so to say no school should be compared to an Ivy League is also false.
As for Walden - I do feel as though it may hurt graduates, as would any online, for-profit university. I understand the content may be the same, and I truly believe Walden students if they say their program is tough and they feel they are receiving a great education. The problem, however, is that we live in a world of perception. Almost anyone would choose Gucci over K-Mart - even if they were the exact same article of clothing. I once saw an episode of a Penn and Teller show where they charged outrageous amount of money for "special bottled water" that they filled using a garden hose. People thought it was the most amazing water they'd ever had. It's all perception! When an employer has two candidates, one from Columbia and one from Walden, the Walden grad will start out way behind the eight ball. People recognize that top schools have higher standards (vs 98% acceptance rate) and that the students who graduate from there have proven themselves. That is not to say, of course, that NPs who have graduated from online for-profit schools don't find a job eventually, but it is severely limiting. A Walden grad might find a job somewhere where there is a desperate need for NPs and few applicants, but that degree will not help in attaining a very competitive job in a good specialty where 8 or 9 other NPs apply.
Passing the watered down NP licensing exam (which many people say they could have passed as an RN) does not mean two people are equal, so please don't expect that to be the determining factor.