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Selecting Fitzgerald studying guide


Two questions please:

1. When do most students begin to study for certification? I'll be graduating this December.

2. I've heard many positive reviews about Fitzgerald studying guide, but am a little confused of various packages/products she offers. I would like to purchase her study guide (with review materials, questions and answers) and the review CD. Is this what I should be getting? Family Review Seminar on Audio CD and Review Book Combo

Thanks for your assistance.

Christen, ANP

Specializes in Critical Care, Orthopedics, Hospitalists.

I'd go to her seminar if you can. I found it well worth the money and a great overall review. I can't tell you much about the cds, though. Her review book is good, but I would get one of every review book you can find. Variety is the spice of life and all that! LOL - the different content in each book helps you get a nice, well rounded review. I'm actually about to list all mine on ebay, so pm me if you want a list of what I've got. :)

I did the live review..BUT the audio CD's are invaluable..I listened on the way to clinicals for months. When you do Peds-she offers a Well Child and Sick Child CD. It condenses what you really need to know for each major topic. The live review was good--but it's exactly what's in the Live CD/review you can purchase. I would start listening NOW to the CD's... The Leik review book is excellent as well.

Blessedx3, could you send me a PM, please?


Specializes in ER, ARNP, MSN, FNP-BC.

The review book is GREAT. I take it to work as a quick reference and it is great to take with you to clinicals. Get it now, and use it to study for your exams while you are in school. I did and my exam scores shot up. The CD's are also awesome. They helped my clinical while in school, prepare for the test, and I still listen to them now that I have graduated and passed boards. I also went to the seminar. It was great, however it was exactly the same as the CD's. except that they give you great book and handouts in the course with extra CEU's.

After doing the above, I came out of the boards thinking, that was nothing! (ANCC)

What more can I say :) good luck!

I would recommend using her review book through clinicals. I am taking the AANP exam in a short while and which I had started the review much sooner as it would have helped me GREATLY and prevented the cramming I feel like I'm doing now! I have her CD's (which are a recording of her live seminar with a book that goes exactly with the CD's) and her review book. I personally like the book a little better. The format is efficient - questions, answers, then review of the topic you just answered questions about. It's nice to get a feel for how well you know the information before you review the topic so you can better know your weaknesses.

I also ordered Hollier's book with just questions and answers. I haven't started using it, but have heard that it's good to use one book to study and another to answer questions. Gives you a little more to work with since one author typically writes questions on the same stuff he/she reviews...maybe even asking the questions just a little different will help solidify the information in your brain.

Anyhow, best of luck! I'm frantically preparing for boards and just hope what I'm doing is good enough!

Spacklehead, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Emergency, Cardiac, PAT/SPU, Urgent Care.

I'm going to be honest here, so I'm sorry if this comes across as blunt - it's not meant to be that way. I don't know why so many people spend so much money on the CDs, review courses, etc., especially if you are taking the exam within 6 mos. of graduation. Your program should have prepared you well - you really shouldn't need to spend all of this money on these courses. Yes, they probably do help; but, you can do your own review just using the review books and maybe getting a study group together with friends.

I don't know, I just hate to see so many people spending so much money on info they already spent a bunch on by going through an NP program. The board exam, BON licensure, malpractice insurance, etc. all cost money. Why spend more on info you should already know?

If you really do believe it will help you, then by all means go for it. I just think many of you aren't giving yourselves and your NP programs enough credit - you already should know the info, you just need to review it. The review books alone should be enough to help you with that.

Best of luck to you all!

I agree that I wouldn't spend a fortune on resources, but at ~ $50, I think Fitzgerald's book that I referenced before (ISBN 0803621329) is a great resource and well worth the money spent. I only wish I had gotten it sooner and definitely intend to use it as a reference in practice.

I also have her CD's and felt a bit more overwhelmed at listening to those as a means to study for boards. I did listen to them some throughout clinicals and found them helpful. But at the high cost, I wouldn't suggest that they are necessary.


Specializes in Plastic Surgery, ER.

I used CDs and books...I liked them both. As for the CDs, if you choose to purchase them, check ebay and amazon. I bought a Hollier set of CDs off of ebay for $100 less than the APEA website and after I downloaded them to my computer for my ipod and decided I was done using the CDs, I reposted to ebay and got back what I paid for them. Classmates relayed the same re: Fitzgerald. Just remember when you buy used, you may or may not get the review book that comes with them.

First of all, I can't send private messages....not sure why.

The review book I'm talking about is a bounded book listed on Amazon for $51.70 (current price). ISBN 0803621329.

This book doesn't come with CDs. The CDs can be purchased from Fitzgerald's website and cost around $420 (2010 version) or $446 (2011 version).

I like the review book better because I can pick and choose how long I spend on each subject. However, had I started listening to the CDs sooner, I would have liked them too. I listened to them briefly during clinicals, but am running out of time, so I had to move on to the book so I could get through something.

