Hello all,

I am a recent ACNP graduate, and I am about to take the ACNP exam. I was hoping to get some insight regarding the exam's difficulty level, and methods of preparation. If anyone has time to respond, I would appreciate it. Thank you for the help!


5 Posts

I took the ACNP exam and did not pass the first time. I am still upset with myself for not passing but I will start studying again to prepare myself. I pray this next time will be a pass score. I felt the test was difficult because I was not prepared for the research, professional/patient relationship, and professional responsibility questions on my exam there seem to be a lot of those types of questions. If you have taken your ACNP exam did you pass!!!


255 Posts

Specializes in ICU, CV-Thoracic Sx, Internal Medicine. Has 11 years experience.

Review the Barkley material. I did not attend the session but reviewed the study material and passed on my 1st try.

It wasn't easy but it wasn't terrible either.

Best of luck.


6 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care.

I did not pass the ACNP exam either. I am very upset with myself for not passing on the first time. I used the Fitzgerald and Barkley reviews but scored low on Nurse Practitioner/ Patient relationship and Health care delivery. I scored high on 2 other subjects and medium on the last one. I am not sure how to study for the two areas that I scored low in. Any advise from anyone that has passed or taken the exam would be greatly appreciated.



255 Posts

Specializes in ICU, CV-Thoracic Sx, Internal Medicine. Has 11 years experience.

mpomidor -- only thing I can think of is as follows:

Answer the question like a provider, not a nurse. Some questions will offer choices such as, "discuss with physician first," "defer to physician," etc.

If a diagnosis is to be discussed with patient and is offered as a choice to the question, answer that.


6 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care.

Thanks. It is just so frustrating that I can get the assessment and clinical portion but not the patient relationship and health care delivery. I have been an ICU for over 12 years. I wish there was something I could study to help me out...


114 Posts

Specializes in cardiac (CCU/Heart Transplant, cath lab). Has 6 years experience.

I created a group on called "Acute Care NP Certification Review." It is public and open for anyone to join who is interested in creating and sharing flashcards for review of the ACNP certification exam. To add a flashcard on a certain topic, just select the existing flashcards on that subject and click edit to enter a question and answer and then save.

The flashcards I have posted are compiled from Barbara Todd's ACNP Certification Exam Review book and are organized into topics. I make flashcards based on questions I have gotten wrong.

Flashcards can be synced to your ipad/iphone/ipod touch device using the free application "Flashcards*" from the Apple store. This is what I use to flip through and review the cards and it's a really cool way to study! I just use Quizlet to make the cards before syncing because it's faster for me to type.



73 Posts

Specializes in ED, psych, burn ICU, hospice.

I am waiting for the OK to take my exam... Studying Barkley’s review book and listening to his CDs. Wish me luck!

Specializes in Hospice and palliative care. Has 29 years experience.

I took the exam in December and used Barkley's materials (manual and CD's). I felt the exam itself hewed very closely to what he went over in the CD's and what he put in his manual. I wish everyone who will be taking it the best of luck on the test!!



1 Post

I am a FNP with a lapsed ANCC certification needing to re-enter the workforce. I am preparing to re-certify for the ANCC exam (hoping to take it in July) and looking for a good home study program. I went to Fitzgerald's review right out of school and it was very thorough helping me to pass the first attempt. Now I am looking at either Barkley or APEA because they seem more focused on exam content and time is an issue for me.

Can anyone give me some insight...I just fininshed half of the required contact hours to recertify and really need to start a study program in earnest. Any help would be most appreciated. Thanks!!!!!