UPDATED 5/2018: Using the tips below, I have helped more than 30+ of my colleagues pass this test without issue. I had one friend who failed the first time because she did not (admittedly) follow my advice. However, she passed the second time and said she should have...
UPDATED 5/2018: Using the tips below, I have helped more than 30+ of my colleagues pass this test without issue. I had one friend who failed the first time because she did not (admittedly) follow my advice. However, she passed the second time and said she should have followed my suggestions the first time around. If you fail the first attempt, you have to take 15 cr. of study and wait a certain period before attempting again. if you fail twice within 1 year, you are banned from taking the test again :(
I just took the FNP Certification Exam through AANP and passed using Leik as my primary source and the Barkley Review as a secondary source. Here is my evaluation of each and tips for how to pass the exam!!!!!!
I took the test in Jan 2018. I attended the Barkeley Review Live in-person review course for ~$400+, which included a comprehensive book, access to their review course online to review at your leisure, and a DRT, or digital readiness test in order to test whether or not your would pass the test if you took the certification exam today. Barkeley''s materials and review course are VERY general and good for any new practitioner starting out, like me, because it really reviews everything you learned in school. The in-person review course was 2.5 days of 8-6 and one day of 8-2 of non-stop information overload. Looking back, I wouldn''t choose to do Barkley again to prepare for the exam. The certification exam was extremely SPECIFIC whereas their material is very GENERAL and lacks testing techniques to help you pass. Barkeley does, however, help you feel prepared to begin a new job as a new practitioner.
I ended up putting away Barkeley''s material and gravitating toward Maria Leik’s book and app when I felt like my DRT readiness score was only in the 60''s after reviewing the Barkeley cd''s, book, and in-person review material for literally 6 months straight for 8 hrs at a time- something had to be missing here. Leik''s book is an easy read and extremely COMPREHENSIVE. In her first chapter, she actually explains the format of the test, how many questions to expect, and test taking tips, which are a life-saver during the exam. One tip that saved me was:
Use the MARK key often and liberally so you can re-read the questions you doubt. It Marked 50 questions and thought it was helpful. She also has an excellent chapter on how to effectively take the test- like write down all normal you see and write down things you want to remember during the exam while they give you the intro for 15 mins, etc. I found that helpful for the cardiac stuff, which I struggle with. It seriously helped me alleviate my extreme test anxiety I struggle with and remember vital information that was used repeatedly on the test, which I did not have to recite over and over again.
Note that if you purchase this book on the Kindle App, it does not contain the access code to her phone app, which I think is essential for passing this test, in my opinion; however, if you purchase the physical copy of the book, the code is included. Not a wise choice by the book producer- they told me they hope to rectify that soon when I contacted them. As of now, the app is called "FNP Family Nurse Practitioner Prep 2018" by Springer Publishing and Higher Learning Technologies, Inc. It cost $70, which includes the entire Leik book and 720 AANC and AANP prep questions, which you can customize to your weaknesses. I cannot say enough good things about this app! I really think it is one of the key reasons I passed this test because it is most similar to the testing situation. With the app you can test yourself with each question and mark which questions you do and don’t know and the explanations are clearly laid out and easy to remember. They are the same as the book, but it is more similar to the board exam mode. I don''t recommend just purchasing the app alone because the book really should be utilized again and again to read and highlight and return to sections of material you want to refresh your memory of. However, the app is great for refreshing quick knowledge of easily forgettable things like the Rule of 9''s.
In order to do well on the test, concentrate on elderly folks, not pediatrics the way Barkeley stresses. Barkeley was also wrong on almost every single thing they said that "everyone gets a question about this or that"- so not true. I did not get a single question they highlighted to remember in their live in-person review course or the audio cds. There was a ton of focus on geriatrics on my test in comparison to kids, which Barkley stresses.
Also do the ANCC practice test online. It is free. At least 1 question was verbatim the same on my examination!
I did not think it was easy by any stretch of the imagination though. There were a ton of medical terminology words that I have never heard of before even though I was a straight A student in my master''s program, attended one of the top 5 nursing programs in the country, and have been in school for the past 7 years straight. Do not let that scare you though!!!!!!!! In my school at least, the professors taught us that drugs would be heavily emphasized on the test, I did not think that it was too bad. More commonly used drugs were used. However, what was tricky about the exam was
The test was more specific and gave a ton of distractors in each question. It was like two diagnoses could be EASILY be the right answer made from the description. I often felt like I needed more information in the question!!!! I thought it was tough to parse out. Take each question and read the question once or twice. Then you can usually throw out one answer and you are not certain about the last three- something that helped me was actually making tic marks next to each answer choice of which one was MORE right than the others. Did it sound more like varicella? Does it sound more like Herpes? And so on and so forth. It helped a little, esp. for STD''s and dermatology.
However, at the end of the day even after feeling like I had no idea what was happening during the test and that the certification exam was not well excuted because too many questions had too many answer choices that sounded right based on the limited information in the scenario, I did pass. Don''t be surprised if you don''t get your score immediately in the testing room on your computer. I did not and I totally thought I bombed it. However, it was a computer glitch! Hopefully, some of these words I am passing on to you will help you take your test in confidence and not waste your money!!!!!