At least I thought it was.
Did Excelsior. Took approx 6 months to complete the (now called Concepts 1 -7?) exams. Scheduled the CPNE - counting the CPNE wait - it took another 6 months to complete CPNE and get the rest of the paperwork done - in order to get the degree.
So it CAN be done in a year.
Now, for a little about my background. I came from a really strong degreed paramedic program - university based. So, I had ALL my other college requirements done when I started the EC program. The only thing I had to complete were the nursing portions.
I DID NOT prep for the exams by using a publishing house. (Too much $$$ for limited benefit - IMHO) I used the EC published outlines and a general nursing text. I followed the exam content in the outline and used the chapter/section summaries in the nursing text. I did not obsess. Other than chapters on the endocrine system and patient safety I didn't read entire chapters. I had a strong clinical background.
In my experience, most of the medics that have struggled with the EC program get "stuck" in the details. It can appears to be overwhelming and due to the nature of it - you are isolated. Support can be difficult to find. Bottom line. It is a test. Only 150 questions of Multiple Choice. Keep focused on THAT. Do you really think its going to be the obscure or the main principles? Perspective is EVERYTHING.
Now the CPNE. I did a Chancellors review in Fishers IN 3 weeks before my CPNE. I also did an EC sponsored workshop the week before - I went, passed in straight assessments (skills lab and PCE's) and I was done. I did NOT mention that I was a paramedic to ANYONE!
Now, I have known some medics to go to residence programs. Most that I know have encountered varying degrees of difficulty, boredom and frustration. NEVER mention that you are a paramedic. You may be "held to a higher standard" or you may be targeted (don't thump me - you know it happens!). KEY: Cooperate to Graduate!
Anyway, don't get stuck before you get stuck!
PM if you have questions, I'd be glad to help if I can!