Family nurse practitioners or FNPs are highly trained individuals who help children and adults look after their health and prevent diseases. Established in 1965, the profession has evolved by leaps and bounds since; today, not only is the profession satisfying mentally, morally and emotionally, but it’s also highly in demand and therefore, increasingly lucrative. Over 916 million visits are made annually to nurse practitioners in the United States alone and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 35% swell in the profession’s growth by 2024; considering that FNPs can earn $100,000 and upwards a year, the growth isn’t surprising!
However, becoming an NP requires dedication, commitment and of course, passing the NP Certification Exam (whether AANP or ANCC), which can be a pretty stressful ordeal. To be able to quickly recall all that you’ve learned throughout the course may seem like a herculean task; additionally, the stress and fear caused by the knowledge that just one last exam stands between you and your career is enough to send anyone into “panic mode”. And that’s why resources such as review books and review courses are increasingly sought after! These resources present some of the best ways to prepare for your certification exam, narrowing down the vast content you’ve learned to the most commonly covered topics and questions in the exam. This lets you study more efficiently, taking away the stress caused by the magnitude of your syllabus.
Here’s a list of our top 8 FNP review courses that are sure to make studying for your certification exam much easier and a lot less stressful!
Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam Review and Advanced Practice Update — Fitzgerald Health Associates
One of the most popular options when it comes to review courses, the family nurse practitioner Certification Exam Review and Advanced Practice Update has helped over 110,000 NPs prepare and pass their certification market! Authored by Margaret Fitzgerald, a leading FNP review teacher, the review course focuses on both the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) exams, with 35.5 contact hours spread over 3 days, a 150-question practice exam, a reference workbook, access to exclusive online resources and a question bank with a final review of course questions and bonus questions. The course is available in 3 formats to suit a variety of preferences and convenience levels:
- A live 2.5-day seminar with online content (great for those who prefer live classroom settings)
- An online/on-demand course (includes 5 webinars in the online course and a video presentation in both; it is also the cheapest option)
- MP3 player (including earbuds, a 3.5 mm car jack cable and a AAA battery) with audio recordings of live presentations — a great option for on-the-go learning.
Additionally, the course doesn’t just cover clinical content, but non-clinical as well, such as professional issues, clinical guidelines and evidence-based practice. With the online and MP3 options, users get 6-month access to course material and lectures (the latter can be viewed up to 4 times each), practice tests for each lecture (you can take these twice each) as well as additional resources such as a review book, question banks and even continuing education units.
All course material is taught by highly-qualified professionals in the field, including Margaret Fitzgerald and other practicing certified NPs and clinicians.
Maria LEIK Intensive Nurse Practitioner Review — Maria Codina Leik
Authored and taught by Marina Leik, an ANCC and AANP-certified lecturer, this intensive review course boasts a 99% passing rate! The course can be taken online or live, with unlimited access to online resources within a 4-month period post the completion of the review course; this means that you can retake webinar courses as many times as you want. Users get resources such as question banks, review books and review courses either online or in person; the course material is exactly the same in both options and material is taught through live, interactive webinars and not pre-recorded material in the online course.
All of the material in this review course is well formatted, efficiently organized and gives you in-depth coverage of focus areas. Students are also privy to test-taking techniques that increase the efficiency of learning, such as mnemonic devices, exam tips, clear diagrams, sample exams and practice questions. One of the best parts about the course is that there’s a money-back guarantee if you don’t end up passing the test.
NP Certification Preparation — Advanced Practice Education Associates
The NP Certification Preparation course, provided by national education company APEA, is designed to satisfy the needs of NPs, whether it’s in the classroom or the clinic. The company provides a 2-day FNP review course (with 32.5 contact hours) to help students prep for the AANP and ANCC certification exams, while also providing access to their library, a range of clinical tools and opportunities for continuing education (the course can also count towards the contact hours required for FNP CE as APEA is an accredited provider). Like Maria Leik, APEA also claims a 99% pass rate, with a guarantee that you will pass with their live courses in your very first attempt (the APEA Live Course Guarantee). In case you don’t pass the exam despite attending their live review, they provide you with a free-of-cost additional review course.
What makes this course highly appealing is the number of resources available to students, such as:
- Randomly generated (from over 1,000 possible questions) 150-MCQ sample/predictor exams that help you assess your learning and also explain the answers to missed questions.
- Access to over 3,800 practice questions covering pharmacology, assessment and management in the PMyQBank question bank.
