A commonly asked question recent graduates ask is, “Which NP certification exam should I take?”
Today we’re going to help you answer that question! Continue reading to learn more about each certification, and how we can assist you in passing your exam with flying colors.
A Little Background
There are currently two certifying organizations: AANP and ANCC.
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP-BC)
- Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP-BC)
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC)
- Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PPCNP-BC)
- Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHPNP)
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) was founded in 1985 and the AANP exam certifies for:
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP)
- Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP)
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C)
So as you guessed, depending on what you’re studying - you might already have an idea of which exam you’re going to sit for because it’s corresponding to your specialty.
The ANCC has been around longer which is why some might argue this exam holds more weight. However, this isn’t true. The AANP and ANCC are both widely accepted and most employers do not seek one over the other unless specified in the job description. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference!
Upon passing either exam, you will need to renew your certification every five years. Both exams have different requirements on how to go about renewal, as you’ll need a specific amount of CEUs and clinical practice hours. So whether you are working or volunteering, this means make sure you’re keeping track of your hours!
**TIP - Here at LWES, you can obtain CEUs for completing various courses. We’re accredited through the California Board of Nursing and their CEUs are acceptable in all 50 states.
So Here's The Testing Blueprint!
This exam includes 150 multiple choice, clinical based questions. Your score is based solely on the 135 scored questions. Of the 150 questions, 15 are pretest questions and you’ll have three hours to finish.
Each question is weighted differently so there is no absolute way of saying, you can only miss X number of questions. Remember, the safety of your patient is always paramount when answering your questions.
If you’re interested in pass rates for those taking the AANP, check out the 2020 statistics.
The ANCC is not as straightforward as the AANP, as it consists of 80% clinical based questions, and 20% of Professional Role information (non-clinical). This exam also includes multiple choice questions: select one option from many, multiple answer questions: select all the options that apply, and drag-and-drop questions.
Throughout the questions, you’ll find pictures for you to interpret like EKG strips, pictures of physical symptoms, etc. (**Our Practice Question Test Bank includes pictures for this exact reason!**)
Example question from our Practice Question Test Bank
The test is set up in the following format: Test Content Blueprint
The non-clinical section can include topics like research, ethics, scope of practice, regulatory guidelines, nursing theory, and legal parameters, insurance, etc. This certification is preferred by those in management or teaching roles.
Okay, I Know Which Exam I’m Taking - What Next?
So you’ve determined which exam you’re going to take, awesome! Next on the list is preparation. Based on our research, nurses take about 4 to 6 weeks to prepare for their NP Board Exam. You can go system by system, review topics that you may feel weak in or work alongside the review course of your choice. Our courses here at LWES are subscription based, so you can take all the time you need to go through the material.
The important thing to take note of is whether you participate in our review courses or a review provided by a different tutor, these are REVIEWS.
Any review course will simply be enhancing the information you previously learned in school and any studying you did independently. We are giving you the tools on how to successfully take this exam, not giving you the answers.
**TIP - Any review course promoting a Pass Guarantee is false advertisement. We cannot take the test for you, what works for one student may not work for another, and being honest, these exams are not easy. Do your due diligence in deciding which review course to take, and don’t let a Pass Guarantee sway your opinion. Please also realize that these exams are different from your university coursework. A 3.8 GPA does not translate into an automatic passing score on the boards. This is an application test that tests your knowledge very differently than your university exams.
Picking A Course
Here at LWES we offer courses to help you prepare for the AANP, ANCC and AGNP certification exams. But here’s the catch - clinical information is the same across the boards, so if you need clinical review - that is available in our Bronze Max Bundle.
This course includes System PowerPoints with over 400 slides and lectures, as well as the Bronze Clinical Crash Course, and 45 CEUs that can be utilized to retest, renew your certification, etc.
Take a look at the chart below to further pinpoint which LWES product is right for you!
When you’re ready, take the quiz below to determine which exam you should take. Once you find out your results, click here to learn more information about each product.
Help is always available if you have any questions! Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll figure this out together.
Yours in service,