I've been a NP for 8 years and I've owned a very busy practice for 3 years. I precept students from various NP programs. I've had students from brick and mortar schools and online schools. The ones from the "brick and mortar" schools were FAR better prepared than the other ones. One of the online programs even let students take their tests at home (!) before they got into trouble with the Board of Nursing. That school just started having proctored tests last August and 50% of the students failed the first Health Assessment Test. They had a 100% pass rate on their tests before they were proctored. Does that tell you anything?
I've had some good students from online programs, but even they said other students were getting away with murder. I've heard of NP students paying people to verify they did clinicals with them, even though they never set foot into their clinic. I've heard of NPs having other people take their tests or took them in groups. I've been absolutely floored at what some students didn't know - those students attended online programs. I've had physicians refuse to precept NP students attending online programs after working with a few. A physician told me that he had a student do a PAP and after she inserted the speculum, she turned to the medical assistant and asked, "Is that the cervix?" Oh my goodness, the examples I could give you! Don't think that experienced RNs are all "up to snuff" either. I had a couple with 25 years of ICU, Med-Surg, ER, etc experience and they had absolutely no business being in a graduate program. I also precepted a NP from a brick and mortar school and she only had 2 years of psych experience. I almost didn't take her, but she turned out to be the best student I've ever precepted. So, you honestly never know.
Any graduate program that has a 98% acceptance rate is probably a diploma mill, as is any graduate program that doesn't even require the GRE, interviews, time on campus or proctored exams. As far as the number of clinical hours and the board exams - WHAT A JOKE! Go ahead, flame me all you want, but I've precepted over 30 students, so I know what I'm talking about. Furthermore, ask yourself, what would you think about a physician who completed their medical school online?