Content That Nelli17 Likes

Nelli17, APRN 1,264 Views

Joined: Jan 5, '13; Posts: 18 (6% Liked) ; Likes: 2
from GA , US

Sorted By Last Like Given (Max 500)
  • Jun 16


    I am happy to announce that I have recently passed my PMHNP ANCC board exam in late July 2017.

    I know that this website has helped me to narrow down study resources so I am paying it forward.

    FYI I graduated from Drexel University, who boasts a 100% pass rate, so I was already well prepared. I prepped for 4 weeks leading up to the exam (3 weeks approx. 2-3 hours per day, and the last week 8 hours per day).

    Study Resources:

    1. Board Prep 16 hours course provided by Drexel:
    -This was helpful and really refreshed some of the material learned in the previous year(s) and also showed me what I needed to work on. I would suggest doing at least some kind of live prep course.

    2. Pocket Prep PMHNP smart phone app:
    -500 questions that I took over and over again even after I started recognizing repeats. This was important in order to cement the information into my brain. Read all rationale!!

    3. Board Vitals PMHNP questions:
    -Over 1500 questions, again like the pocket prep I made sure to go through all the questions at least once, and kept taking tests even after repeating questions.

    4. ANA (ANCC) PMHNP IQ question (cost $125 for over 200 questions). Totally worth it, not only for the content, but to get a understanding of how the questions will be presented.

    5. ANA Test taking Strategies (cost $30) but was worth it, because it reminds you on key tips of taking these types of examinations.

    6. ANA (ANCC) PMHNP board prep book. 100 great questions in the back. I have to admit I didn't do any reading aside from the 1st chapter on board prep strategies (reading really puts me to sleep).

    Like I said, I don't do a whole lot of reading when prepping for board exams, it just puts me to sleep. I find that taking questions repeatedly allows me to learn more aggressively. For me it is more motivating. I have to say Pocket prep and Board vitals were not exactly like the ANCC exam, but they definitely allowed me to remember key points, concepts, and facts that showed up on the board exam.

    For those of you who are currently prepping, have no fear if your scores are low. I scored in the mid-60's consistently on pocket prep, board vitals, and the ANCC questions during the first several weeks of prep. As a matter of fact I never quite got much better than low 70's on board vitals until after I started to get repeat questions (board vitals is definitely tougher, which is good for prep work).

    Anyhow, that was my method. Good luck to everyone, and please PM me if you have any specific questions.


    The Incredible, PMHNP-BC

    P.S. It feels really good typing that title up after my name.

  • Sep 27 '17

    NPAlby, did you wind up taking the VA job in Phoenix? I just interviewed there and they offered me 12k less than what I am making now. I am just wondering if it is worth it to get in the door. I am not a psych NP- I would be in primary care.

  • Sep 27 '17

    Quote from zenman
    You might want to change your pants because I make more than $120k with full benefits. lol!
    I think that's the going rate around here too. Where are you zenman?
    I dont get benefits or anything but I think I will clear 170k this year. Yeah I do tons of hours but I also take tons of time off when I want and get to make my own hours. Need to get a "regular" gig though with some bennies though next year.

  • Sep 27 '17

    i'm going to need a whole new outfit

  • Sep 27 '17

    You might want to change your pants because I make more than $120k with full benefits. lol!

  • Sep 27 '17

    I've heard of NP colleagues get low offers at the VA. Their pay scales are available to the public being that they are a federal agency and looking at this data does make it look like they are below private practice or state employee standards as far as salary. However, I have spoken to NP's who ended up taking a job offer at the VA and are able to increase the starting salary a bit more than the initial offer. What I was told is that the VA has a complicated point system for salary determination and things such as advanced degrees, faculty experience, multiple specialty certifications, published research all can make your salary go higher than the initial offer. That's pretty much what made these colleagues sign up with the VA along with the federal employee benefits that you won't find anywhere else.

