This is a story about how I got accepted to a big name online for-profit:
A phone number kept calling me incessantly for weeks... I finally answered, prepared for my usual, "I'm on the no-call list so please remove me from your call list." It was a rep from some school I hadn't heard of, but apparently I'd filled out some webform.
Had I? OK... "are you good to go in my state? Well, I'm not interested but... OK I'll look at your application." I'd filled out the whole application in about 10 minutes while on the phone with the rep with 6 questions:
"Where do I submit my references information?"
"Where do I submit my CV?"
"What are the application essay guidelines?"
"What is the interview like?"
"Is there an application fee?"
The answers were: "we don't need references, no CV, only transcripts for your BSN (not the other 5 schools), no essay, no interview, no fees."
I almost asked if they were a real school or if this was some kind of joke, but I played along because I was thoroughly amused. I sent one transcript, worth $5 for my amusement. Then I hit the internet to learn about this school.
I learned the school is a for-profit. Oh..... now it makes sense! I learned Walden doesn't have a physical campus, only office buildings that house the servers, executives, and recruiters (aka admissions advisors). Perusing threads on this forum only darkened the reputation. Yet, they are accredited by HLC and CCNE.
36 hours later I received my acceptance email. I declined. The admissions advisor started leaving me voicemails implying I must have clicked on the wrong button... I could still change my mind. I wrote him an email politely informing him I'd declined. He left me another voicemail that was distinctly aggravated.
I'm not opposed to the idea of online programs, but there have to be standards because a profession is perceived and regulated by its lowest common denominator. This selection process for lowest common denominator in NP education is a joke. No entry standards lets in good students too, but don't filter the subpar. It implies the standards once in the program won't be high either. The bar for admission should be higher than a RN license, a pulse, and the ability to sign off on student loans.