ANP vs. AGPCNP/AGNP Certification

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  • Specializes in Critical Care Medicine. Has 6 years experience.

Hello All!

I am happy to say that I have finished my ANP program. It transitioned from ANP to AGNP around the time I was half-way through. My school verified with AANP that I can take either the AGNP-PC or ANP exam. My intent (and what I am currently signed up to take) is the ANP exam.

My decision of this was because I felt that the title of AGNP-PC pigeon-holed me more (on the surface, not substantively) into working in the primary care setting. I understand that this may be meaningless. I have been studying hard for the ANP exam and have the Leik ANP study book. I have been taking ANP practice exams and scoring well. I have also taken the ANP-centered APEA review course.

NOW (after all of this), I have thought to ask the question: Is this a stupid decision? Should I really just be taking the AGNP-PC exam? I already have accepted a job in the ICU as an NP, so maybe this question is moot...but still: Thoughts? Advice? I appreciate it! (*I do intend to return for a post-maters in acute care anyway...).

Thanks!

Almost NP-C (hopefully) Kevin

Psychcns

3 Articles; 859 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatric Nursing. Has 30 years experience.

Can you take both exams?? It seems one will probably overtake the other eventually. Maybe.

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

9 Articles; 4,338 Posts

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 31 years experience.

I would take the AGPCNP exam. The change in the content and certification credential has nothing to do with a primary care vs acute care role. The ANP role has always been primary care focused in comparison to the ACNP role which is acute care. The addition of the Gerontology content, hence A-GPCNP and A-GACNP, were part of the provisions of the Consensus Model which mandates that adult specialty tracks must also include Gerontology content (which it actually did before). As a consequence, the Gerontology Nurse Practitioner track which was offered in the past was discontinued. The ANP and ACNP exams will also be discontinued but those who are certified in them could still renew in the future. Would you want to be certified under a discontinued title?

guest538567

171 Posts

Hello,

I am an ANP and graduated from my MSN program before the transition to the AGNP model. However, my school was an early leader in gerontology content. My program met the requirements and allowed me to go back and take the AGNP exam when it became available. I now have certification as an ANP and AGNP. The AGNP is the new standard and I wanted to have that certification as it becomes the norm. Also, the AANP will not allow renewal of the ANP if there is a lapse in recertification given its retired status. So I felt that having the AGNP certification provided me some comfort if something happened that delayed my renewal (albeit very unlikely). In the future I may allow the ANP to lapse, although for now I will keep it active.

I also allowed my employer to cover the cost of my AGNP certification as part of my CME budget. I found that the test was incredibly easy after some years of practice.

Good luck.

AtomicWoman

1,747 Posts

My decision of this was because I felt that the title of AGNP-PC pigeon-holed me more (on the surface, not substantively) into working in the primary care setting. I understand that this may be meaningless.

It IS meaningless. Just because the words "primary care" appear in the certification does not mean it is going to pigeonhole you any more (or less) as a primary care provider than an ANP. I graduated right at the change-over and was initially certified as an ANP. I took the AGPCNP test (with ANCC) shortly after it became available because (a) it reflected my actual education and (b) it was the most current certification. I don't regret doing that at all. You can choose to specialize with either an ANP or AGPCNP certification. And the poster who mentioned that it is critical you don't let your ANP certification lapse is spot-on. If it lapses, you will not be able to renew it.

I am surprised you got hired as an ICU NP, but I guess it depends on the part of the country you work in. Here in the Northeast, hospitals want acute care NPs to have acute care certification. Good luck with the new job and the new career!

CCNP-FL

1 Article; 58 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care Medicine. Has 6 years experience.

I am surprised you got hired as an ICU NP, but I guess it depends on the part of the country you work in. Here in the Northeast, hospitals want acute care NPs to have acute care certification. Good luck with the new job and the new career!

I get the meaninglessness part and understand it really is just a title thing. For me it was one of simple perception. Honestly, I was surprised the intensivst group hired me as well. I have worked with them for two years, so it may have been a good personality-fit or they just liked me. Either way, I am going back for a brick-and-mortar post-masters AG acute care certificate program at University of Miami or Nova Southeastern. Thoughts? Comments? I'm not looking forward to more school, but I think it is a reasonable thing to do here in South Florida where NP jobs may not be around forever in such quantities.