NP Certification Exams and Pass Rates

  1. 0
    I have noticed over the past several months that there have been quite a few threads where new grads were having trouble passing their certification exams. I'm not trying to be snarky at all and am honestly quite curious as to why this could possibly be happening. My question is for everyone in general who are NPs or are NP students - did you look into your schools' pass rates on the certifying exams before deciding to attend? I know that was a big part of the decision-making process for me to attend my chosen school, as its pass rate has been 100% (on both the AANP & ANCC exams) since it started its NP programs over 10 years ago.

    Maybe this is something those who are interested in becoming NPs should consider looking in to if they haven't already? I'm assuming most of us did when we were applying to our generic nursing programs (re: the NCLEX pass rate), so I wonder if it is the same for NP programs, or are more and more NP students attending certain programs that may not have great passing rates (or they may not even know their schools' pass rates), but are more convenient in regards to access to an NP program (location, online, etc.)?

    Again, not trying to be snarky or mean-spirited, I am just honestly curious.
  2. 17,275 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    My schools psych np program was brand new, and there was only 2 choices in the entire area for me attend.

    But I have been trying to find what the over success rate on the Psych Np exam is and havent been able to find any statistics.
  5. 0
    I absolutely did look to see what pass rates were nationally before I chose which exam to take (chose AANP). I am a family nurse practitioner and wanted the best possible rates of pass. I can be credentialed under ANCC just by passing the AANP and applying for (and paying for) certification.

    The cost and locations of Colleges ultimately were the deciding factor in my education, not their individual passing rates. I need to take responsibility for what I dont know (all about being an adult learner), however if passing rates are extremely low at a particular school...you may not even have a chance to figure out what you don't know!

    Good luck to you. I was out of classes 2 years and was just finishing my clinic time prior to testing, and I did fine. Make sure you take a good review course early in your education so that you will know what to hone in on throughout your education, and know what to study after your done!

    BTW- you have raised an excellent question that would make for a very interesting research project!
  6. 0
    Pass rate has been 100% which could mean ....100% pass rate after how many attempts? I imagine many schools have 100% pass rates because who can afford not to pass after investing so much time and money so most people probably pass whether it is after the first try or the fourth. They don't tell you that.
  7. 0
    Quote from lakebabynurse

    Good luck to you. I was out of classes 2 years and was just finishing my clinic time prior to testing, and I did fine. Make sure you take a good review course early in your education so that you will know what to hone in on throughout your education, and know what to study after your done!

    BTW- you have raised an excellent question that would make for a very interesting research project!
    Sorry if I misrepresented myself - I am actually already a NP. It would make for an interesting topic, though. I honestly do wonder what the pass rates are of the schools from which students are having difficulty. I also wonder what their exams are like during the semester? I wonder if all NP schools structure their course exams after the ANCC/AANP exams, similar to how most nursing programs model their exams after the NCLEX?
  8. 0
    Quote from KJLewis
    Pass rate has been 100% which could mean ....100% pass rate after how many attempts? I imagine many schools have 100% pass rates because who can afford not to pass after investing so much time and money so most people probably pass whether it is after the first try or the fourth. They don't tell you that.
    I guess that ultimately could be true, but my school lists it on their Web site right next to their BSN class' pass rates (for the same years of graduation) which for 2009 they listed as 96% (for the BSN class). I imagine that would mean first-time pass rate because they could essentially list their BSN pass rate as 100% also if they go by what you are stating.
  9. 0
    Can you tell me where I can find the pass rate for prospective NP programs? I've looked several times online, and aside from finding information from the individual colleges, I'm unable to find pass rate info for numerously named programs at one site.
  10. 1
    I was unable to find anything like that online as well. I know at least for the AANP exam, you can find the national pass rate for some years online if you search hard enough. It didn't make me feel any better for my individual program, because I couldn't find that information, but it did make me feel more confident for the test. What I found was that 93% of people in a given year (can't remember which year) passed the exam. I honestly believed that if 93% of NP program graduates pass first try, there is no way I could fail. I just refused to believe that I would be in the 7%. I wasn't, and I"m not now, being arrogant or cocky, it's just believing in myself, lol. What this tells me is that most programs should prepare you adequately for the exams. Most people that take the exam pass, over 9 out of every 10. I'm sure some programs are better than others if you have the choice, but overall, your NP education is what you make out of it in my opinion. Graduate school is a lot self disclipline and independent learning in my opinion. Your clinical experience will also have a lot to do with your education, and many schools let you have some say so in where you do your clinical rotations. I went to a program that really hasn't been around long, but I feel I received a very good education, and had no problem passing my certification exam. All in all, I'm pretty sure that no matter what program you find, if the statistics are available the pass rates are going to be over 90%. Also remember that all NP programs have certian guidelines for what they are required to teach for accredidation, so although the quality of all programs will differ somewhat, what you are going to be learning, and what you can be proactive in helping yourself learn as well. Just research the programs, and possibly ask someone in the graduate nursing department of each school. I'm sure they have that information somewhere, and if it's a good number will have no problem sharing
    mrmontgomery likes this.
  11. 0
    Maybe I am wrong, but do you think working on a busy med surg floor (which I do) will help me pass the certification? Clinicals are a little difficult for me because it is primary care and I tend to jump the gun and check blood levels, urine ect. The difference is I am flipping back and forth between primary care and hospital (which my floor is a step down unit). I over think everything at clinicals. Anyway I hope this will help but I don't know.
  12. 1
    Gettingbsntomsn,

    I do think that your healthcare experience will help you during certification exam. I pulled some of the answerrs on the exam from my 5 years of er experience. As far as overthinking things in clinical, ordering a lot of test, etc. I think that's just part of learning to be a nurse practitioner and trying to cover all your bases and being over vigilant. I think we all kind of have the tendency to overdo it at first. I am worried that I may do that sometimes as a new NP at work. Knowing the appropriate tests to order, exams to perform, etc. is something that is more easily distinguished as you get more experience. With time, you'll get better. Remember, nobody expects you to be an expert when you first graduate. You just have to provide competent, legally sound care that is appropriate for your patients. That requires a lot of questions to peers and looking up information in books initially, but over time it comes to you. Like I mentioned in my post above, anywhere from 90-93 percent of all graduates, depending on which certification you take, will pass on first attempt. Like I mentioned in the post above, that brought me comfort. The only prep I did was MOST of the Fitzgerald online review. I didn't study books or listen to CDs or any of that (although I do recommend that). I started the review 2 days before my test, almost finished it, then went and took, and rocked that thing. I'm one of these people that thinks you can study too much (when I was an anatomy and physiology tutor I used to tell the students that you can put too much time into it and muck your brain up and start overanalyzing everything). Anyway, I figured if the chance of me passing was 9 out of 10, I just didn't believe I'd fail, and thankfully I didn't. You do not make it as far as you have without being an intelligent person, so you WILL DO GREAT. Congrats on making it this far, and good luck in the future to all that are in the process of joining the NP profession that I love!
    mrmontgomery likes this.


Top