- 20-minute segments of live course videos and presentations with evaluations and practice questions included.
- A 280-page manual with every review course that includes online-learning aids and 2 sets of practice questions (100 questions).
- Books and study guides that you can purchase.
APEA even has an efficient mobile app that lets you view session schedules and access a range of tools and material for on-the-go learning. Students also have the option to opt for audio, video or MP3 players (equipment provided) if the live course isn’t suitable to them; the material remains the exact same as the live version and the chosen multimedia version is provided of the same.
A pretty cool app/site, FNP Mastery helps you prepare for your exam based on the amount of prep time you have left. The site offers a range of exam-preparation devices, such as practice tests, quizzes (you can also build your own custom quiz), a question bank, a glossary of terminology, mnemonics for easy remembering, and full-length simulation exams to assess your strengths and challenges. They also give you a performance summary that continuously evaluates and updates you on your performance, so that you can take the required action.
The website also offers a range of resources, such as exam strategies, study strategies, test breakdowns and lab-related questions and material. They even have a supportive help team that helps you solve queries related to the site and its functioning. All the site material has been created by certified professionals in the field and follows both the AANP and ANCC styles, so you can be assured of some quality learning and prepping.
FNP Review — Barkley & Associates
With a 99% pass rate and a ton of accessible resources, Barkley & Associates provide an FNP review course that can be taken live or online at your convenience. On signing up for the live course, students can access important topic reviews and tools such as strategies for the exam and study — all conglomerated into online videos, a course manual and a prep test (Diagnostic Readiness Test). The home study (online) course comes with a course manual, a preparatory DRT of 100 questions to assess yourself and an audio CD with all the recordings of the live review course lectures. Students also have access to practice exams on the site (100 questions); the rationale behind each answer is explained and improvement areas identified and discussed in a 45-minute review session post-the exam.
Barkley & Associates is also an accredited provider and hence, the course counts towards 26.25 contact hours of CE.
BoardVitals don’t really offer a course, as such; what it does is offer you an extensive question bank with over 1,400 questions that explain why an answer is correct or incorrect. The questions follow both the ANCC and AANP formats and are presented in their separate, respective banks. Students can also make the best of the timed test option that simulates a real exam, build their own customized practice tests (based on subjects) and receive a performance summary that analyzes and reports their progress. The site offers a free trial for a particular number of questions, post which you’re charged based on how long you continue to use the question banks.
ll of BoardVitals’ material comes from leading experts in the fields, available on the go for convenience and ease. Most even offer optional contact hours that count towards CE and a 100% pass guarantee.
- Price: $109 for a month, $149 for 3 and $219 for a year
- Sign-Up Link: https://www.boardvitals.com/nursing
ExamEdge lets you prepare based on the exam you’re appearing for; the site offers simulation tests in both the ANCC and AANP exam styles, including the look, the number of questions, focus content and navigation of the two. Students can make use of practice exams that come with default time limits that emulate the time limit of the actual exam. Additionally, with ExamEdge, you have the option of pausing a test and resuming it at a later time from the same spot, without any loss in time, making it convenient and easy to take tests; you can prepare for answers that you don’t know by pausing the test. Students can also take untimed practice tests and switch on the explanation mode, where answers to each question are checked immediately after answering. The results from these tests are put together and summarized for you to later view (you have permanent access to this page and the explanation-mode answers).
The material and tests can be accessed on any device and are among the lowest-priced options available to students.
American Nurses Association
The American Nurses Association, one of the foremost nursing institutes in the country, offer nursing preparation tools to students in the form of a variety of courses, such as:
- Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Test-Prep Package-Self-Paced Online Course
- Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Interactive Online Review Course
- Family Nurse Practitioner Certification PracticeIQ
- Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Bundle
These courses offer students a variety of resources such as practice tests, practice exams, and manuals, and can even help make up contact hours for CE. On completing any of these courses, students will be better equipped to understand current trends and clinical practices, treatment options, patient safety and pass their certification exams.
Writing the NP Certification Exam may be a tough ordeal but these review courses are sure to make the journey a lot easier. As you can see, there are many different types of courses, covering different content, offering different resources and differently priced. Therefore, you have the option of picking a course that best suits your schedule, budget and overall convenience.
Remember, just taking a review course doesn’t guarantee passing the exam, no matter what the course providers say — your dedication, commitment, perseverance and hard work are just as paramount as finishing the course. Keep this in mind and you’re sure to ace the exam! Good luck!