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Resources to study for certification

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It's getting near to the time when I can apply to take the exam for certification in my psych specialty. Anyone know where there are any resources out there to help me prepare for this? And for those of you who have taken the exam....how difficult is it? How well does 'just doing your job' day after day help you to prepare for the exam (I know I learn something new every day!) ? My practice is as a staff RN in a state-run acute care setting on an adult extended care unit.

Thanks in advance for your help :)

Melissa

Orca, ASN, RN

Specializes in Corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC. Has 26 years experience.

If you mean the ANCC exam for Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, I have taken it. After taking the exam, I was convinced that I had failed it. I thought that it was worse than the nursing board exam. Many of the questions were more appropriate for master's and PhD level therapists than nurses on the floor. That said, about 80% of the people who take the exam pass it.

As far as study resources, I just looked over some psychiatric nursing texts I have at home, and the DSM-IV. There isn't a lot you can do to prepare. If you have worked in psychiatric nursing long enough to be eligible for the exam, you probably know enough already.

I carried my certification for the initial five-year period and then dropped it. I found that employers do not pay extra for having it, and I gained no advantage that I could ascertain from having it. The cost of maintaining it is high and the training requirements for maintenance are excessive, in my opinion.

I appreciate the feedback.

Yes, I do mean the ANCC exam.

In my hospital, nearly all the nurses who have been there awhile do have their certification and we need it to move up from the lowly position of RN II to RN III or move on to Clinical Nurse Specialist, etc.

Do you recall if it's in the same type of format as the NCLEX which was multiple choice and done on a computer? At least that's the way I did my NCLEX. Also, is it exclusively psych questions or are there general nursing questions thrown in? I haven't been an RN for years and years, but I have worked in the psych field prior to becoming an RN....working many years with DD clients, many of whom also had a psych diagnosis, first in a large, state-run facility and later in an agency-run small group home.

I really love psych nursing....it's challenging, sometimes thankless, but when I see all the hard work make a difference, even if it's just getting someone through a rough night without harming themself, it's sooooo rewarding!

Thanks again,

Melissa

pattyjo, MSN, RN

Specializes in psych/mental health.

I appreciate the feedback.

Yes, I do mean the ANCC exam.

In my hospital, nearly all the nurses who have been there awhile do have their certification and we need it to move up from the lowly position of RN II to RN III or move on to Clinical Nurse Specialist, etc.

Do you recall if it's in the same type of format as the NCLEX which was multiple choice and done on a computer? At least that's the way I did my NCLEX. Also, is it exclusively psych questions or are there general nursing questions thrown in? I haven't been an RN for years and years, but I have worked in the psych field prior to becoming an RN....working many years with DD clients, many of whom also had a psych diagnosis, first in a large, state-run facility and later in an agency-run small group home.

I really love psych nursing....it's challenging, sometimes thankless, but when I see all the hard work make a difference, even if it's just getting someone through a rough night without harming themself, it's sooooo rewarding!

Thanks again,

Melissa

Hi Melissa: Good luck with your exam, you will be glad you did it.

I took mine several years ago, so things may have changed, but it was not on computer, it was all written, all multiple choice. Maybe someone who has taken it more recently can answer this question

I used a review book, just so I knew what types of questions and areas to focus on. There was a section on current trends and issues, I remember several questions about use of restraints and seclusion. I don't recall the name of the review book I used, but Nancy Rudolph has a newer one, you can find it on amazon.

Some nurses I know from other areas in the country have told me their place of employment is strongly encouraging certification, some even making it mandatory within a certain time period.

My hospital reimburses the cost of the test itself, and the recert. cost. Also, I started my current job at a higher salary than I would have without the certification.

Good luck, I'd be happy to try and answer any other questions you have.

Patty

Orca, ASN, RN

Specializes in Corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC. Has 26 years experience.

Mine was on paper also, but I took the test in 1998. I do not know whether they have gone to computers. It would have made things much easier (I finished the board exam in 25 minutes - the ANCC test took several hours).

I think I can see that this is going to be another "Big Anxiety Event" like the NCLEX exam. I was so nervous that I forgot where I parked!!! :uhoh3: But I did manage to pass the exam with the minimum number of questions and was LESS worried than my peers when I left the exam room.

Thanks for the tip on the study book...that's a good place to begin!! Looks at this point like I should probably approach it in the same manner as the NCLEX....rely on basic knowledge, practice, practice, practice sample questions (if that's how the book is set up), see where my weaknesses are and focus on improving in those areas....also memorizing any particular names/numbers/dates, etc. Does that sound accurate?

I'll go check out that book now....... ;)

Melissa

It's getting near to the time when I can apply to take the exam for certification in my psych specialty. Anyone know where there are any resources out there to help me prepare for this? And for those of you who have taken the exam....how difficult is it? How well does 'just doing your job' day after day help you to prepare for the exam (I know I learn something new every day!) ? My practice is as a staff RN in a state-run acute care setting on an adult extended care unit.

Thanks in advance for your help :)

Melissa

There is a study guide for it. Look for the most up to date one on amazon.com. Also in the material sent to you before testing is included a study guide to help you prepare which I would advise you to review. Get to the test center address day before, get a near by hotel so you can get a good nights rest. I paced myself according to the time alotted for the test and number of questions. I took the whole time and was the last to finish but I passed. :)

i took the ancc certification for psych a couple of years ago. it wasn't what i expected. we were in a large room with these little school desk/chairs, the kind that is "all-in-one. there were different nurses taking different certifications all at the same time. i think out of 75 or so of us there were only about 3 or 4 of us there for psych. the whole time we tested, the person in front of me tapped their pencil on the desk :angryfire (as an aide to think more clearly, i suppose.) i was sure i failed when i walked out of there.

i wouldn't want to do it again but i don't regret it.

we don't get paid any extra for certification either. i guess it's just a personal accomplishment for me.

Just took the test in October, its still pencil & paper.

I did spend some time studying with the outline they sent prior to the test, and was sure I failed. I passed by 3 points. OUCH!

Several questions on nursing theory that I was not prepared for, big focus on borderline personality d/o on my test, several questions on standards of practice--study this. Only one med question--this was a shocker.

Good Luck!

I appreciate the feedback.

Yes, I do mean the ANCC exam.

In my hospital, nearly all the nurses who have been there awhile do have their certification and we need it to move up from the lowly position of RN II to RN III or move on to Clinical Nurse Specialist, etc.

Do you recall if it's in the same type of format as the NCLEX which was multiple choice and done on a computer? At least that's the way I did my NCLEX. Also, is it exclusively psych questions or are there general nursing questions thrown in? I haven't been an RN for years and years, but I have worked in the psych field prior to becoming an RN....working many years with DD clients, many of whom also had a psych diagnosis, first in a large, state-run facility and later in an agency-run small group home.

I really love psych nursing....it's challenging, sometimes thankless, but when I see all the hard work make a difference, even if it's just getting someone through a rough night without harming themself, it's sooooo rewarding!

Thanks again,

Melissa

Just took the test in October, its still pencil & paper.

I did spend some time studying with the outline they sent prior to the test, and was sure I failed. I passed by 3 points. OUCH!

Several questions on nursing theory that I was not prepared for, big focus on borderline personality d/o on my test, several questions on standards of practice--study this. Only one med question--this was a shocker.

Good Luck!

Thanks so much and Congratulations!!!! 3pts is 3pts is 3pts.....you made it!!!!

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