Wow, lots of questions!! First of all, i'm still pretty green as an RT, i've only been doing it for 3 years and I have several of my certifications, but they weren't doing me any good at the hospital where I work (small community hospital), and since i've always wanted to do nursing, this was a great opportunity. Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of info about it and I (foolishly) went with a publishing company (RueEd, complete waste of time and money) to do my studies. You can go straight with Excelsior, print out their exam content guides, get the books, and as long as you are good at self study you should be set. Since I was a recent grad, I didn't have to worry about Gen Studies except for Lifespan Develop Psych, and Info Lit. As far as the books, if they're the ones Excelsior is currently using, i'd be happy to shake them off, because, since I went with that cruddy RueEd, they used different text books and I had to rebuy my books for the FCCA. I have the Fundamentals of Nursing text, Med-Surg, Repro Health (Maternal Nursing), and Transitions book. As far as what I used to study for the exams I used the RueEd crud, but ended up in the end using the Excelsior exam content guides, and Excelsior practice tests. Was/is it hard, yes and no. When you do the program, you can't think like an RT anymore just an RN, I did good with the Pulmonary/Cardiac stuff obviously, but like the Metabolic/Endocrine had me pulling my hair out. And even with the Pulmonary/Cardiac stuff some of the questions would leave me scratching my head like why would you answer it like that?? It may be a little easier for me considering i'm still new at RT, I don't know how long you've been doing it so it may be harder/easier for you.