Psychiatric Nursing Certification

  1. 1 Has anyone taken the psychiatric nursing certification exam? I am going to take it in August. I am studying the ANCC book and have practiced those questions. I also am taking an on-line learning module from ANCC. I'm a little overwhelmed by all the material. I'm also looking for a place to find additional practice questions. Does anyone have any ideas?
  2. Visit  Betsy Keller profile page

    About Betsy Keller

    Joined Jun '11; Posts: 2; Likes: 1.

    7 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Whispera profile page
    I took it awhile ago. It was a difficult test, and reminded me of NCLEX.

    I think you're on target in your preparation. Some things that I noticed were:

    know categories of medications, what they're used for, and how they work
    know things about theories that pertain to psych (developmental, therapy)
    know about milieu purpose and safety methods
    know about laws (confidentiality, rights, detention, right to refuse)
    know about therapeutic communication (types, what not to do)
    LoriRedd likes this.
  4. Visit  ear profile page
    I am going to be stalking this thread. I just purchased the ANCC book, and am planning on taking the exam in the next 4-6 months.

    I did a search for online questions, and I did come up with a few sites, but I am just not sure how reliable they are. Does the ANCC have another module of questions?

    Is the online module self study, or is it a specific time?

    When are you planning on taking the exam?

    Good Luck to you! and keep us posted!!
  5. Visit  msnurselady profile page
    I've also just purchased the ANCC book and want to take the test in Oct. I am currently stalking my co-workers who have taken the test for any reference material. Will be checking back for any good leads on study material and any test prep advise anyone has
  6. Visit  chericoe profile page
    I took the exam last year for Psych and you are alloted four hours, it took me two. I had read the ANCC book from cover to cover the previous couple of weeks before, didn't use any of the other resources other than the ANCC site. The questions are not made for test takers, they do take some critcal thinking and can be tricky, but I think if you know your material you will do fine. If you go on ANCC's site they list what is required to know and they also have a practice set of questions. When you are finished taking the exam you will get your results right then. I know it is nerve racking! Hope this helped you some! Good luck!
    msnurselady likes this.
  7. Visit  sanfordhealthcare profile page
    I took the ANCC exam yesterday...and passed, yay. I have been I psychiatric nurse in various capacities for 8 years. Truthfully, I bought the ANCC book a few weeks ago and probably studied for a total of 6-8 hours. The study questions on the website and in the book are not quite representative of the type of questions on the test. The study questions are more straightforward, whereas the test questions are much more obtuse. For instance: on the actual test, the questions are like: "A patient is admitted to the unit and has not slept in 2 days, cannot sit still for more than a few minutes, and has pressured speech. The nurse will provide nutritional support by:" ...and you have to choose from 4 options. Do NOT go too far in depth on the pharmacology or the brain A&P. There was nearly nothing on that. If anything on the meds, study side effects. The best thing I can say is that the ANCC study guide is a VERY good psych nursing book. I probably benefited more from reading that from cover to cover than I will for having the certification itself. Since it is so fresh in my mind, I will list some very specific things I remember from the test:
    Yalom and group therapy: universality, curative factors (3 questions on this alone)
    Asian culture: do you address the dad, mom, or child first? (not even kidding)
    Lithium toxicity symptoms: they gave similar lists of symptoms, and I had to pick the right one
    Who provides guidelines for psych nursing practice? (ANA, State NPA, etc)
    Nursing theorist who focuses on relationships?
    Difference in presentation between NMS and acetylcholine toxicity?
    Examples of triangulation vs scapegoating?

    Those are the more concrete questions I remember. But honestly, I think the studying only helped me on about 20% of the questions. The others are more like: what should you do first, what is the best strategy for.., what is the best response when the patient says... It's more about figuring out what they are looking for in those critical thinking questions. (ie - reflect what the patient says back to them rather than tell them what to do, etc.)

    Well, that's my two cents... Good luck!
    LoriRedd, sheauchan, macgirl, and 1 other like this.
  8. Visit  MickyB-RN profile page
    Has anyone used this site to study for the exam? Test Prep | Your Source for Free Online Practice Tests
    I hope it is okay to post the link?
    Debsays likes this.
  9. Visit  Sue Barton fan profile page
    I wonder if there are any other certification options for psych mental health. I lost my job in Behavioral Health after just 1 1/2 years. I have 26+ years experience in nursing and thought that ANCC board certification for psych mental health would be a good way to go since I am hearing that I just don't have as much experience in mental health as other applicants. But, after joining ANA [very expensive] I am a bit discouraged by the slow response time to my emails and the incomplete information I receive when I call them. Now, I received an email saying that I had to take an online exam to get the 22 CEU's after purchasing their manual. No problem there, except the instructions state that the exam must be taken on a PC and I have a Mac. This doesn't make sense to me or to my son-in-law, who works in computer technology. I haven't even gotten to preparing for and registering for the board certification. I am new to AllNurses and wonder if anyone has any thoughts. Is ANCC the only route for psych mental health certification? Thanks in advance.
    Last edit by Sue Barton fan on May 17 : Reason: typo

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