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rninme, MSN 7,729 Views

Joined Jun 12, '06 - from 'somewhere in Downeast Maine'. Posts: 1,718 (8% Liked) Likes: 239

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  • Jun 29

    Ok ya'll....I took the ANCC FNP board exam last evening and PASSED!!! If I can do it, I know you all can too. I will embarrassingly admit that I took and failed the AANP board exam first (failing by just 7 points!). I rushed into that exam by taking it 2 weeks after graduation and not giving myself enough time to REALLY study. I hate myself for it and advise that you do not make that same costly mistake. Please allow a full 6-8 weeks of steady studying to really be prepared. There are so many body systems, so much to know about each system, that one can never study it enough because you have no clue what part of that system the exam will ask about.

    The exam questions are much harder than the practice questions, however, the practice questions get your brain thinking and learning the material so you have the skills to break down the actual exam question and have a higher chance of choosing the correct answer.

    I did not attend a live Review course because my school made us do Margaret Fitzgerald video course which came with a review book. I went through these videos 3 times, making note cards for studying. I also have both the APEA (Amelie Hollier) and Barkley CDs and review books. I listened to both of these twice. Each time I would add something different they had said to my note cards so the note cards had info from all 3 major instructors. I cannot say one instructor is better than the other because they all have good material. I think one's personality may relate better with a particular instructor's teaching style.

    As for AANP vs ANCC. AANP is 100% clinical. I was just not prepared for all the clinical questions as I had not memorized lab values, the 1st line treatment for each diagnoses, and the recommended dosages. I had heard the normal lab value ranges would be on the exam so I did not memorize them. WELL...neither exam gives normal ranges so learn them! I also thought AANPs questions were worded in twisted ways to confuse you. AANP is strictly multiple choice.

    My ANCC exam seemed approximately 50% clinical and 50% nonclinical. The questions were very simple to understand, not written to try to confuse the reader. The clinical questions were not as intense as AANPs. The computer program also allowed you to highlight keywords and to "strike through" answer choices. I don't know if they helped but they were fun to use and may have allowed me to organize the question to better break it down. I was usually able to strike out 2 answers immediately and then thoroughly think through the remaining 2 choices. Most of the questions were multiple choice. I did have a few matching column A with column B, arrange these answers in order of strongest to weakest, etc. I had pick "two" or pick "three" of the following answers. I'm so glad there were no "check all"! I had a few pictures of the eye and Derm pictures. I felt prepared to read an EKG but I did not have one on my exam.

    ANCC: I totally agree with the first posting on this blog...Quoted "So as far as study advice I would say really really really really DO NOT SKIP OR GLOSS OVER epidemiology, all the technical jargon about nursing roles, standards of practice, quality improvement programs, risk management programs, sentinel events, root cause analysis, outcomes analysis, malpractice, CPT, ICD-10, incident to billing.

    Learn these definitions so well you can repeat them back including, if applicable, their precise names (International Classification for Diseases, Budget Reconciliation Act). If there are stated steps to the "risk management review process"- know them by name and in order. If you get these type of questions wrong on your practice exams, pay A LOT of attention and review, retest, try to fix. Don't think "ugh, whatever, I know what 'leadership' is"... they will ask it in strange ways". DITTO to all of that!!

    I had not studied any nonclinical material for the AANP exam so I had to really buckle down and review this material. I was so nervous about this part that I had great regrets about applying for the ANCC exam. that I have done it, it wasn't that bad at all! I think some of the answers will come to you because you have seen it before during your FNP program; things like ethics, research, billing, etc. Not as scary as I had thought!

    You have the ability to do this! You have successfully completed the FNP program. With dedication and determination, you can pass the FNP board exam too! Good luck to you all!

  • Jun 26

    Quote from rninme
    Something I forgot - with your Fitzgerald review - there are a bunch of online resources you should look through that aren't directly accessible from your online learning modules. Look for the tab marked Resources on the side under the NPxpert tab. Lots of information she doesn't directly touch on in depth but you will run into on boards. Do all the extra's she provides -- people that fail boards after using her live or online review usually haven't completed extra materials. Good luck!!!
    Thanks for the tips. Currently doing Fitz online review and I have the Leik book. Will buy boardvitals...will see how it goes. Thanks again

  • Jun 23

    Thank you for your advice. I am doing Fitzgerald Online Review now. Once I am done I am going to sit for the ANCC.

