There was a fellow who went through the UAB NP Program that used to post here, but I cannot (looking back) find who he is. He didn't do the distance option though.
It's a highly rated program and I'll be applying myself (but not for distance) in the next month or three.
I suspect that it's realistic as you'll end up doing clinical with someone in your own area. The book learning can be done anyplace and it really doesn't make any difference where the clinical work is done.
I prefer being there, it's just my style. I thrive on the energy of others with similar interests.