Passed AANP and ANCC on First Try: Here's How

  1. I was looking for this kind of info when I was preparing to study, so I am hoping it'll be helpful.

    I initially took the Fitzgerald review course in January 2013 before the start of my final semester. I am happy I did that for 2 reasons: one is that it was a helpful way to tie together the info before the start of last semester. The second reason is that when I finished my program in May, I had all of the info in front of me that I needed to study.

    When I graduated I went on a 2week vacation, then began studying in earnest.

    I studied for a total of 7 weeks (5 days a week, 6 hour days): the first 4 weeks was pure studying of content from the Fitzgerald course, accompanied by Leik for extras not covered in Fitzgerald review course. Then for the last 3 weeks I reviewed content and did practice questions from Hollier's practice question book (1100 questions with rationales), plus online tests from (that provides rationales to questions/answers) as well as the Fitzgerald Certification and Practice Preparation book (this is not the same book as the one that goes along with the Fitzgerald Review Course, and does not contain all of the info contained in the review course book, fyi)

    By the time I took the test (and I took both aanp and ancc, one week apart, and passed both on first try), I felt as prepared as I could feel. I was so tired of studying I was crawling out of my skin.

    There was a woman in my program who studied for 2 weeks only (full-time for fourteen days) right after taking the Fitzgerald review course, and she passed the AANP exam on the first try.

    There was a gentleman in my program who studied for about 3 weeks, not having taken a prep course, only using the Fitzgerald review book ( not the one given out in the course, but the one entitled Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam and Practice Preparation)...he failed both the ANCC and AANP on first try.

    My feeling is this: You've spent alot of time and money getting the degree. Prepare for the test well. Take a course...that way you don't have to figure out what to study. It is being handed to you. AND use other resources ie Leik, Hollier, online practice tests.

    Hope all that is helpful to anyone about to begin the process of studying for certification. You can do it! I am now a certified, licensed FNP, and I'll know in another week or two if I've landed my dream job. Fingers crossed!
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    About molpol

    Joined: Aug '13; Posts: 1; Likes: 4


  3. by   Tinabeanrn
    Good for you! So how will you sign your name? NP-C or NP-BC ?
  4. by   steffyh
    That's awesome! I'm sitting in a few weeks and am getting nervous. I did Fitzgerald's review course in May and have been studying solid since the end of July (was finishing up my last semester); prior to that I've been doing bits and pieces since the review course, but now the rubber has met the road!

    I have broken it down by systems so for example, this week I need to get through Heme/Immune, Endo, PV and CV, and Abd d/o's. Along with mapping my weeks out like this I've been doing random questions from a CD I have from the Family and Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination: Review Questions and Strategies, 4th Edition book and have seen an improvement in my performance from the CD questions- the questions in the book are pretty tough and make me anxious that I'm not doing enough to prepare- anyone else seeing this? I will also assign myself with the task of doing some exams from Anything I don’t know when I’m reviewing the answer rationales is stuff I add to a running list of things to review further and then go look them up.

    I don’t know if you did it this way or if you think I should be doing it any differently… did you find that the Fitzgerald NP Certification Exam and Practice Prep book helped with the content on the boards? I’m getting nervous that I’m not doing enough. Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks and Congrats! I’m hoping to have those initials after my name soon too!

  5. by   OUNURSE
    I wanted to comment that I also recently passed the AANP FNP exam on the first attempt and I had a similar study plan/ timeline. I lurked here a lot when preparing, so I wanted to contribute.

    I also started my studying by taking a Fitzgerald course at the beginning of my last semester. I ended up also doing a second run with her CDs. I liked the class, but for me I think I could have saved the money and just used the CDs. I , personally, liked the CDs more because I could tackle a system a day and take my time with it. I studied for about 7 weeks before the exam, as well. The first 4 weeks I studied 3-4 days a week for 4-5 hours a day. The last 3 weeks I studied every day for 4-5 hours a day. I did the familynpprep practice tests, but I didn't feel that helped me much. Mostly, they helped me practice for taking the computerized test, but I didn't feel they added much to my knowledge base. After finishing all of the Fitzgerald sections, I read the Leik book (the new version). Even though the book as some formatting issues, I found it really helpful and easy to read. I took a practice test from AANPs website at the beginning and at the end of my studying with a 20% improvement in my score (65% before studying and 85% after), which helped me feel that I was ready to test.

    I felt that the test was very fair. Not easy, but not too hard. I studied too in depth, when the exam really did test mostly on broad concepts. Good luck to all of you!
  6. by   OKIFNP
    Hello all! I am currently studying for my FNP boards. I am taking AANP. I have horrible test-taking anxiety (mainly due to the fact that I took NCLEX twice ) I have been to a Fitzgerald review and am doing her question/content book. I need some practice tests and computer questions that are close to what is on the AANP exam. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!!
  7. by   steffyh
    I actually just sat and pass my AANP boards yesterday and was incredibly nervous! Here's what I did:

    Went through EVERYTHING in the Fitzgerald review book (not the one that comes with the course, the other one). Know that like no other and know everything that she tells you to review from the review course and the online extra resources. You will need it!!!!

    I also got the Winland-Brown book: Family and Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner CertificationExamination: Review Questions and Strategies, 4th Edition - Fitzgerald Health Education Associates, Inc. and did the questions from that and to get use to doing some on the computer I did the questions that are on the CD in the back of the book. You will find that the book questions are harder, but know that material!!!