  • Sep 27 '17

    Are any of you guys working for the VA as NP's? I have just gone through an 11mos processof back and forth with them and just got my offer. I am personally and professionally offended at what was offered. I am so shocked right now at how low they went I cant see anything but red. Please let me know if there are any NPs out there who are happy working at the VA.

  • Sep 27 '17

    I work the for the VA. I got hired on with the SNT/VALOR program while in my last year of my BSN program. On the unit I was assigned was a guy who was going through an ADN program. After we both graduated we were boarded by the nurse standards board as Nurse 1 but different steps. For example. An ADN nurse can only be boarded under Nurse 1 and there are 12 steps within the Nurse 1 grade. The reason I was boarded a Nurse 1 with a BSN is because I had zero experience. Now...above I mentioned that you can't go past a Nurse 1 as an ADN. That's not true entirely. As you make your step increases through the years there will be a time when they offer you to jump to Nurse 2 via an "education waiver." This waiver is a once in a lifetime offer. If you never in your life plan to go back and become an BSN prepared nurse then absolutely..take it. BUT. There is a Nurse 3 as well. This is for MSN prepared nurses or BSN prepared nurses that have used their education waiver. It's very confusing understanding the process. You get a step every other year, regardless but you have to write a proficiency every year and you may or may it get a step increase.

    If there is any way I can make this clearer then let me know.

  • May 7 '16

    Hello, anyone starting the program this Fall 2016?

  • Apr 19 '16

    I'm a student, too, psych-NP. I'm going into my 3rd quarter come April. Physiology was the most difficult class so far, although it seemed like health care finance wasn't clicking with me either, for some reason. One tip for the health care finance class: you MUST get the most updated book the professor recommends (the Baker book) because I tried to save and use an older edition and there's chapters that weren't even in there. The other books for finance IMO are worthless, and $$$$!!!, particularly if you follow the online readings that are recommended.

    I also don't know why the patho course requires that whole online package mess. the book itself can be found for half the cost of the package, and all I ever did was read the book. IMO the study guide wasn't helpful either. I had better luck using a study guide leftover from physiology.

    I'm a book budget person--I hate spending hundreds and hundreds on glossy books I'll likely never use again. BTW, I had the biostats book that was so old it had a floppy disk in the back, but it worked fine.

    Don't have any other program advice...I'm in a panicky state of trying to find a clinical placement now. I'm about to the point of offering money or free RN hours on "other days." Aaaiiieee!

  • Apr 18 '16

    No visits for EKU...I liked that, too...It wouldn't have bothered me to do campus site visits though. Not sure what you mean by asynchronous coursework--I think of that as more like logging in live at the same time as a live class at the brick and mortar? If that is the case, no. They tape their lectures and you can watch at your convenience. I think every school has their kinks, no doubt, but so far it has been mostly positive. They have 3 start dates per year which is super convenient. Give them a call, you might be pleased!

  • Apr 18 '16

    Hello Buggysmom
    I am an FNP and I am looking at getting my post masters certificate in PMHNP. I am applying to UC Cincinnati and possibly EKU depending on the start schedule. It seem that you have had a good experience with the program?

    Is the online coursework asynchronous or do you have to log on at certain times for lectures or other assignments?

    Did you have to make any visits to the campus? I am in Texas right now so one of the things I am looking for is not having to go often or at all which I believe Vanderbilt and South Carolina seem to want require more visits. UC Cincinnati just has two days during the first semester.

    Thank you and good luck

  • Apr 18 '16

    I used boardvitals and please don't waste your money with them. The questions they have are not
    the ones to expect on the ANCC PMHNP exam. I will recommend simply putting your money on ANCC questions offered through ANCC.

