Are you preparing to sit for your Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam soon?
Whether you will be taking the AANPCB or ANCC exam, it is important to go into your boards with a broad knowledge base as well as the entry-level skills that will be necessary to begin your career as an NP safely and confidently. The best approach to learning and acquiring information is to understand concepts and apply knowledge so you know what to do and why you are doing it. The Fitzgerald Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination Review, with hundreds of practice questions, prepares you in the why, how, and what of NP practice, while helping to prepare you for success on the NP boards.
On your exam, expect questions that range from lower-level, fact-oriented questions to more complex questions that can only be answered using thorough clinical decision-making. Unlike fact-oriented questions, application-based questions often have more than one correct answer; your task is to select the one that is the best answer given the particular scenario described. This is a fair reflection of the type of decision-making you will need to do on a regular basis as a practicing NP.
If you are looking into taking your certification exam soon, we invite you to test yourself with three free ANCC practice questions* formulated exclusively by Fitzgerald Health Education Associates.
A 65-year-old man presents to you with a chief complaint of “having no energy for the past few months.” You begin your interview by asking:
Answer: B. This question is assessing your ability to know why and when to use various types of history-taking questions. By asking an open-ended question like this in your interview, you can start to understand the impact this problem has on your patient's life, as well as glean any insights from your patient about what could be going on.
Close-ended questions like 1, 3, and 4 limit the patient's focus (and yours) and may cause you to miss important information that could otherwise help guide your initial assessment, diagnosis, and plan of care.
Bell’s palsy is caused by paralysis of cranial nerve:
Answer: C, cranial nerve VII. This is a good example of a fact-based comprehension question. To answer correctly, you would need to recall that Bell’s palsy is a condition where the cranial nerve VII (facial nerve) is affected.
Sometimes, the FNP exam may use images instead of just words to assess your knowledge base. In this case, you might see a photo of a person with Bell’s palsy and then be asked to describe which cranial nerve could be involved.
You are seeing Ms. Harrison, a 51-year-old woman presenting for a health exam. Ms. Harrison is an active cigarette smoker with a 35 pack-year history. She also has a family history of premature heart disease. Which of the following is the most important part of her assessment?
Answer: C, measuring her blood pressure. In this case, one could argue that all four assessments may be relevant given what we know about Ms. Harrison's current health information, lifestyle factors, and age. However, notice that the question asks you to select the most important assessment.
In order to know that measuring her blood pressure is the correct answer, you must be able to analyze the available information and take into consideration other facts you already know based on your underlying knowledge base.
For example, heart disease is a leading killer of women, smoking and family history are leading heart disease risk factors, and hypertension — which is often asymptomatic — can be detected in its early stages, meaning that catching it early could have a more significant impact on Ms. Harrison's immediate health.
In contrast, smoking-related lung diseases like cancer may well show up on a chest X-ray, but these would not be evident until in their more advanced stages; therefore, a chest X-ray is not recommended as the primary course of action in this case.
To help guide your thinking process and identify the priority information with these types of application-based questions, always keep your eye out for words in the question such as initially, most important, or first.
As one of the leading FNP exam preparation resources, Fitzgerald Health Education Associates features a 99%+ pass rate and an NP Pass Guarantee. Led by an experienced team of practicing, board-certified NPs, we have helped over 140,000 NPs pass their Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam and enter a rewarding NP career with confidence.
We provide the resources and tools you need to accomplish your goals and sharpen your skills, whether you are a FNP student, a new practicing FNP, or beyond. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions about your upcoming FNP certification or continuing education.
*Disclaimer: It’s important to remember that practice tests should be used as a means of recognizing whether or not you’re ready to take your NP boards, and should be utilized as you’re wrapping up your NP certification review, not beginning it. For more information to help guide you through the first steps of your learning journey, visit fhea.com to get started.