Nationalisation become inevitable after the one potential bidder after another was rejected.
When the crisis arose, there were a number of alternatives
1 Let the bank go bust.
2 Let a high street bank like Lloyds TSB take over the bank, who were initially interested.
Probably the worst aspect of the crisis was the Chancellor being indecisive for so long & seemingly hoping the problem would go away, the delays have severely damaged the Northern Rock brand.
There is one glimmer of hope, the man put in charge Ron Sandler has a good record of previously running Lloyds & Nat West.