Jump to content



Since I read this board quite often leading up to my exam and got worried seeing a lot of board failures, I figured we need a more recent posting of success too. I know when I was reading I wanted to see what worked for people taking boards thru AANP and who had done it recently.

I took the FNP exam Monday, roughly 6 weeks after taking the live Fitzgerald review. The course was helpful, but you certainly need to leave time after it to really read thru the tables in the workbook, go through the online lectures and PDFs, and digest everything.

After the course I went through ALL of Fitzgerald's older certification review book and went back through most of the review course workbook. I did listen to all of the online lectures except for the ones on ethics (since that's geared more towards ANCC prep), and at least skimmed all the extra materials. Meant to review Bates but ran out of time.

What I found really helpful too was APEA/Hollier's book of 1300 or so questions with rationales. There are errors (as there are in all prep materials) but it was good practice. I was going to buy the online question bank or predictor tests, but when I called they said there wouldn't be any difference in the questions if I already had the book.

I paid for the AANP sample exam too, which says you need a minimum of 66% to "pass" but that you should really get at least a 75% to give some leeway. I got 85% on that, and 91% on Fitzgerald's sample test in her online materials. That made me feel a bit better. Almost bought tests from familynpprep.com but I'm glad I didn't spend the extra money. There's only so much you can do to prepare!

In the exam itself, there were a number of things I didn't have any idea on but it wasn't because I hadn't reviewed well enough. They throw some weird things in there, that aren't in any review book. But, with the way they score it (needing 500/800) you can still pass despite having to guess on a lot of questions. It helped to remind myself of that as I went through and tried to ignore my pounding heart. And I'm glad I reviewed a lot of peds and maternity, as that was a hefty component it seemed. Fitzgerald said the questions would be mostly about well children - I didn't find that to be the case. And while there was some worry about whether we'd have issues straddling the time period between JNC7 and JNC8 being incorporated, that wasn't an issue.

Today (2 days post exam) my certification number already shows up on the AANP website. :) I'm a happy woman.

So for all those still prepping and freaking out, don't go nuts and spread yourself too thin trying to review a million different sources. Pick one or two things, be diligent and attack them piece by piece, and go through the exam slowly and carefully. You'll likely see things that throw you - mark them and come back rather than sitting and stewing over them. Remember that postings here may skew towards those who didn't pass, as they're understandably upset and looking for help and reassurance. I terrified myself reading these boards leading up to the test.

Good luck to everyone testing or retesting!


Has 8 years experience.

Congrats on your success!

Congrats and thanks for sharing!

So excited for you! I also passed AANP and am so relieved. Writing NP-C after my name is sooooo awesome now !! I found the FamilyNPprep questions to be only so helpful, so I can't really recommend them. They seemed more ANCC focused with nonclinical questions, even if you select the AANP format. I took the Fitzgerald live review and listened to Barkley. Both were helpful. I found PA resources to be very helpful, like Physician Assistant Exam Review â€" Join me as I review for my PANRE.. They have a different type of schooling, but need to know the same stuff we do. In fact, stuff that I looked up from that website came up on my exam! I would recommend breaking out that physical exam book, too!

This is FANTASTIC information to know! Thank you soooooo much for sharing your experience. Especially clearing up the big mystery about questions from JNC8. I found that in Hollier's 2014 review she states that it will not be tested on but I have read on here from someone that was at Fitzgerald's live review some time last week, the she states that it is "fair game" and students should expect questions from JNC8. Also glad you found Hollier's book (1300 questions) helpful. I was going to purchase questions from APEA's web site under Q-Bank but glad I didn't when I learned that they were the same questions as what was already in the book. I also found practice questions from Leik's latest edition book to be extremely helpful along with practice questions from Exam Edge-for the AANP exam.


Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.


