There are some hybrid programs that you can do some of it online but from what I know, there are very few of these programs out there. One school in my state recently announced that it will be starting a hybrid program in 2013. Only the lectures would be online though. You would still need to go to the school for proctored exams. Google hybrid RN programs to see if you can find one that suits you. Just be sure to do your research and make sure the school is legit. There are sham schools
out there that know folks are desperate to get into nursing programs
. Do your homework!
And from what I know about these hybrid programs. They pretty much operate like "regular" programs. I see you mention that you want to be able to start now instead of waiting. However from what I know - (and my info on this is limited so there may be other situations I don't know of) the hybrid programs that I have heard of, operate just like any other nursing program. You have to do your pre-reqs, apply for admission, then your start date is usually a semester or 2 away depending on the program. You wouldn't be able to start earlier just because its an online program. But again, my knowledge is limited on this matter, so there may be other situations that I am not familiar with.
Excelsior is for people who already have some experience like LPNs or people who have already completed half of their nursing program.