I take boards too soon and only have a few days off of work to finish studying. I'm not doing very well on the practice questions. So, it'll see if all the hours I've spent studying pay off. But I'm trying to stay positive. So - I will take and pass boards very soon!

Signing out for awhile. I hope this helps.


Specializes in Plastic Surgery, ER.

In my above post when I mentioned the workbook that comes with the CDs, that is a different book than what you can buy in the bookstore/Amazon etc. There is one specific to the CDs and live review course that you cannot buy individually.

I found both the workbook and store bought books to be useful for school and AANP exam prep but more often than not I referred to the store bought book. As another poster stated, it would also be a good quick ref to have in practice.

As I used Fitz the majority of my time in school (Cds and books), by the time it came to study for AANP, I found that she repeats a lot of questions and I knew the answers just due to hearing them over and over. So that's when I switched to Hollier. I liked her online practice test too.


Specializes in Hospitalist.

I am getting ready to graduate and have been listening to Fitzgerald CD's. Did you find them helpful? Which test did you take AANC or AANP


Specializes in Nurse Practitioner-Emergency Room.

I highly recommend going to one of the live seminars if you can, or doing the online seminar. I did the online seminar/review. It was pretty expensive (350 bucks I think) but it was the ONLY preparation I used for the AANP exam other than school obviously. I started it 2 to 3 days before (I wanted the material to be fresh on my mind). I WOULD NOT recommend this as I had to fly through some of it to complete it, and I'm not sure that I did, but I feel that it more than adequatley prepared me. Although I'm an expert of procrastination, you really cannot start soon enough preparing for the exam. Remember though, your program is preparing you for the exam, studying for tests and clinical is preparing you for the exam, clinicals are preparing you for the exam, etc. Everything you learn will be beneficial in preparing you for your certification exam, because you never know what will pop up. One little tidbit, and don't study by this, but everyone I know, including myself, seemed to have quite a few dermatology questions. I don't know if it will be that way for everyone. Like I said, don't live by it or anything (not that anyone would, lol), but it seems like everyone I've talked to, and I noticed it on my AANP exam, had quite a few derm questions. I do think that any of the Fitzgerald material is great. I had the Fitzgerald review book but never used it, but looking at it I can see it would be a great resource. I highly, highly recommend the seminar/review or the online seminar/review. Like I said, it was the only prep I used other than my general NP education, and I felt I was more than prepared for the certificaiton exam. I've also said this several times (just a few minutes ago on another post) but be confident! You are obviously smart, as is any graduate/student of an FNP program (we're about as close to a doctor as we could get without being a doctor, lol, j/k) but trust in what you've learned, and study hard, and make the most of your clinical experiences. Over 90 percent of people pass, and for those that have read my other posts, you're probably tired of hearing it and I'm being redundant, but based on the fact that 9 out of every 10 people pass that take the test, that should give you some confidence!!!! That's because FNP graduates, or any advanced practice nurse, or nurses in general, are bright, intelligent, well-prepared clinicians. Chances are if you properly prepare, you are most likely gonna pass. If you believe in yourself, it goes a long way towards you walking out of that test with a hugh smile on your face because that last screen said that you have passed your exam. Do well in school, adequately prepare, and you'll pass the first time. If you don't pass the first time, just do what they want you to do, take it again, and you're gonna be fine. Do NOT think that way. Go in thinking you are in that 90 or more percent, and you're gonna pass that test the first time. I've always done that with standardized tests, cert. exams (ACT, GRE, NCLEX, AANP certification exam) and I've always done well. I'm not a genius, but I'm confident. I convince myself it's impossible that I'm in that 10 percent that's gonna fail, and I really belive in the power of positive thought, and I belive that nurses are extraordinarily intelligent professionals!!!! :yeah:

I took the AANP Family test. I can't say that any studying I did was even close to what I recall the test being (I recall VERY little from the exam). I do remember that there were questions I could answer with ease and others that I did the best I could after confidently narrowing it down to 2 answers, unsure of which was the best. I don't believe I over studied or under studied, but also am not sure I focused all my energy on the right stuff. Overall, just realize that a good deal of studying will be helpful to you in practice - none of it is wasteful. Also, don't underestimate the difficulty of the exam by not studying at all.

And the best thing I did for myself the day before the test was to put all studying materials away and got a pedicure, full-body massage and lunch with a friend, focusing a great deal on trigger points! It was a great way to relax the muscles that had become so stressed while studying!

Best of luck!!


Specializes in Hospitalist.

Thank you for the information. I am doing an online program and feel that I am not as smart/good as the on campus students. Clinicals have been rough trying to put what I have learned into practice. The pharmacology is the worse. Again, thank you so much and I will go in positive. I love positive affirmations.


Specializes in Hospitalist.

It seems like alot of NP's take the AANP exam because of the ease of getting an appointment.


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