  • Jun 23

    Quote from rninme
    I passed the ANCC FNP exam today! Really didn't find it that difficult - but I have been studying for the past 2 years in preparation for today!! Have to say that Dr Fitzgerald's review and her other book were the keys to my passing. Lots of leadership questions - know research, policy, culture, ethical principals. Majority of questions were very straight forward - a couple I had to read several times to try and figure out just what question was being asked. Hopefully those questions were part of the non-graded section because they were very poorly written. Done is about 2 hours - but I have always been a fast test taker. Use the cross out function, very helpful in trying to zero in on the correct answer when unsure.
    Hello rninme, supper congratulations. I'm so happy for you. I'm new to this blog and you responded to my post. Thank you for that. Do you by chance have any study tips/study guide that could help and don't mind sharing? I'm terrified of ANCC exam...I don't know why. I started the fitz online review this Wednesday. My email is any study tip I will greatly appreciate. Thanks and congratulations

  • Jun 22

    I used this thread to see if I was on the right track for studying. I took the AANP exam yesterday and PASSED! Wooohoo! Anyway, I thought I should give my two cents about what worked for me and my thoughts about the test itself.

    What I did:

    Do to the logistics of graduation and my test date, I was unable to attend a live review. I ordered Fitzgerald's online review. I would complete one module following along in the workbook and making notes. I would then go to her prep book and read more in depth as she doesn't cover all diseases in the review course. This also allowed me to take quizes and see what I need to brush up on later. This process took me 3 weeks, studying monday through friday 8-5.

    By the time I finished this I was pretty burned out. I then took the APEA predictor exam, scoring 77%. I spent the next day brushing up on things I missed and took the exam again, scoring an 81%. They say anything 70+ is predictive of passing the AANP so my confidence was definately boosted! I took the exam on a Tuesday, so I took a break on Sunday and reviewed one last time on Monday, primarily flipping through the whole review workbook for ages and numbers that I often confuse.

    The Exam:
    I took the advise of someone on this thread and wrote down my MR. PASS MVP ARMS, and antibiotics for various diseases as soon as I sat down, before starting the exam. It gave me a chance to make sure I didn't confuse myself in all of the anxiety of taking the test.

    -I didn't get many pregnancy questions, only what meds are safe during pregnancy.
    -I had maybe 1 legal question.
    -Most questions were covered at some point during the review course.
    -Probably 25% of the questions: I had no idea if I chose correctly or not, don't panic!
    -Use the mark button so you can go back and review later. I think I only marked 4-5 but it gave me a chance to think about something else and return to the question so I didn't over think it.
    -The test took me about 2 hours, meaning I had about 90 minutes left when I finished.
    -Learn how to "take the test". Many times, at first glance I had no idea what the answer was. Through various strategies I was able to at least narrow it down to 2 answers and often down to the only possible right one. It's shocking, but you can do it from your knowledge and experience even if you know nothing about what they are asking!

    Good luck everyone!

  • Jun 22

    Hey everyone! Since everyone was so helpful with posting their results of passing the ANCC/AANP boards and the advice was very much appreciated, I figured I would post about my experience.

    I used the following resources to study for the ANCC:
    *Leik book- this book was very helpful (especially for some of the nonclinical topics she covers in the back of the book). Also, it was helpful for practicing taking questions because there are about 650 questions in the back of the book. She has helpful test taking hints throughout each chapter as well that are beneficial. I did not notice any repeat questions on the ANCC that was in the book per say, but it helped with learning the content.

    *Exam Edge questions: I used this website to practice taking questions. I bought 25 exams and took all of them. There are 100 questions per exam. Very few of the questions were repeated with each examination, so these questions were helpful in preparing for how to get ready for the boards. I will be honest and say there were no repeat questions on there that were on the ANCC. Although, it helped with learning more of the content that was on the ANCC boards.

    *Fitzgerald Blue review book: I used this book more throughout grad school than I did for the sole purpose of studying for ANCC. It is just too wordy. I repeated some of the questions I had previously taken in the book, but did not take many of them.

    *Past tests from roles/policy & research class from grad school: I used my old exams to review for these topics to help. I also reviewed the "research triangle" in my research books/notes.

    *APEA review book from live course: I used this book the most for the clinical portion of my exam. I really feel that this review course was super helpful. Unfortunately, I had to take it in January before my last semester of school for a grade, but the book was beneficial on its own as well!

    Okay, so I spent exactly 3 hours on the exam. I did not get up at all because it does not stop the time if you take a break. They give you 4 hours to take the exam and you have 200 questions. I had multiple select all that apply and drag and drop questions.
    This exam was difficult, but I studied hard for this exam. There are some questions that was on mine that I felt was a complete guess answer from me, because I had no idea. So, I narrowed it down to 2 answers and used my "best guess".
    The nice thing about this exam is that you can highlight words or sentences to help you pick out important info. You can also strike out answers that you have narrowed down as the incorrect answer to help avoid being distracted from those incorrect answers. Also, you can "mark" the questions to review them at the end if you have time. I did this for way too many and ended up not reviewing them because I have a policy that I have stuck with throughout school... DO NOT CHANGE YOUR ANSWER unless you are certain it is incorrect! I never change answers because my first choice is usually the correct one.

