Passed the ANCC FNP exam on the first try!
On Sept 30th, 2013, I passed my Family Nurse Practitioner board certification exam. I have God to thank for it since I know I would not have been able to accomplish this without him. God knew that I was studying diligently and that I was sooo nervous about the test. Even though I had taken multiple practice tests and passed the majority of them, I was still not so convinced that I was ready.
But you really do have to believe that you can do something, do the best you can, and then put all of your faith into it. Positive thinking does have its wonderful benefits!
Along with the aforementioned, below is my recipe for full preparation for the ANCC FNP exam.
Make sure you devote at least 6-8wks for studying. Some do it in just 4 wks, but I always like to have a little extra time.
1. FamilyNPprep.com – I bought a test bundle of 15 exams, all 100 questions each that were on a variety of topics such as theory, politics, reimbursement, malpractice, ethics, diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. You can get 10% off the tests by entering SAVE-SLLT in the coupon code section. Do pay attention to the non-clinical questions, since they do comprise a large percentage of the exam. I took all 15 tests, read through the rationales for all the questions (not just the ones I got wrong) and wrote down things in a notebook that I needed to remember and look up later. I tried to also reread everything I wrote in the notebook.
2. Leik’s NP Cert: Intensive Review – I read through this whole book once, then reread the Cardiology, Derm, Pulmonary, Obstetrics, Peds, and GI sections over again. Make sure to read through the question dissection analysis chapter which gives helpful hints on how to approach questions. There are questions in the back, but no rationales. I only used this book since it was a fast, comprehensive, intense review that highlights key points for the exam.
3. Barkley’s Live Review Course, Barkley’s Review Manual, and accompanying CDs – I took the course, listened to the CDs in the car while traveling to work and clinicals, reread through the manual along with the CDs, jot down notes in the manual, highlighted, drew circles around key points to remember, etc. my book was a highlighter piece of madness by the end of it all. I can’t say it didn’t help though!
4. Kellermann’s Family Nurse Practitioner Necessary 1000 Practice Questions – I meant to do all 1000, but only got around to doing 500 of them. They were in random order but they are categorized at the back of the book, complete with answers & rationales. I didn’t waste my time buying books without rationales.
5. Purchased the ANCC FNP practice questions & the Test-Taking strategies course – I did all the practice questions (including the 22 free ones they put on their website) and took the online test taking strategies course. I think the test- taking strategies really helped me to assess my weak areas in test taking and figuring out how to best approach each question. This was really helpful!!
6. Print out the ANCC FNP Content Blueprint of the exam which highlights the areas of concentration. It is now 200 questions long, and you get 4 hours to take it. Only 175 of the questions are used to calculate your score, while the other 25 are used to determine how well the questions will perform on future tests. They do not tell you which questions they are though. So do your best on every question!
***Lastly, go back to your old theory books and review some of the major grand theorists cause there’s always a chance they may give you one of those questions. Know what governing body oversees what NPs can or can’t do in each state. Also know the differences between Medicare Part A, B, and C, reimbursement, SCHIP, Medicaid, HMO, PPO, and malpractice insurances. Health screenings and what are the major killers. When to report to the CDC and what not to report to the police. JNC 7, developmental stages, GOLD Asthma Guidelines, Normal Lipid Panel, know your antibiotics & bacterias, sensitivity/specificity, contraception, and all the Named Signs (McMurphy’s, Kernig’s, psoas sign, etc)
Hope this advice helps! Don’t forget to pray whenever you feel tired, anxious, or frustrated. It helped me tremendously!
“Do your best, and let God do the rest.” – unknown