  • Apr 18 '16

    Hey guys, I just took the PMHNP Exam this Monday and passed!! It feels wonderful to have the behind me. I had read some of the comments on this board before I took the exam so I thought I'd come back to it now and share a few tips that I wish I would have had before I took the boards. First, I didn't do a live review course. Nobody that I know personally that I graduated with did a live review. What I did do was get the Barkley Book and CDs, the ANCC book, the ANCC review questions, the Mometrix Cards, and 5 review tests on These study materials all helped me in different ways and certainly to different degrees. I'll break each one down and try to give my experience with it. So I studied for about 3 months. I tried to study around 4 hours a day if possible, but that wasn't always possible. Some things that I recommend having on your desk while you study are: your health assessment text from school, a pharmacology book, and a patho book. When you actually see the test, you're going to think that none of this stuff looks like what you studied, but the test is somewhat vague and focuses more on critically thinking and actually applying that knowledge that you learned.

    Barkley Book and CDs

    I didn't find the Barkley books and CDs to be very helpful AT ALL. This surprised me because I had read so many glowing reviews of how good it is, but it really didn't help much at all. A colleague that I graduated with told me she really didn't feel like it did her much good either. The CDs are essentially recorded from a live course and they are good for a refresher, but I just didn't find that this material in the books and CDs correlated with what was on the exam very well.

    ANCC Book

    I really liked the ANCC book. I actually waited to order it for a while so it's sort of ironic I guess that the first one I went for was the Barkley instead of the ANCC book since they are the ones that are actually making the exam. The book is a good outline of psych nursing as it applies to advanced practice. I looked through the book and if there was an area that I felt like I needed more help with, I further researched that online or in a text from school. Don't forget to really pay attention to that first chapter in the book on test taking tips, they really help and get you in the right frame of mind!

    ANCC Practice Questions

    What I love about these is that they give you an opportunity to practice taking questions that are similar to those on the actually exam. I made a 65% and 68% on them so don't get too discouraged if you don't do so well. Be sure and make some notecards on the rationale (especially the rationale for the ones you missed). I practiced these questions several times because you can use them as many times as you want for 90 days. They are $125, but well worth it in my opinion.

    Mometrix Flashcards

    These cards are good for when you are just sitting around and want to easily flip through a few cards when you have a spare minute or two. You can throw them in your backpack when you go to work and flip through them if you have some downtime at work. They are good to go over with if you have a person you're studying with too. Some of the cards seemed a little far out to me and they are far from being comprehensive, but they are good for what they are.

    FamilyNPPrep Questions

    These questions are fairly simple and some of the questions can get a little far out there, but they are good if you need a good confidence boost. They also may give you an idea of something that you missed when studying so you can go back and look at it again. I wouldn't personally recommend buying more than 5 tests because I was already getting repeat questions in some of my tests.

    So, if you're a little low on funds and can only buy one or two of these, which ones should you get? For my money, I would say get the ANCC Book and Questions. I feel that these two helped me more than anything else. Along with reviewing my Health Assessment Book and Pharm books. The ANCC gives a reference list of the books that they use to make the exam, you can find it by googling it. I found that I actually owed several of the books from school. Anyway, good luck to anybody that is going to take the exam and I hope this helped! If anybody has any questions, you can email me at

  • Apr 18 '16

    I studied for three months but I also work full time and have a 12 month old. I tried to get in an hour a day at work (if I had no-shows or something), and then on fri-sun (I work four 10s) I tried to study at least two of those days during the lil guy's long nap (2-3 hours). I read the ANCC book once, then I took the two practice exams. I got like a 55% on the first one and a 68% on the second one. I reviewed all rationale on everything I got wrong, plus I looked up anything that caught my eye on stuff I got right. I made notes in a notebook (about ten pages worth). I then re-read the ANCC book and took notes (another 50-60 pages worth). I then only studied my notebook. I have to be honest, the test is a lot of critical thinking. Many questions will leave you feeling like studying was pointless. But, the practice questions will help here because you will have a better understanding of what they are trying to ask. The studying WILL become useful for the other questions that are based more on concrete data. I think the combo of getting the concrete questions right will give you wiggle room to get a lot of the other "critical thinking" questions wrong, thus passing the exam. Sorry if this was long winded.