Hmm... Well I imagine if people answer, you'll have many different viewpoints. I graduated May 2011 from NU and I just got a job offer for Scripps Memorial Hospital for the PCU (progressive care). I'll start next month.
I actually really liked NU. Good: the classes go quick, some teachers are awesome, you really get to know your classmates, lots of clinical hours, good reputation in the hospital
Bad: classes go quick, some teachers are horrible, no preceptorship, no opportunity to work as a student nurse, expensive
Yes, classes go quick is good and bad. It's good because things move and you don't get bored. It can be bad though because in a semester long class you may find it easier to learn the material better. At NU, sometimes you feel as though you're learning for a test, not for life... does that make sense? But it's up to you what you learn to a certain extent.
Having a preceptorship or possibility for externship would be a benefit because I feel students learn so much from those experiences. But in the end, I knew I would not have an opportunity like that so I got a job as a CNA and that helped me have my foot in the door at Scripps.
Some teachers at NU are amazing!! Really great. But on the other hand, some it's hard to believe they're allowed to teach. But again, classes are only 2 months
No advice about TEAS or essay because things have changed since I got accepted. NU does the ATI... Not very fond of it, the program is okay, but Kaplan would have been better. The ATI is a program that is "included" in NU's program (you actually pay for it with your orientation fee). It's supposed to help you pass NCLEX and I passed NCLEX on the 1st try so I guess it worked. However, for that money, I would've rather just taken Kaplan.
So, overall, I liked NU. I graduated in only 2 years with my BSN from an accredited college and already found a job in my first choice hospital with my first choice specialty. I have said this before, but it bears repeating. NU is not a state school, it's more like a University of Phoenix. This was perfect for me. If you are young, have the time and money to wait, go to a 4 year or wait for Palomar or something. That was simply not the best option for me.