I think you are going to like Excelsior--everything at your own pace. Imagine "going to school" in your PJ's! Taking your tests when you
are ready to! Being able to miss a week to do whatever, and not get so much as a dirty look! I was scared to take my first exam (shell shock from traditional nursing school
mixed with "what if I fail? That's $155!"--puhleeze!), so I diddled around from August to December. Then I started working on the first exam, found a study buddy (from a post I placed on EC's bulletin board), and took the plunge. That was the end of January, and I finished my last exam the end of April.
So I'm finishing up at Excelsior--I don't have my LVN (wish I had gone that route, but oh, well), but my study buddy does. The only difference between us is that she didn't have to take one of the exams because having her LVN counted for that one. (Saved her $155 and some time....)
There are actually no clinicals. You can't get into Excelsior unless you already
have your clinicals and skills training done, because you can't do that online. You have your LVN, I had "more than 50%" of my clinicals done, and that counts.
At the end, you will take a biggie clinical exam called the CPNE--"Clinical Performance in Nursing Examination." It lasts 2-1/2 days, but it is nothing more than what you are doing now! You know about not violating the sterile field, doubling checking patient ID before giving meds, how to calculate drop rates for IV's, etc. You'll do fine.
I got anxious and bought a study guide set. I don't regret it one bit, because I really needed the security of a set of somebody else's notes (with tapes of a guy reading them, no less!) to trust myself to take that first exam. And I did use them for review.
But EC provides study guides (you can even download them for free off their site) that includes a detailed outline--if you use that and fill in the detail as you read/study, you'll have it all, and for free! EC gives you a book list, and page and chapter assignments for reading. If you read what they say (and pay attention), you will have everything you need, not just to pass, but to know your stuff!
Also there are some pretty good Yahoo groups that have notes that other students have taken and posted for the various exams (there are 7, but you will do 6). I used those heavily. The other thing I did that I enthusiastically share with others is, I googled every disease, every drug, every symptom that I didn't already know inside and out. I learned so much! I also cut and pasted off those google articles and made my own note files.
And I got all A's.
This is so much more than you asked for--I'm sorry to go on and on. I'm just so enthused about my own experience, I'm worse than a happy bride wanting everybody else to be in love too.
Good luck, keep in touch!