There are many threads on this subject in the distance learning forum. You mention The College Network: no, no, no, no, no. You do not need a $5000 contract to get a nursing degree from Excelsior College or ISU. Go through the school directly. If you want study guides from this publishing company, buy them on ebay for $15 to $30 apiece. You will probably agree that they are not worth the money at any price. Best way to do it is to go through a traditional program locally. Excelsior College is a good Plan B, but you have to realize that not all people can pass the grueling clinical exam at the end. If that were the case, you would have wasted time, money, and aggravation. Indiana State University, if in your area, makes the individual find their own preceptor and clinical site. If you start the program, then can't get a preceptor or clinical site, you are out in the cold. Only problem with comparing distance programs to local, traditional programs is that you will have a wait time to get into traditional programs, or they may not admit you at all. You should investigate all options before you make a decision.