    Know the research triangle. Know about epidemiology, first-line treatments, & leadership. There are many questions with pictures that you have to interpret diagnosis or treatment. Familiarize yourself with different cultures. I had multiple peds questions as well. And, cancer questions. I will not go into detail what all was on the exam due to the inability to post that type of information or tell others what was on the exam.
    It is definitely half clinical and half nonclinical!

    Good luck to each of you! You've got this! Study hard and be prepared. Take a deep breath and ACE this test!!

  • Jun 18

    I am almost a year into an online FNP program. It certainly is a lot less rigorous than your program, but honestly I would prefer to be challenged like you describe in your program and actually feel like I'm being taught/learning something. Our 'classes' consist of assigned readings and writing discussion posts and replies to other students. There is absolutely no guidance, no lectures, and no constructive feedback as to whether or not you are truly comprehending the material. It seems that if you touch on the required talking points and follow APA you'll get an A regardless if you actually understand the topic.

    If I were you, I would stay in the program and be thankful that they are preparing you properly for graduation and the real world.

  • Jun 17

    I just took my ANCC for the second time and passed!!!!
    I used the Fitzgerald review CDs, Leik's, and CDC website for my main study materials. I did the Kellerman review before the first Exam.
    The test was grueling the first time, and yet the second time I felt more confident and prepared.
    I thought about obtaining the AANP exam as well, but want this one first and for most.
    Good Luck to All.

  • Jun 13

    Thank you so so much for your is well appreciated. I will register for the fitzgerald review and will also try the BoardsVitals questions. Thank you again

  • Jun 13

    Hi everyone! I took the AANP-FNP exam 2 days ago and I passed the first try! I used this website for tips, so I am giving back! I actually had to wait 15 minutes for my preliminary pass, because the test proctor accidentally threw the results away because it prints out a 2 page score report. She thought one was a duplicate and threw away the first paper that said pass. Talk about freaking out!

    I did the Barkley review at home. I thought this review was good, but I noticed there was 15 questions on the test that was not included in the manual or CDs. I also took a couple APEA exams online and was getting high 70s-80s. The pass score is 70%. Some of the questions on the APEA test was included in my exam! I took the AANP practice exam and scored a 92% a day before the exam.

    I studied every day for 4 weeks. 1-6 hours a day. Lastly, I also got the Leik kindle version book. Although I really did not study the material in the book, the exam tips were helpful. I also got the iPhone app for her questions. I like that because it gave rationales.

    You our can do this! I was stressing during the test and I had to stop myself and say I can do this! You definitely have to critically think about the questions and some of them weren't as straight forward.

  • Jun 11

    Quote from RockMay
    Now ask yourself why PA students never have problems finding clinical training spots. Refer to the first sentence of this post.
    Because they pay preceptors $1500-2500 per block per student.

  • Jun 6

    I took the course in Boston last month. I wish I'd brought a sweater, because the conference room in the hotel where it was held was freezing! I asked the staff if anything could be done about the temperature, and they told me that it depends on what the speaker wants.
    I was able to take all of my notes in the workbook provided, but you might want to bring extra paper.

  • Jun 2

    I am 49 and will graduate next year with my NP so I'll be 50 then. I work full time and have done throughout the program. I may need to change jobs next year to allow me to work 3 12s while I'm in clinicals (I work 8-4 5 days a week right now). I cannot afford not to work. It adds a lot of stress as some of the classes they call "part time" really weren't and I wish I would have had more time to study. However, I've managed to maintain a 3.9 GPA even with all that going on. It's a lot juggling everything but I know it's temporary. I have to keep working for the foreseeable future and so doing my NP means I can work at a less physical pace and a more cerebral one as I get older. Makes perfect sense to me.

  • May 31

    Not sure how long you've been out of school (or if you're a distance learner), but you might also benefit from the Career Center at your APRN facility. You can often take your resume and cover letters to them, and they'll work through them with you.

    I spent a lot of time working with my Career Center around the time I graduated with my nursing degree since my resume required such dramatic changes and I had no experience to go along with my newly earned credentials. I found the process very informative and helpful.

  • May 31

    I used one and was really happy with the results. I used It was on-line and was very reasonable.