    Breathe and have a study plan. Don't neglect it. Apologize in advance to anyone you have to sacrifice time with, but it's temporary and it's for the greater good. You will be great!

    Good luck!
  8. by   OKIFNP
    Thanks steffyh! Which of the Fitgerald modules online and extra resources would you recommend? I can't do everything, it's too much. I have been studying 4-6 hours most days for 3 weeks and still have 4 weeks left to study. Any specific advise that you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
  9. by   steffyh
    Honestly all of it! You will see a question about it on the exam- trust me! I was like you, I work FT and was studying 4 days a week from the moment I woke up until 10-11PM at night. I know it's hell but you have to do it or you'll end up kicking yourself and having to go through the heartbreak all over again. Go in giving yourself the best possible chance and walk out saying you did all you could.

    I know that's not the answer you want, but honestly I'm not kidding. Good luck and hang in there!
  10. by   Barinbass
    I studied at least three or fours hours a day, every day from about August 10 until the day before test day 9/24. I used the Fitzgerald CDs once through while in the car. Then with the work book and graphics online as if in class. Then later on went back through that book and reviewed all I had highlighted. I also did the other options such as the group with the Older Adult and Ethics etc. I had her 3rd Edition too and started that in June before classes ended in August. I took that one to bed with me each night. That was my bible for the duration as I took it everywhere. i didn't leave home without a book. I also did some of the tests in the APEA book and went over each question missed and retook the tests which brought up my grade. I am not sure if I found it helpful and chunked it after a while. It was more frustrating. I bought and took ANCCs tests which were helpful as they showed you the correct answer and the rationale. I also took the AANP practice test but it didn't not show you the correct answers nor what you missed. Just your scores. I couldn't have done more IMO and sat for the AANP AGNP exam last Wed and passed it. So glad that is over. If I had not passed it, I would not know what else I could have done to study more. There is an App for your phone etc called Quizlet where you can type in AANP and it will give you subject to study with quizzes, flash cards, etc etc. Good luck.
  11. by   DMcAdory
    Hi All!!! I too have been lurking around this site for months and months now trying to receive pointers about how to study for the AANP! Well as of today that is a thing of the pass for me because I PASSED my certification exam today on the first try. I want to just give you guys some pointers on how I studied and maybe this will help someone along the way. My motto is PRAY and PREPARE! I am a firm believer that when you put those two things together you cannot and will not go wrong. I have studied something everyday for the last two months faithfully. Even if I looked at one thing a day and put it aside I vowed to at least look at something until it was time to take boards. Don't think there is going to be something that falls from the sky telling you it's time because it's not. I knew it was time when I just got sick of looking at it! I put in a lot of studying, sweat, blood, praying, and tears. The last couple of weeks I went to the library faithfully everyday for about 5-6 hours. After I left the library I would come home just to meet and greet my babies and right back to the books for another 5-6 hours until 0200 and 0300! I was trying to work part time and study part time, but that wasn't getting it so I went on strike from work for about a week and a half to do nothing but intense studying!

    1. I know everyone can't afford a review class, but my God that was the best $485 I have ever invested. I took Amelie Hollier's review class in August 2013. After the review class I took about a week breather and then went head first into the books. I mean who want this thing hanging over their head forever?
    2. I purchased the Margaret Fitzgerald CDs from Amazon for $150 and started out listening to them a lot, but as time went on her voice started killing me!
    3. I immediately started doing questions from the Leik's Intensive Review book. I have seen a lot of people bash that book about the misprints and etc, but I will say I learned a lot from it. When I was in doubt about something she said...I went to another source and that always fixed the problem. At the end of the day, I KNOW that book helped me out a lot. I also did all 500 questions in the back of that book. By the rationales not being there, it made you look up the information and I guarantee if you look up the information you will retain it!
    4. I purchased 5 tests from and I can honestly say that those questions helped me out tremendously. When you go and read the testimonies on the site you will probably be like me...oh yea uh huh somebody else who just want money, but seriously it's worth it.
    5. I also purchased a Predictor exam from APEA twice and the last one I took scored me at 72%. On the other exams I was scoring around 66-67% consistently. I have maxed out my checking account, borrowed all of my favors from my family, and gave up my life preparing for that test, but at the end I passed so it was all worth it.

    I also used my Bates' Assessment Book from class. I read several posts on here where people had used their assessment book and I was like oh no! I don't want to pull out no books from school! From me to you...PULL OUT YOUR ASSESSMENT BOOK FROM SCHOOL..there is a lot of valuable information in it that will help with boards!! Another good pointer...Do QUESTIONS! QUESTIONS! QUESTIONS! As I stated in the beginning...if you PRAY and PREPARE you can not go wrong! Good luck future test takers! I can finally start my NURSE PRACTITIONER "BOOK BURNING" CEREMONY! Words of advice: IN ALL THAT YOU DO PUT GOD FIRST!

  12. by   VTach2013
    I take it in two weeks! I have used fitzgeralds cds and exam prep book, apea online question bank and Leiks book. Fingers crossed!
  13. by   VTach2013
    Thanks everyone for posting their experiences here!
  14. by   DMcAdory
    Good luck VTach...I promise your name describes what I was having everyday until I took boards and passed. You got this!