I just took and passed the ANCC ANP exam yesterday, and I wanted to give some feedback since I always read this forum for advice. For anyone studying out there, I would like to offer some tips...
This is how I studied for 6 weeks-
1. I used Fitzgerald's review book, which I though was very solid and a great way to review. This is probably your best bet, because the questions were really good. Although nothing on ethical/legal issues (which is a good chunk of the exam).
2. Leik's book was a great book to use as a quick memory jogger, since her layout is more like "quick tips and important points." Good little section on ethical/legal issues. The 500 questions at the end are just review- they are not like the ones on the boards.
3. I listened to the Barkley CDs, which were also great ( I enjoyed him b/c he was pretty funny). He also had a section on ethical/legal issues, which was helpful.
4. DO NOT BUY THE APEA online questions or test. I bought the question bank for $50. Not worth it. The questions were dumb and confusing, the rationales didn't make sense. I wasted more time figuring out why I missed something, and ended up just confusing myself and questioning my knowledge.
Here's how the exam went:
1. I was pretty angry that there were not many clinical questions. Lots of ethics, legal stuff, herbal medicines. And when I had a clinical questions, it ended up like: you have and end-stage renal, end stage heart failure guy, c/o SOB x 2 weeks. you need to admit him to the hospital, but he wants to go home to die. what would the astute NP say/do? There were a hundred questions like this.
are you kidding me? I memorized every single national guideline, every single treatment for every single disorder. And ethics and legal stuff are my weakest. So I guess I'm lucky I passed, but the exam surprised me- I dont feel like it tested the important concepts. I did not have a single question on COPD, asthma, pneumonia, MI, meningitis, otitis media, etc.
Hope this helps! It was easier than the NCLEX
and will be very easy if you're good at ethical dilemmas.