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The Ultimate Checklist for Nurse Practitioner Graduates: A Guide to NP Board Exam Prep

Jun 02, 2024
Checklist for FNPs, AANP, ANCC, Sarah Michelle

 Congratulations on graduating! Now it’s time to conquer the next significant milestone: the NP board exam

1. Rest and Recharge

Before diving into exam prep, take a well-deserved break. Binge-watch your favorite series, enjoy quality time with family and friends, or treat yourself to a mini-vacation. Remember, a rested mind is a sharp mind!

2. Choose Your NP Exam: ANCC or AANP?

Decide which certification to pursue:AANP vs ANCC what's the difference??

  • ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center): Offers a broader range of questions, including professional issues.
  • AANP (American Association of Nurse Practitioners): Focuses more on clinical practice and patient scenarios.

Research each to see which aligns best with your strengths and career goals.

3. Plan Your Study Time

Effective planning is critical:

  • Create a study schedule: Map out your study sessions. Aim for consistent, manageable blocks of time.
  • Set Goals: Break down the material into weekly goals. Smaller, more-* achievable targets keep you motivated.
  • Balance: Ensure your schedule includes breaks and downtime to prevent burnout.

4. Decide on Review Courses

Consider whether review courses fit into your study plan:

  • Online Courses: Flexible and self-paced options like quality at affordable rates.
  • In-Person Workshops: intensive, focused sessions for hands-on learners.
  • Cost and Time: Evaluate the cost and time commitment against your budget and schedule.

5. Determine Study Time

How much time should you dedicate?

  • Assess Your Starting Point: Take a practice test to gauge your current level.
  • Daily Study Time: Aim for 2-4 hours a day, adjusting based on your practice test results.
  • Review and revise: Periodically assess your progress and tweak your schedule as needed.
  • Set a study time before taking the NP exam. Is it going to be 2 months, 3 months, or more.

6. Gather Study Materials

Equip yourself with the best resources:

  • Books: Must-haves include Leik’s Review for the Adult-Gerontology and Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Exams."  I am not paid by Maria T.Codina Leik, but it is the book to have,it truly helped me during my preparation for the FNP Board exam
  • Apps and Online Resources: Utilize apps like UptoDate and online question banks for on-the-go studying.
  • Study Groups: Join or form a group for collaborative learning and support.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice

Test your knowledge:

  • Practice Questions: Use question banks and practice tests to familiarize yourself with the exam format.
  • Timed Tests: Simulate exam conditions to improve time management.
  • Review Answers: Analyze your mistakes to understand and learn from them.

8. Take Care of Yourself

Self-care is essential during prep:

  • Healthy Habits: Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.
  • Stress Management: Practice mindfulness, yoga, or meditation to stay calm and focused.
  • Support System: Lean on friends, family, and colleagues for encouragement and motivation.

9. Plan Your Exam Day

Prepare for the big day:

  • Know the specifics: Verify the date, time, and place of your exam.
  • What to Bring: Your ID, confirmation of your exam, and any materials that are allowed.
  • Before the test, get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast.

10. Celebrate Your Hard Work

After the exam, take time to celebrate your effort and dedication. Regardless of the outcome, completing your NP program and sitting for the board exam is a monumental achievement.

 Good luck, future NP!

Miriam Tivzenda.MSN.FNP-BC.FNP-C

Hey, NP graduates, what other effective  checklists have you used?

Leave your comments below.


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Miriam Tivzenda's ANCC/AANP Study Group (FNP/AGNP)