Excelsior Questions


Hi, I have a few questions about Excelsior.

I have taken all of my pre-requisite courses such as English comp 1 and 2, a and p 1 and 2, sociology, psychology, and dev. psych. I will explain my plan. I will start my clinicals for SRMC in August this year. However, I only plan to do the first 50% of the program because my husband and I will be moving to our home becausew by then it will be built. When we move, I will not be able to attend school because I have a young son and can not put him in daycare. So that is when I plan to transfer to the excelsior ADN program, since I know you have to already have 50% of a clinical program completed. If we were not moving then I would just complete the nursing program at the school that I will be attending but since that is not an option I will transfer to excelsiors program.

First I wanted to ask, how long does the ADN program take to complete? What is the shortest length of time anyone has done it?

Also, Anyone live in PA that is an excelsior grad? Has everything been okay with you finding a job?

Also, How much money has this program cost you?

I really appreciate all the information that you can give me! Thanks!!!


38,333 Posts

People used to be able to complete the entire program in 7 to 9 months, but that was before the wait time for the CPNE lengthened out to 7 to 9 months or longer. Now it is about a year. You can find the costs and most questions answered by going over the EC website: http://www.excelsior.edu. Suggest you print out a copy of the nursing school catalog and the study guide for the first and second tests. You can take the first test without being enrolled. You should have your transcripts sent to the college and get an unofficial evaluation before you get started. You might be given credit for your nursing courses, but don't expect it. Have you considered inquiring about using your nursing school credits to take the LPN exam? Find out from your Board and your school if you can do this. If so, you can be exempt from the second EC nursing exam and you can work as an LPN while you complete the program. Rarely does anyone have any problem with getting work with an EC degree. Employers want people with RN licenses and are not picky about the education. Good luck.

Jo Dirt

3,270 Posts

Has 9 years experience.

It is a BAD MOVE to start an on-campus nursing program with the intent to only complete 50%. Excelsior is not the quick and easy way to become an RN, and it is anything but convenient. I graduated from Excelsior College in 2006, and if I could go back and find a way I would have gone to an on-campus school. People think of a self study program and think of the benefits but the tough points outweigh any benefits.


89 Posts

Has 16 years experience.

That sounds like a good plan. If you are self-motivated then you'll do well. I went to Excelsior part-time (studying when I felt like it) for about 2 1/2 years before finishing, and paid as I went. I graduated in July 2007, and passed my boards several months later on the first attempt. Since I worked full-time the whole time, it wasn't much of a financial strain. Except for the CPNE of course!! It's hard paying that $2000 or whatever it is now, but has to be done if you want to finish. I am licensed in Maryland (though they have restrictions now) and had an acquaintance who was licensed in WV shortly thereafter. I haven't heard of any restrictions in PA though you'd have to check with the board to make sure. I recommend Excelsior highly, and admire their program a lot. It's the only one of its kind anywhere!! Good luck!!!


1 Article; 6,683 Posts

Has 17 years experience.

I moved your thread to the Distance Learning Forum so that you continue to get advice and opinions on your situation. Good luck to you!

Editorial Team / Moderator

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,748 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.

https://allnurses.com/distance-learning-nursing/please-read-before-322538.html -- this is a good place to start!

You can calculate your costs only after you know what will and will not transfer to EC when you apply. I suggest you go here:


Download the PDFs called "School of Nursing Catalog," "School of Nursing Viewbook," and "How much will your Excelsior College Associate Degree in Nursing cost?" Be sure to read all three carefully. You should be able to estimate your costs using the third publication listed.

The time it takes to finish the program depends on you. Some have done it in less than a year, and others take a few years to finish. Some people start, then NEVER finish -- you really do need to be extremely motivated. The wait for the CPNE (the Clinical Performance in Nursing Exam) is currently given as being 7 to 9 months, depending on where you go to test. Some people accept cancellation dates and go sooner. Not all students pass on the first attempt, either. Students get three attempts to pass the CPNE before being dismissed from the program.

