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rninme, MSN, APRN 8,652 Views

Joined Jun 12, '06 - from 'somewhere in Downeast Maine'. Posts: 1,733 (9% Liked) Likes: 259

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  • Oct 15

    You may find yourself very lost in urgent care with no ED experience at first. I had a colleague who only had cardiology background switch over to ER/ urgent care. She lasted about a month, mainly because she wasn't use to the pace, and poorly grasped new things. If I were you I'd start preparing for things you will encounter and how you will treat things. I have a huge amount of experience in urgent care. So you can PM for any help/resource.

    Make sure you know how to do basic procedures like I&D and suturing. If you aren't aware look me up on YouTube I demonstrate how to do all these things, just type in TheNP on YouTube and you'll see my channel (same logo as allnurses).

    I think it's easy to learn urgent care and it's very fun. This will all be new to you and likely overwhelming especially being by yourself. Just give it time if you take the role.

  • Oct 15

    Hello Everyone!!

    Just passed the AANP certification exam and scored 697. Just wanted to share my study plan with everyone. I used Fitzgerald review, and Leik. I read the Leik book twice, then one week before exam just focused on the exam tips. I completed the full online Fitzgerald review and all the review/test questions twice. I completed 10 exam edge quizes scoring in the high 500s. I did two predictor exams which predicted I would pass the exam and I did!! I also did the sample test by the AANP and scored an 82. I did not find the test to be difficult or questions challenging at all and I think its all due to good preparation. I studied for 8 weeks straight without breaks at least 6-8 hours a day.

  • Oct 15

    Good luck, Hallimat. If you are able seek a live or online review course through notable companies such as Fitzgerald, Liek, Hollier.

  • Oct 14

    You are there as his guest. If you were staying in someones home or being hosted for dinner would you tell the host they talk to much for your preference?

    You can either keep trying to redirect him and make the most of your experience or convey your concerns to your program (if you think it truly impacting your education/preparation) and ask to be reassigned.

    I think there are many out there that would say if you big complaint is being 45 minutes late then you are due for some harsh realizations in your transition to practice.

  • Aug 31

    I would say no one is ever really 'ready' to be an NP. What quantifies being 'ready'? Is someone who has 10 years working in a nursing home more 'ready' than a 2-3 yr nurse in a busy ICU? Or is the 3 year RN in the innercity trauma ER more ready than the 3 year suburban ER nurse?

    I think it comes down to this; if you want to take the challenge of going back to school and learning new things than go for it. If you want to advance your career and take on the challenges of being the decision maker than go for it. I've been an NP for almost 4 years now and I can tell you everyday I learn something new. Medicine is so vast that you will never be able to learn it all, thus my argument of how can you define being 'ready'. If you want the responsibility of diagnosing patients, ordering/interpreting studies and labs, prescribing medications and creating a plan of care than go for it. You may not know now, but that's why you go to school. It takes a lot of time and sacrifice to complete so I would advise you once you go back to put your whole heart into it.

    Ill leave you with a great quote:

    You do not go to school and study to pass a test. You go to school to study so that when the only thing between a patient's life is you and death, you will know what to do.


  • Aug 15

    I wanted to make this post for one reason, a positive review. When I was reading about FNP certification there were far more negative reviews than positive. Here is my personal experience. I have a very varied background from ED, ICU, management, to flight nursing. Total of 212 credit hours with MSN and FNP track with certification in AANP exam. Your training and education at your school shall prepare you to test. I attended USI and was well prepared. It is not much different than Press Ganey scores, only the angry patients turn them in. The same could be attributed to the AANP exam as well, and I dare guess the ANCC (although there are theory questions here which I hate). People who have had a poor experience need a venue to vent. I passed this am, 150 questions in 54 minutes. I felt fairly confident. Study prep was only the Fitzgerald online review (most of it), over the weekend and I did take the practice test available through the AANP. This test was very representative of the real test, and some questions were exactly the same. Knowledge is prep, and you'll be fine. I just wanted to be one who posted a word of encouragement to those about the take the test. We always tend to think of those few we know who failed the exam, rather than the many we know who already passed and are practicing. Focus on the positive and not the negative. PS, if you test in Indianapolis stay there the night before, and beware the GPS will NOT take you to the testing center. Good FYI.

  • Jul 26

    Took the FNP exam today and PASSED!!! I graduated in 2010 and never took the boards due to life situations. I honestly studied for 6 hard weeks, last two weeks I took off from work and studied 7-8hrs per day. With a 1 and 2 year old toddlers it wasn't easy but I had a study plan. I used Leik Review book which I highly recommend for the clinical aspect of the it from front to back 2 times. I also did Fitzgerald online review course and review book, great depth of knowledge. (The questions in her book were very similar to the ANCC questions on the test) I did some of the FamilyNPprep questions which was not reflective an iota of what the real was like. Another book that GREATLY helped me was Windland-Brown review, particularly the Exam portion and Issues in primary care. This book is very in depth and I love that it has rationale which helped me alot especially with the non-clinical portions of the exam. There were a few research questions that asked to rank in order of strongest to least research, pictures of the eyes, hypertensive and diabetic retinopathy and musculoskeletal pics. There were a fair amount on drug safety esp. in pregnant women. The drugs were some of the older, commonly drugs. There were lots of Asthma on the exam and cultural questions. I like the fact that you can mark the questions and go back later to it. I must have marked about 15 questions and change my initial answers after looking at it deeply. Overall it was a fair exam. Not tricky at all. Good luck to all!!!

  • Jul 18

    I'm probably older than all of you, and it's an issue I've been thinking I really want to spend all that time and money at this stage of my life.

