Congrats Cessna. I too passed my FNP AANP board on Feb 2. This was my second time taking the test. The first time was a hot mess. I flunk the first three questions and it just went down from there. My study skills were ineffective and I had too many personal things going in my life during that time. I studied from both Fitzgerald and Barkley, but were too focused on practice questions from Leik (probably was my biggest mistake). I kept failing these questions and contradicted myself w/ my studying materials.
My suggestion to those who are going to take this exam is to really understand the main concepts in depth. The second time I took the test, I knew what to focus on my study. Remember you are not going to manage DKA, MI, and Stroke unless you are a ACNP. So you don't know need to know much in depth about those things, but just recognize that it is an urgent matter and need to refer out. After two months of reviewing contents, I decided to lock myself in my room and go to the public library everyday (I am single and unemployed). No Facebook and computer.
It's true assessment is key to passing this test. At least it was for me. When I got my scores back the first time, assessment was my biggest weakness. I looked up any assessment that I didn't know in the second time studying such as Lachman test, Apley, and Romberg. If you don't recognize something, don't pick it as answer.
Finally anxieties... another reason why I failed the first time. I didn't sleep well the night before. I almost vomit getting out of the train station before taking my test. During the second time, I knew I was ready. I had confidence and slept okay the night before (had to take Ativan 3 nights before the test).
Know your contents. You know you are ready when you can recall all the main concepts on the top of your head. For example if someone asked you about "cauda equina". You'll know the diagnosis w/ the info they give you in the stem of the question, but what will you do. Order an x-ray? Refer to ED? NSAIDS? Reassurance?
FYI some of the questions did came up twice.
So to sum it all up:
1. Study contents, not practice questions. Take notes. Once you have a generalize review of the materials, focus on 3 body systems per day. Keep going over these each day and add on 3 more until you have mastered everything. Go back to your health assessment book and look things up you don't recall learning from school.
2. Isolation from the world for a while
3. Get all of the personal problems out of the way while you are studying (breaking up w/ bf, jobless, moving, family issues--- this was all me)
4. Make flash cards. I made nearly 400.
5. Eat well, sleep well, consistent life schedule.
6. Pray if you believe in God. I started going to church again on Sundays after many years.
7. When all of these is done, organize it in a pile. Take a picture to save the moment and get ready for the burning man ceremony in your fireplace.
It's been almost 3 weeks since I passed. I am now looking for NP jobs in the bay area, but it's so saturated here. I may have to move to follow my dream. You can do this friend! Just believe in yourself.
If you don't pass, you can do your 15ce credits for free from AANP https://cecenter.aanp.org/Program?area=All
It saved me money to take the AANP again. It also gets easier the second time, maybe because I was prepared this time