Also, please be aware that some states do not recognize the EC ADN, or have additional requirements EC RNs have to meet before endorsing into certain states. Many states are fine with EC grads who have a year or two of experience under their proverbial belts, but there are some states where many of us can never work, and you should be aware of that before starting. There is a pretty good list of issues and additional state requirements here:


Good luck!


3,778 Posts

Specializes in Trauma,ER,CCU/OHU/Nsg Ed/Nsg Research. Has 15 years experience.

Threads merged for continuity.


19 Posts

Thanks everyone for your advice! Someone mentioned that I could transfer my courses and work as an LPN while going to ecelsior? Right now I just took my pre-reqs, does that qualify me for the lpn thing? Or you mean after I do 50% of my clinicals, then I can be an LPN before I graduate the RN at excelsior?


117 Posts

You have to be licensed in order to practice as an LPN. Although some states allow you to take the NCLEX-PN with 50% RN program, in PA you have to graduate from a PN program to be eligible for the exam.


32 Posts

Hi everyone....

I have been researching Excelsior and the publishing companies extensively for the past 2-3 weeks. And I'm still learning...

I'm a LPN working in the rehab unit of a LTC for the past two years. One of my coworkers is attempting to get her RN via College Network and I'm sorry to say she is being totally ripped off. It seemed like a good thing to me too, at first. But when I started to dig a little deeper I determined that I would not touch College Network with a 10 foot pole!!

The worst is that they require that you finance the whole deal upfront. So if you don't finish for one reason or another, you are still responsible for the entire loan--in her case about 18 grand.

I then began to research istudysmart.com and was very impressed with the fact that it is a pay-as-you-go deal. The study materials for each course with The College Network cost $495 each. istudysmart charges $189-$219 per course. No loans, no contract. I did their free course evaluation to see which of my past courses would be accepted, and they told me all I needed was Microbiology and the 7 nursing courses! That seemed to good to be true, so I called Excelsior directly. Remember, that is the ACTUAL ACCREDITED SCHOOL which will be conferring your degree. I spoke with a very helpful, friendly Admission Counselor, Peter Barnett, for nearly 30 minutes. After going over all my past college credits, he agreed that all I need is Microbiology. He also told me that istudysmart has voluntarily agreed to follow Excelsior College's standards for study materials. He could have said, "Oh, that company is a rip-off--enroll with us and pay $300 per credit hour" but he didn't. He allowed that many students have successfully completed their RN using istudysmart's materials.

I then called my (Indiana) State Board of Nursing, and was assured that Excelsior is fully accredited by the National League for Nursing, and that after graduating I will be able to take the NCLEX without any additional clinical hours beyond the CPNE.

Also, istudysmart.com tells you exactly which textbooks you need to go along with their study materials, right down to the ISBN, and doesn't require that you purchase the books from them. You can go online and buy them cheaper, just as you did when you got your LPN. Plus, College Network doesn't tell you that Excelsior College charges a $440 annual student services fee after you enroll. istudysmart.com doesn't hide this information.

The only beef I have with them is that their list of required general ed courses can be misleading. I need far fewer general ed courses than their lists led me to believe (for example, it looks like General Biology is a requirement; it is not. And you don't need 6 credit hours of English Comp, only 3. In fact, there are several other courses that will fulfill Excelsior's 3-credit hour writing requirement besides English Comp I). Excelior itself is the best resourse for determining which gen ed courses you need. So contact them before purchasing any general ed course materials from istudysmart.com. I never would have guessed that Excelsior would accept my Elementary Spanish I and Intro to Logic to fulfill the Humanities requirement, but they will!! They are also going to accept my Human Development course in place of their Life Span course, plus my Intro to Sociology. So I have already fulfilled the writing, Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences requirements, except for Microbiology. It was so encouraging to actually talk to someone from Excelsior, and have him tell me that I'm in a really good place to start. Had I not talked to him, I may have ended up taking course I didn't need.

So do your research, but I feel confident in recommending istudysmart.com. But again, CALL EXCELSIOR..............



137 Posts

I'm a recent LPN grad and just looked up Excelsior. I am displeased that they seem to be increasing their tuition rates. For what they are charging now, I should practically just go to a brick and mortar school and stick out a 12 month evening program.

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