Oh I forgot to add that I also did Barkley 2014 home study CD's along with Hollier 2014 CD's for Family Nurse Practitioner and found Barkley's material to be very detailed as well as inclusive. Barkley teaches from the core and provides a lot of simple explanations for certain topics that nurses may not come in contact with on a daily basis during clinical practice! I highly recommend Hollier or Barkley's CD's for review of AANP-Certification Exam! They both know how to put all the pieces together and make such a large amount of material, comprehensible!

Congratulations SuccessfullLady and NJprisonrn!

I must agree with you SuccessfullLady about the lack of info about the tests in the site, usually you find just about everything, about the questions, tests, and other small, but very important points related to it, so sharing works for all of us, and you help is great, thank you~!.

I came today after passing the AANP thinking about that issue so I want to do the same, I am glad that you did it first since I am little tired now. I was so worry about the test. No test can be taken lightly and my advice is to take it as is, an important test that we NEED to pass.

I did want to say about my previous experience with FamilyNPprep.com it was bad, those questions are not like the real test, and they should at least be straight about it and tell up front, but when I talked to the people the repeated the same thing. That site and the www.hesiprep.com did not help me at all with that test, questions and format were so off to the real tests, and many are wrong.

I found that we need a diversity of the sources we use to take these tests. I believe we do not have one that is clearly better above all, I must say Barkley was a good source and he has the pointers from APEA and FHEA.

I dislike the way they sell, is just about money, I know, everything is about money, but you need to understand your clients and their needs. They are not like Kaplan and Hurst, which they let you review as long as you need it (you do not need more than 3 months anyway), we used those services because we need them, but they should understand that repetition helps us to understand and review, one time and you are out is silly to me.

The questions of the review tests are from the review material so if you know their material you perform well on their tests, that fact made me worry A LOT, since I was not sure if that was a real sample score which I could compare, or was just a reflection of that I knew their material.

I had the AANP books, but they are way too long, and to review them is hard, I did one third of the first volume and quit. I like the 1,000 necessary questions since they help you to pull the material you need to know and differentiate between similarities, for example children rashes, vaccinations, HIV, which are not well presented in the APEA or FHEA material or presentations.

I want to take the ANCC to see the difference between the tests, but I hate tests, so I am not sure if I will do it, but I know I love the challenge.

Best to all of you.

Edited by fmAtoZ&backagain

Thank you NJprisonrn

I was thinking to do the same, review PA material, but I was not sure they will cover the information in the same way, our view is more nurse like, which for me is better, more complete. NURSING RULES~!

Congrats! on passing boards fmAtoZ&backagain !!!!! What AANP books are you referring to and what 1,000 necessary questions are you speaking about? Could you share with us what you used for your study material and how you prepared for AANP boards exactly? When you took practice tests on the familynpprep website, did you go to their other site (Exam Edge) select AANP questions? I believe the familynpprep is for the ANCC exam and maybe that's why it was not helpful to you since you took AANP.

Thank you SuccessfullLady.

I am sorry, the ANCC books, they have 2 volumes, and the 1,000 FNP necessary questions from https://www.necessaryworkshops.com/books/NECESSARY-FNP-1000-QUESTIONS--3.

Exam Edge have a website for each test available, many questions are the same, I think if you have questions they should help you to do well in the test, no matter what test. I understand that ANCC has more research, stats, administration, but in general the questions should prepare you for any test, and the level should be the same.

I believe that, the way you prep for the test should be different, ANCC and AANP has differences for the content, duration and way they present the questions, now I have not taken the ANCC and I want to see if is a large difference in the medical questions level. I know this year the AANP conference had an open session about people who want to write questions for the test.

The process for ANCC was longer (6 weeks!) and problematic (First the form was wrong, then the ANCC processor person could not find my program director form until I called and complained with anyone (and everyone), even my director sent another email with the copy of the form, which was all correct), AANP replied and processed the application in days, was really well done, and great instant communication about my questions. The reporting to my board takes also longer time from ANCC than AANP, those are cons to consider.

Well you can get your permit faster if you pay 200 dollars more! A classmate got ANCC the same time than I got AANP