Psychiatric Nursing Certification Psychiatric Nursing Certification | allnurses

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?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. Visit  Whispera profile page
    #1 1
    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)
  4. Visit  ear profile page
    #2 0
    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
    #3 0
    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
    #4 2
    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!
  7. Visit  sanfordhealthcare profile page
    #5 5
    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!
  8. Visit  MickyB-RN profile page
    #6 1
    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?
  9. Visit  Sue Barton fan profile page
    #7 1
    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, '15 : Reason: typo
  10. Visit  JuanabePHNurse profile page
    #8 1
    Hi Sue. Aw man, that stinks about having to have a PC to take the exam. I just got an iPad and love using this thing.

    If you have 1 year of addictions nursing, which part of that 1.5 years in behavioral health may have included that, you can qualify to sit for your Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (CARN) certification. This is through IntNSA.org, or at least you can start at that website to get where you need to go to find out about certification.

    BTW, I did psych nursing in the Pittsburgh area - amazing experience. Good luck!
  11. Visit  elkpark profile page
    #9 1
    Quote from Sue Barton fan
    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.
    The ANCC cert is the only psychiatric nursing certification, although, as Juanabe notes, there is a separate addictions nursing certification offered by a different group.
  12. Visit  Sue Barton fan profile page
    #10 0
    It looks to me like the ANCC certification may be the only way to go; I just hope that the actual application for board certification in Psychiatric Nursing goes more smoothly than getting those CEU's. I was able to use my Mac to take the CEU online exam, after making some minor adjustments. It looks like ANCC does have to update their directions on taking those exams, though. I will check out the CARN certification, although my behavioral health experience was on a 16 bed locked unit with residents who were diagnosed with a wide range of mental health disorders with many having an addiction component to their overall care needs. Thanks so much for the suggestion about the CARN and for the words of encouragement!
  13. Visit  celery_juice profile page
    #11 1
    I took it last September and prepared in a similar way. I read the ANCC book cover-to-cover a handful of times, and researched anything I wasn't sure on more in-depth. I also purchased the additional practice questions from ANCC. I didn't use any other study materials. As other people have posted, I found it similar to NCLEX. It was challenging but you seem as if you're preparing well. Good luck!
  14. Visit  mbernie profile page
    #12 3
    I Just passed my Certification examination and used the following resources:

    1. Caring for Patients with Mental Health Issues: Strategies for All Nurses from westernschools.com which also earned me the 30 ceu's required by ANCC, and is available at Western Schools > ProductDetail

    2. Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Review Manual available at the following ANCC website: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Review Manual - 5th Edition

    3. 2000 Practice Test Questions where I Used Promo Code: SAVE-NISLO to get a 10%
    discount at http://www.anccprep.com/PsychMentalH...rder_tests.cfm

    4. 200 Practice Test Questions available at the ANCC website: Certification Practice Questions–Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing


    Good Luck All, lots of critical thinking required!

    Bernard M RN-BC

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