Western Governors University (WGU) FNP: Summary and PASSED AANP exam

Nursing Students NP Students

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So I jumped at the opportunity to start the new FNP program shortly after graduating with my BSN from in 2020.

Thr differences between my eXperience for BSN vs MSN.

I had to apply and get accepted into the new limited access program. The FNP program was a minimum of 2 years at the time. No mater how quickly you finished your courses you would just have a wait till your next term. I had clinical hours to complete 650 rials hours in a 6 month term, and it was cutting it close. I had to find my own preceptors. I'm in Florida so it was pricey.There was a longer time to wait for approvals for end of term for clinical. Maybe a week. I was used to the speedy "no need to communicate if you passed your exam or finished your PA" type classes.

A few similarities. Books and everything were available in links or ebook format. I got a fancy kit That came with Welchyann product otoscope, Ophthalmoscope for assessments. The core MSN classes are the same or similar to other MSN programs as WGU. So I joined a few other facebook groups for Wgu as the FNP was new and did not have any resources to find online or anywhere else. The CPE or online portfolio are similar for PA and student response with feedback assignments.

Take away for core classes. If you have a degree with WGU, you should do well in the core classes. I did struggle and thought I might need to extend a term after a difficult class With statistics and excel. But I reached out and got help so I was able to move on to the next term. 

Take away from FNP courses. So I have always been a great test taker. I did not fail any of the exams or have to do a retake at WGU. With that being said, those are some of the hardest exams I have taken so far. I developed some test anxiety after the first exam. I have always been and over study person and I was still just over passing the exams. 

I really had to digest the books. There was no real study guide it was a lot of info at once. Only.tips I can offer is to type out the "guide" while you're studying. Join the FB group. Reach out to your program mentors and course instructors as soon as you to have any questions.

Clinical take aways. Just secure a preceptor right now if you can. Go ahead and jot down some info of  people that might precept you before you start.best if they have at least 2 years experience. I had  two doctors and one nurse practitioner. The school preferred NPs in primary care or psych. I did family care, so I chose family practice locations. I think PAs are accepted as well but I would also recommend you talk directly from someone at WGU as content and requirements are changing all the time. 

Preceptor take aways. I was not able to really work during clinical time or the last term of the program. I needed 650 hours total divided in 3 terms. It was about 2.5 months full time hours. I worked per diem one shift a week and but the end I was burnt out. It is important to include other thing in the time frame, exams, documentation of hours and client cases, primary simulation checks off and evaluation time to approve for next term. 

After awhile it felt like I was just working for free. Not really for free. I did have to find preceptors and I paid for their time. Not all of them though. The majority of my hours were free clinical preceptorship. 

Make sure you have a preceptor you know and can get along well with. I was spending 40+ hours a week with my preceptors. I also had a need for them and a grateful attitude and I think that helped in the long run. 

After you complete 500 clinical hours you can apply for AANP. I chose AANP over AANC because I heard you get a quicker ATT. I was authorized to test in two days. You can always pay to sit for both it you are nervous. Every job board I seen states to have either certification so the quickest ATT was my deciding factor. I was over my 650 hours when I applied. I wanted time to focus for testing. I purchased the leik book and did all the questions that come in the back of the book. I did them on the online format. I also used the cohen review and the cohen review q/a. I took the exam a week after ATT. I had been studying though out the program I did not feel confident. I just felt that I was prepared as I could be. I passed June 2022. I did not use any other guide. I am not affiliated with the Cohen review company.  She was just a good value ($79) at the time.

After passing the AANP my final transcripts took three weeks to process. I feel like I should have waited till I graduated to take AANP. They will not give you official certification until they process your final transcripts. You cannot apply for your state license until after you have a certification with AANC or AANP. I then had to apply for Florida state board it took less than a week after applying. I received a license number on Florida mqa website. 

To sum, I would recommend the WGU FNP program and the BSN program. I would also recommend a flexible mindset as the program is a year old. The director was approachable very receptive to feedback and changes that could help students succed. One change was that the minimum requirement is now 2.5 years.

I believe it was related to students from different colleges or not familiar with WGU's program practices, and they rushed into exams, or did not understand the essay style and APA paper style format that's custom to WGU. I cannot say this information is factual. This is my own speculation as I observed a few people asking on a public boards for direct answers, or stating they took one of the 3P classes( patho, primary care, physical assesment ) after being in that class for a week. I did take a minimum of one month to study per OA for FNP core classes. Everyone is different. I took more time as I am a read and write studier. There was no way I could have read and answered questions to the content in a shorter time frame. Anywho speculation. 

I  also not sponsored or affiliated by the school other than being a graduate. Please go to any school that you feel works the best for you and your situation (like covered tuition with military or hospital contracts are good options). 

You can do the program. There are more resources available. It's up to you to get the most out of the program and pass your exams. Whatever school program you choose, I wish you the best of luck future Nurse Practitioner!

