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Tips for Passing Your Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam

Graduation is around the corner! Many new nurse practitioners are joining the workforce, and if you stumbled upon this post, you’re probably one of them! Congratulations! You entered  a very lucrative, rewarding profession that lets you continue your compassionate care for your patients while practicing more autonomously and with more responsibility. 

In this post, I’d like to share with you tips on how you can pass your AANP Certification.

As a FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner), there are two credentialing bodies that grants certification for nurse practitioners: ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center  and AANP ( American Academy of Nurse Practitioners).  Both of these exams are taken on the computer at a testing center. There are a few differences including: # of questions, question content and style, exam cost and difficulty. 

 There are a lot of factors to consider in picking which exam to take, but I took the AANP Exam because of  the testing style preference. I wanted to be tested on clinical questions instead of ethics/research (which is what is mostly in ANCC exam). I also preferred it to be just all multiple choice questions. 

Resources I used: 

1.  Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Intensive Review, by Maria Codina Leik 

 The content is great – easy to read and comprehensive. It is not as dense as the other review books. What I did is I read one-two chapters at a time. I made sure I understand the concepts. I highlighted sections that are important. I also put sticky notes on the topics that are not my strongest areas to remember or understand. I completed the practice questions and read all the rationales at the back of the book. 

2. Amelie Hollier’s Class, and APEA Practice Question Book  ~ some people preferred Fitzgerald’s class but I really liked Hollier’s because she was funny and it made it so much easier to remember the topics she covered. I took my exam in 2017 and used my old car’s CD player to play her audio CDs. I listened to it every day for at least 1 month straight. 

I did not do any predictor exams. If I scored high on those, I don’t want to be too confident to take the certification exam. If I scored low, I don’t want to be demoralized. if you want to take this predictor exam, do it at least ahead of your exam date so it does not shake your confidence. If you score well, great, continue to study and feel confident taking the exam. 

3. YouTube Videos 

What worked for me:

  • Taking the exam early
  • Condensing my review materials
  • Get a review buddy if you study better with other people.
  • Being confident in myself after I have studied for weeks that I can pass it.
  • Manifest that MSN, FNP-C at the end of your name 

You can and will pass this exam! 

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