Passed ANCC one year after grad + baby

by newFNP2022 newFNP2022 (New) New Educator Nurse

Specializes in RN & FNP. Has 7 years experience.

Hey everyone,

If you're super scared of the boards (because yes they ARE intimidating) and feel like you can't pass because you can't know it all--Let me tell you, you can! So I graduated in 2021 with my MSN (FNP, primary care). Also had my first baby a week or so before before classes ended LOL (I walked with my bb in tow). I took the next year off and held off on taking the boards until 2022. How did I do it? Well..... it was not easy. First hatch out a study plan. Plan when you will study, how often, and for how long for. I studied two days a week (at least 3-4 hours) for four consecutive months. I worked per diem (inpatient acute care RN) and took shifts mainly on weekends (otherwise I was a SAHM). ANY free time I had I used to study. I was lucky to have my husband's support.

I highly recommend a review course. Not any specific one... but just a review course period. I used the Fitzgerald review (OVERPRICED but definitely worth taking if you have the money). My school recommended it and she is from my hometown so, why not.. I slowly reviewed all of her content from start to finish throughout those four months. I also reviewed my lecture notes paired with Fitzgerald and highlighted/noted what important info was repeated. 

#1 thing that helped me pass was the Leik book! Maria Codina Leik: Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Intensive Review, Fourth Edition – Comprehensive Exam Prep with Interactive Digital Prep and Robust Study Tools 4th Edition. GET THIS BOOK.

I 100% recommend this book and ALL of her questions! Know this book up and down, left to right, backwards and forwards because she is on her A game and will tell you how to pass the boards! Doesn't matter whether its ANCC of AANP, she's got you. 

As you're studying, try to make flashcards or just review (over and over again) the material that is repeated again and again. It is repeated for a reason and it probably will be on the boards. (antibiotics, DM treatments, baby milestones, all screenings, etc.)

It was not easy at all, I literally cried during the exam because I flagged like every question and was sure I failed... LOL but I passed. YOU CAN DO IT! 

You may not feel "ready" for the exam, or maybe you will, (I personally never felt "ready") but you will hit a point during studying where you just think "OK OK OK enough is enough"..... thats when you should take/schedule your exam. 

I also did board vitals (just the free 30 questions) and those were hard. Do not beat yourself up if you can't get those right... I didn't and still passed. I don't think it was essential (like a review course or Leik) but if you have the money and like testing yourself with questions often, go for it.

Anyway,s for all you moms <3, people without kids, people working full time, part time, experienced RNs, or newbies, YOU CAN DO IT! You got this :) 

barcode120x, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Telemetry. Has 7 years experience. 617 Posts

Great info and good to know. I finished my FNP program end of March, but I was out of class since August of last year. I had actually finished my course on time (2 year program) but I was behind on clinical hours which is why I extended another 6 months until finishing in March. Aside from learning in clinical, I had not touched any books. After being in school/clinical through the start of COVID, I needed the last 2 months to let me brain be free of anything school/clinical related.

I just started watching some lectures of APEA (which my program followed through and recommends) yesterday. I'm intending to take my exam 3rd of last week of June, but I've been hearing about how much time people have been studying for taking the exam (a few months at the very least). I do have a study plan, very simply, daily studying probably 3-4 hours each day. In addition to APEA lectures and book, I also just picked up Fitzgerald but I also will look into Maria Codina Leik. I'm just apprehensive because I feel like I should have been studying much earlier and that maybe I should take my exam at a later date. It also doesn't help that I've told many of friends and co-workers that I'd be taking my exam in June and probably be leaving my work around that time. Yet, I'm also eager to get out of floor nursing as well...Way to add on the pressure, I know LOL.