    I start my 1st class next month

  • Jul 18

    I graduated NP school at 44 after years of being an RN. My advice-- do it now, don't wait.

  • Jul 9

    I passed the FNP ANCC certification this week and I wanted to share my study strategies since this website was so useful to me in my preparation!

    Here's what I did:

    I graduated May, 2016. I took two days off per week from my job to study for boards. I signed up for the ANCC which was a relatively smooth and easy process. I blocked out a calendar to study for approximately 6 weeks. Each day, I reviewed a system/topic and did 50-100 practice questions. I am a huge anal retentive list-maker, so I would check off my progress and this motivated me to stay on track with studying. I then made notecards for my "trouble areas" and things I felt I needed to memorize, such as ABX, Tanner staging, dermatology, etc. I took my test the first week in July and I passed. I took about 6 weeks of studying, therefore I wasn't "cramming" and didn't feel pressure to rush through material I needed more focus on!


    • I took the Barkley Review in January, 2016. I took this because I thought it would give me more time to study, however looking back, I feel I should have waited and taken it closer to graduation. It was basically a crash-course of everything we learned in graduate school compiled into 2.5 days. He was an excellent lecturer, however this really was not my style of learning. I did use the book provided to me during this course to study from and focused on the "PEARLS" of the exam which were helpful.
    • I bought the "Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Intensive Review 2nd Edition" book which was hands down, the BEST resource. It's basically the "quick and dirty" of the ANCC. This is the book I felt prepared me for the ANCC. I went through all of the chapters and systems and utilized this to focus on the theory, insurance, billing, etc. portion of the ANCC exam. There were 650 practice questions in the book which were also very helpful!
    • I also used the Family Nurse Practitioner Review Secrets Revealed" book for the questions, however I did not use it for anything else.
    • The FNP mastery phone app was awesome- I would answer questions when I was in bed, waiting for friends, etc. It was $30 and worth every penny!
    • The week before the test, I stopped doing practice questions, focused on my problem areas, and reviewed the Leik book PEARLS one more time.

    Almost Test Time:
    I am very superstitious and like my RN boards, I only told two people when I was testing. I had scheduled my boards for July 5th, so when my friends knew I wasn't coming out to party, I'm sure the suspected my test was happening soon! The day before the test I didn't study, I watched movies, worked out, and relaxed. I was SO nervous all day, sick to my stomach, palpitations, etc. I just kept reminding myself that I was prepared! My test was at 8am, I woke up at 4am, 5am, etc. SO nervous that I would miss it! I arrived an hour early, was checked in, went through a metal detector, had to empty my pockets, sign in, verify my ID, etc. This process was slightly intimidating but the staff at the testing center were very calming!

    The Test:
    I have never been so nervous or unsure of myself. The test is composed of 200 questions, however 25 are used for future test question development. It took me about 2 hours to go through the 200 questions the first time around and I marked the questions I needed to go back to. If a question was too "wordy," I would mark it and come back to it. At my two-hour mark, I took a quick bathroom break and returned. The test was not at all what I expected. It contained many non-clinical questions which were still difficult, however I was able to figure out with some deep thinking! My exam was all over the place, from derm to cardiac to pulmonary to ethics to leadership, etc. You name it, it was on there. I felt well-prepared, however hitting the "submit" button gave me the biggest stomach-drop EVER.

    The Results:
    I went to the area to get my results and of course there were four people sitting there! AHHHH-Noooo, what if I failed? They are going to see me ugly cry!!! The nice man sitting at the desk asked for my ID and signature and I blurted out "DON'T SAY MY RESULTS OUT LOUD!" Everyone looked at me like I was a bit crazy, but he said "don't worry, I never do." I saw the sheet of paper laying on the desk and saw the word "Congratulations!" This was one of the BEST moments of my life! All of my hard work and dedication have paid off-finally. Anyways, he handed me the paper, I started happy-crying, hugged the four people around me in the testing center and was on my merry way!

    Bottom Line:
    I've struggled with test anxiety my whole life. I've done well in school and have to work hard to get good grades and do well on exams. This may seem impossible to some, but it is SO doable and the best feeling after you're done.

    Best of luck to everyone testing!

  • Jul 6

    Xeno, I am working inpatient acute unit, doing consult liason and carrying a caseload. My collaborating psychiatrist is awesome and loves to teach. For my salary I was lowballed by HR (typical for them) and fought long and hard with the backing of my director and psychiatrist to get a 30k increase. I'm very happy with that.

    I worked per diem on this unit as an RN so it is familiar ground, and I do love acute psych. I am also very pleased with having a psychiatrist with decades of experience who is just amazing

  • Jul 6

    I passed my boards for the ANCC AGPCNP exam yesterday on the first try. I used the Barkley Review home study, Fitzgerald NP certification book and the Leik book on the Kindle app on my phone. I listened to the CD's non stop and made flash cards. When I made the flash cards I used all three resources together at the same time and included info from all three. This helped to eliminate incorrect information and bring the concepts together. I bought the Fitzgerald book during my second clinical rotation. The test is 200 questions. When I wasn't studying the flash cards, book or Barkley manual- I was studying the Leik book on my kindle app on my phone. I felt very prepared with these 3 resources. I would recommend visiting the ANCC website, there is a practice test. The main concept that assisted me was mastering the material and not doing question banks. When I had mastered the material I was able to answer questions with great confidence from any test bank correctly. When I sat for my boards, I prayed and prayed and prayed. I would suggest reviewing pictures of skin and eye conditions online. This helped me when answering questions from test banks and during my exam.

  • 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.