How did you pass the ANCC certification exam?

  1. I've heard Margaret Fitzgeralds stuff is the best but seems like ANCC's stuff would focus more on the test content. I just graduated with my MSN FNP and want to get certified on the first try. Any suggestions?
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 7, '18
  2. Visit beckyfnp profile page

    About beckyfnp

    Joined: May '10; Posts: 3


  3. by   sandnnw
    Becky, this has been covered ad nauseam in previous threads.

    Fitzgerald, Leik, and Millonig were my books. I listened to the Fitz CD to and from work almost every day, iPod, etc. Created thousands of 1/2 size index cards and carried them around all the time until I had my co-workers spouting off answers so they could have passed the test with me.

    The issue here is being prepared. I don't care which grad school you went to, they are all accredited, and most of their students pass, so it's really up to you scout to "be ready."

    Fitz is the prep bible. Her material is still quite relevant and she is very entertaining to listen too, offering real, rubber->road advice for taking good care of patients. Leik: I just liked having a second opinion (insurance) and the size of the book is so handy. Having those extra 500 questions really helped my old brain a bunch. My wife (accountant) liked the Leik book the best, quick, short summaries, to the point, in your face, and having those random questions...just like the test. In other will see a lot of the same material again...if you study these books...hint, hint.

    In my experience, if you chose good clinical experiences, had engaged preceptors, wrote relevant papers and did well on your exams, these books will only be icing on an already wonderful cake! Best of luck (you probably don't need it)

  4. by   Spacklehead
    I agree with most of the above. I studied from the Fitz book and the Leik book (didn't do CDs or courses). I've mentioned this in other posts but I'll put it again here - be careful with the Leik book - if you get an answer wrong on one of the questions and you are sure it is correct, check another source. I found a few questions in that book that had the wrong answers listed as the correct answer in the answer key. Other than that - I found both books to be extremely helpful and a great review.
  5. by   dqbanrn
    check ebay for the fitzgerald cds. I bought mine there, the current edition for $150. I later sold it for $160. I actually listed it the day after because i ripped it to my ipod and no longer had use for the actual disc
  6. by   carachel2
    I just took the test in February. There are many quirky random questions that are just impossible to study for but for the most part the questions are basic, entry level questions where you must prioritize your intervention or identify a disease process. I attended the Fitzgerald course in December and HIGHLY recommend the course. I graduated and then didn't look at the stuff for almost a whole month. Three to four weeks before the test I pulled out the Fitzgerald stuff, the Leik book (which I highly recommend because she covers things that are not even mentioned in the Fitz class) and studied for about 4-5 hours per day, marking off the pages as I went. I made flashcards for information I was having a hard time retaining (Flash My Brain - the natural software for flash card learning.) and then went through those digital cards each morning before I started studying again.

    I would NOT simply memorize need to learn to work out the questions to get the right answers and that involves really knowing some of the basic disease processes such as hypertension and pnuemonia. I would also resist the urge just to take practice tests/ aren't going to learn the information that way.
  7. by   Dixiecup
    I agree but that is the hardest thing for me to do! I am doing practice questions but the ones I miss I am trying to delve deeper into the reasoning behind it.

    I have reviewed till I am sick.
  8. by   dqbanrn
    I agree that understanding the material is key to passing the exam. I probably did did about 200 questions total.
  9. by   Cardiology EP NP
    I took the ANCC ANP exam. I studied using several different books including Fitz, Zerwekh (although it's kind of out dated) and the Leik book. I thought it was a fairly difficult exam and I felt mostly prepared but not completely. I thought that doing a lot practice questions helped me to prepare as well. I had a great study partner too, which helped a lot. It's tough. For a couple of months, you just have to be devoted to studying for this one exam. And of course it will totally be worth it when you have passed. Good luck!
  10. by   dojo2
    i am waiting to take the exam and have been using fitzgerald.
  11. by   carachel2
    Quote from dojo2
    i am waiting to take the exam and have been using fitzgerald.

    I would HIGHLY advise that you not just use Fitzgerald. TRUST ME. There are questions that come flat out from the Leik book and the Leik book has great test pointers.
  12. by   dojo2
    Has anyone used Hollier for review for the exam?
  13. by   Kangoshi_
    Hey there,

    I wanted to second your comment on Leik's errors. I counted 5 throughout the book and was really frustrated by that. I even contacted experts at my hospital to confirm the answers were wrong.
  14. by   AngelfireRN
    I took Barkley review and flunked my ACNP twice. Studied Fitz and Todd and passed with no problem. I go for my FNP next month, so I'll have dual certs. I agree, the more the better.