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AANP vs. ANCC 2019 & Go w/ AANP

NP Students   (470 Views 3 Comments)

ThePTNurseGuy has 6 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Orthopedic DPT. Family Nurse Practitioner. ER RN..

630 Profile Views; 31 Posts

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Hey guys,

I finished a post-master's FNP program earlier in the year, and I thought I'd share my thoughts on why I believe that we, as an NP profession, should go with AANP for certification:

1. The AANPCB is specifically and solely dedicated to upholding, improving, and strengthening the NP profession. While I do respect what the ANCC does for nursing, it encompasses so many different things outside of our specialty: RN certifications, leadership certifications, NP certifications, etc. We should be dedicating our resources to an organization like this. They have been representing us since the early 90s. 

2. The AANP initial certification exam fees and the certification renewal are BOTH cheaper than the ANCC. If you are a member of the AANP, the cost of the exam and renewal is even cheaper. Paying higher fees every 5 years can add up, especially when you have funds that need to go elsewhere as well. 

3. The AANP continuing education is phenomenal. I've been a part of multiple different organizations, and I genuinely believe that the AANP has some of the best resources available. You can get TONS of great CEUs (pharm, disease management, etc.) on their website. I've looked through ANA's membership benefits and they are nowhere near AANP. 

4. In regards to the exam, if you study from Leik and supplement with BoardVitals, you'll be fine! I honestly thought the exam was too easy...considering that people have a lot of autonomy as an NP. Frankly, it should be much harder than it is. The most interesting thing about this year is the fact that ANCC CHANGED their exam, making it more clinically-based and less research-based. Do any of you find that kind of funny, considering that that was what the AANP was all about to begin with? If they're changing the exam to be more clinically-based, they mind as well MERGE the certification exams together. MD/DOs know that having two certification boards is a BAD thing, because that leads to inconsistency between various NPs. Frankly, I believe the ANCC finally realized that it was a bad idea to proctor an exam with 30-35% of the material being research-based. How is that going to vet bad NPs from practicing? Outside of 2015, every year thereafter, the AANP FNP exam has lower/slightly lower pass rates than the ANCC. Part of the reason why this might be is because of the clinical content. 

5. To my knowledge, as of right now, there are no states in the entire country that will not accept an AANP certification. I have encountered hospitals that list ANCC; however, when I called to talk to HR and recruiters, they have stated that an equivalent national certifying body is equally as acceptable (i.e. AANP). 

6. Believe it or not, there are a large number of people who have told me that they choose ANCC because it has one more letter in the certification. Are we really picking one certification because FNP-BC looks better than FNP-C? We have enough letters behind our name as it is (I honestly just use 'FNP'). I'm sorry, but that isn't a good reason to choose ANCC. 

While I understand the ANCC has been around longer, and they do bestow magnet status to hospitals, times have changed, and I am unaware of any hospitals that will deny an NP with AANP certification. Again, as it stands, the initial exam fee and renewal fees are less, the money goes towards the biggest NP organization in the country, the CEU courses are fantastic, and the exams are clinically based (as they should be). As a physical therapist, I have been disappointed by the lack of clinical knowledge and skill that certain NPs have. I think one problem lies in the fact that there are two certification boards (among other reasons as well). Now that the ANCC is mirroring AANP, let's make one certification once and for all. There is no reason for two certifying bodies. What are your thoughts on this?

J.Lee- DPT, MSN, FNP, CNL, OCS

Edited by 2234leej

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

143 Articles; 20,816 Posts; 187,653 Profile Views

Great info - I moved this to the student NP forum. Congrats

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ThePTNurseGuy has 6 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Orthopedic DPT. Family Nurse Practitioner. ER RN..

31 Posts; 630 Profile Views

4 hours ago, traumaRUs said:

Great info - I moved this to the student NP forum. Congrats

Thank you!

I'd like to make one caveat when deciding between the two certifications:

Each organization requires 100 CEUs every 5 years. However, the way that you obtain them is different. For the AANP, you need to obtain CEUs through various approved sponsored courses (ex. Medscape, AANP, ANA, ENA, AACN, etc.). For the ANCC, you also obtain 100 CEUs every 5 years. Unlike the AANP, you can also obtain CEUs in different category systems. For example, you can obtain CEU by completing poster presentations, quality improvement projects, preceptor hours, professional service, etc. If these various activities are something you are interested in, this might be one reason why you might choose ANCC. 

There are various ways to offset the cost of obtaining CEUs. Again, if you're an AANP member all the CEUs are free. UptoDate, Medscape, CDC, etc. also offer free CEUs for various courses as well. 

 

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