Certification Exam

  1. 0
    I am taking the cert. exam the first week of March. I previously worked in hospice and had my certification, then I went on to work in a different specialty. I went bcd to hospice for about a year, then went on to work in outpatient onc.

    What do you think I should focus on for studying? I have the curriculum book and the book with test questions from HPNA. I'm not really in a position to go back to hospice nursing, but since I was working in onc. and have my onc. cert., I thought it would be a good cert to have in addition.

    I would particularly like to hear from those who are certified and those who have recently taken the test.
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I took the test in June after 4.5 years of hospice experience. I found the test HARD. Since it is recommended that you have at least 2 years hospice experience before you take th test, there are no "easy, let's see if you know what hospice is about" questions. I usually am a very good tester and I was completely unsure if I passed the test when I was done. I had used the Core Curriculum to study for the test and set up a study schedule of an hour or 2 a night for the month before the test. I also talked to our Medicare consultant and got a very short cram course from her. All in all I did very well on the test, but I do hospice every day and I think that may have been the biggest help.
  5. 0
    I didn't say I was looking for easy, "let's see if you know what hospice is all about" questions. I was looking for helpful information on what areas would be best to focus on. As I previously stated, I have several years of hospice experience and was previously certified. It was a difficult exam when I took it, but so was the oncology certification exam I took last year.

    Is there anyone who can give me helpful information about how to focus my studying for the test? For example, are there a lot of questions about equianalgesic conversions? I'm a little rusty in that area.
  6. 0
    I've decided to go through the questions in the review book in 50 question blocks, highlight those I've gotten wrong, and go back over the ones I got wrong. I'm definitely going to review the chapter in the core curriculum on pain mgmt., and if I have the time, go over chapters on diseases I am less familiar with, e.g. HIV.

    Does this sound like a good plan? I really went about studying for the OCN in a haphazard manner, and when I took the hospice exam previously I didn't study at all.

    All helpful suggestions welcomed.
  7. 1
    If you look in the HPNA site there is a "handbook" for the cert exam. It gives the percentage breakdown of the areas of the exam. Since each exam is different (I believe it is randomly generated as you sign on the computer) it would be hard to tell you if there are a lot of questions in each category. As I said, it was HARD. I took the Geriatric Nursing Certification exam about 10 years ago, and knew before the test was done that I had passed.

    Once you finish the exam and get the print out, it gives a percentage of questions that were under what catagory...symptom management, ethics, disease management, etc. The breakdown was right along the lines that I saw in the test handbook.

    I really don't think you can focus your study. I had a couple of conversions to do, but that is not to say the next person who took the test didn't have 10 to do.

    The website has a "practice test" that you can take (although it does cost) that once you take it, it is scored and tells you the probability that you will pass the cert test. It will also give you an idea of what areas are weak for you. You may want to start there.

    BTW: when I said "let's see if you know what hospice is all about" it was to underscore the difficulty of the test. I know hospices nurses who have been doing hospice for MANY years who could not pass the test without multiple tries...these same nurses are the best in our field, as far as I am concerned. I was ready for something that would floor me...this test did more than that.
    DelanaRN likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from curiousauntie
    If you look in the HPNA site there is a "handbook" for the cert exam. It gives the percentage breakdown of the areas of the exam. Since each exam is different (I believe it is randomly generated as you sign on the computer) it would be hard to tell you if there are a lot of questions in each category. As I said, it was HARD. I took the Geriatric Nursing Certification exam about 10 years ago, and knew before the test was done that I had passed.

    Once you finish the exam and get the print out, it gives a percentage of questions that were under what catagory...symptom management, ethics, disease management, etc. The breakdown was right along the lines that I saw in the test handbook.

    I really don't think you can focus your study. I had a couple of conversions to do, but that is not to say the next person who took the test didn't have 10 to do.

    The website has a "practice test" that you can take (although it does cost) that once you take it, it is scored and tells you the probability that you will pass the cert test. It will also give you an idea of what areas are weak for you. You may want to start there.

    BTW: when I said "let's see if you know what hospice is all about" it was to underscore the difficulty of the test. I know hospices nurses who have been doing hospice for MANY years who could not pass the test without multiple tries...these same nurses are the best in our field, as far as I am concerned. I was ready for something that would floor me...this test did more than that.
    I understand that it is difficult; I've taken it before, and it was hard. I did the practice questions and did well on them. I'm a member of HPNA, so I did look at the candidate handbook and understand about the percentage breakdowns.

    If anyone else has feedback, I'd appreciate it.


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