Dana MSN, FNP-C.

Also yay me for my first post after using this website for years as a guide! 

Hi Dana!  Great post - I am researching FNP programs and I didn’t realize that had a program….I appreciate your review and information.  I will look more into this program.

CONGRATULATIONS! 

Specializes in GI.

Hi. I live in Florida too.
Thank you for the information. I am looking at the psych program. Not sure about the  competency style or the how employers will respond to the school style. 

Hey. So as a BSN graduate of I loved the competency style. It was very self paced. However you still had to prove knowledge my exams or papers. It is no different to me than other schools. 

For example. The books are included online or in links that you need for the class to understand the content. If the class was something like care of the older adult or statistics that you may have taken before, you can take the pre assessment and jump to the objective assessment for the class. If you pass the objective test (or have a passing paper) you prove competency and you complete the class. 

I finished a few classes in a week or some in a month for my BSN courses. It really depends on what you know. how quickly you reach out to mentor and course instructors if you’re having trouble. Also if you’re good at online classes. Can you read the content and understand what is being asked in the rubric?  Check out facebook groups. If you don’t have one I recommend joining just to have the group community. 

In the FNP program my goal for paper objectives was to complete 2 classes a month. For objective assessments, (60 question exams) I would give one to two months to study and take the exam. 

The masters program is more paced, like set time frames to complete classes in a term, but you can still complete them early if you’re good at reading content and studying for exams. Or you’re very good at writing in APA paper format. 

I passed the national boards and I have a state license. I have not had trouble finding a job as a new grad. I have had trouble finding a good paying one for new grads with benefits. But Florida is a lower paying state for nurses and FNPs. 
There is a larger need for psych Nps in Florida in my opinion. If you Google job boards now you will find many psych jobs that are urgently hiring new grads psych NPs and it’s a work from home position.(160,000 annual). I did psych as LPN. I think I would serve patients better as family practice. 

There are still other programs out there but I’m happy with my decision. I would go back if the offer DNP at WGU. 

In my initial post I was just stating that I feel like someone who has not graduated as a BSN or other post certificate from WGU may be at a disadvantage in the beginning. 

I hope this was helpful I tend to over explain. 
Good luck in your search :). 

 

Specializes in Psych, CCU.

Dana, I wonder if you will see this since it's been a few months since you wrote the post. Thank you for writing it; it is very informative. I plan to begin 's FNP program early next year. Which classes are considered core classes? Are they the MSN core or also the FNP core classes too? Tia!

Hey seen it ?
if you go to WGUs website you should be able to see and download the program guide that shows the classes.

The core MSN classes are the first classes you take and they are apart of most of the master programs.

The “ 3 P”classes are the required classes by most NP programs to sit for NP boards. 

I recommend talking with someone from the school. The admissions are very similar to most admission staff for schools. They will have the best information though. I recently learned that the FNP can still be accelerated to 2 years and I believe the Psych is 2.5 *things change*

Also the commencement was amazing.
I went to the grad bash meet and greet and a local graduation ceremony the next day and it was very impressive. I paid around $60 for my cap and gown. There was a lot of food and entertainment at the grad bash, free professional Photos for LinkedIn, dance floor, lots for finger foods. The graduation had a special guest speaker, and you know what if you do take the time to complete any program I would also highly recommend going to meet and greet and graduation. It is  affordable and impressive much like there entire school model. 

hope that helps ? 

Specializes in Psych, CCU.

Thanks so much for all the great feedback, especially for the grad bash and the meet and greet. Without that knowledge, I never would have gone. 

Hi there - I just started the MSN Leadership and was debating to switch to FNP track - I wanted to see how you are liking it so far?

I finished the program last June 22. It was challenging to study and complete the FNP specific exams such as patho etc. I finished in 2years it is recommended to do it in 2.5 years.
I would recommend the program 100%.  I would also suggest you look for clinical placement now in your community. Family practice or psychiatric NPs and physicians that would allow you as a student in office. 

Good luck ? 

@Dana I dono if you will see this. I just got accepted into WGUs FNP program (I also attended their BSN program). I am trying to decide if it's the best fit. 
My biggest concern is having to find my own preceptors, was that difficult for you? it caught me off guard when the enrollment person initially said that we'd have to find our own. So I am just curious!

thanks

joanna 

Hi there, 

I think this depends on your area and culture. I was in Florida so there was a high demand for preceptors for different programs FNP pa etc. I found that I did not have that hard of a time I had 3. 2 doctors and 2 FNP. I found that most are used to being paid by students or some schools will pay preceptors. 
You should join the fb groups for tips. Few people made resume baskets.

Hi Dana!

Congrats on all you have accomplished! I was just accepted into the FNP program at ! I knew I would have to find my own preceptors but what is this about paying them? No one has told me that. How much do you even pay a preceptor? 
Thanks

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