AANP vs ANCC: Which FNP Exam You Should Take?
You’ve worked hard and reached the end of your NP student journey! Now it’s time to start thinking about which certification exam you will take. Getting certified is a major hurdle in being able to practice, so careful consideration on choosing the exam is important. There are two certifying organizations to choose from, The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) which is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA). Some things to consider when choosing which exam to take include cost, amount of questions and question types, length of exam, and the recertification process. In this blog we’ll explore the similarities and differences between the two so you can make the best choice for yourself.
It’s important to note that there is no solid proof suggesting that either of these exams offer an advantage for your career. While you may not need to make the decision based on which organization certifies for your specific exam, ultimately, your decision should be based on individual preferences. Also consider seeking advice from your peers, mentors, and professors who have gone through the testing before.
Certifications available from the AANP Certification board are family nurse practitioner (FNP), adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (A-GNP), and emergency nurse practitioner (ENP).
- Number of questions: 150 of which 135 are scored
- Question Types: multiple choice
- Length of Exam: 3 hours
- Cost: The cost for AANP members is $240 and for non-members is $315
- Recertification: You must recertify every 5 years. To recertify you must complete a minimum of 100 contact hours of continuing education (CE), of which 25 hours must be in pharmacology. You also need a minimum of 1,000 practice hours working as an NP in the population of the exam focus in one of the following roles: direct patient care provider, administrator, educator, and/or researcher. Precepting can replace up to 25 of your nonpharmacological CE hours.
FNP Examination Blueprint:
|Domain 1||# of questions||% of questions|
|Domain 2||# of questions||% of questions|
Certifications available through ANCC are adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP-BC), family nurse practitioner (FNP-BC), adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP-BC), and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC).
- Number of questions: 175 of which 150 are scored
- Question types: multiple choice, select all that apply, drag and drop
- Length of exam: 3.5 hours
- Cost: The cost for ANA members is $295 and for non-members is $395
- Recertification: You must recertify every five years. To recertify you must complete 75 hours of continuing education, of which 25 must be in pharmacology. You must also complete professional development. You can learn more about the different professional development opportunities from NursingWorld.org.
FNP-BC exam blueprint:
|Content Domain||# of questions||% of questions|
FNP-BC question classifications:
|Body Systems||Drug Agents||Age Groups|
|Genitourinary & Renal||Endocrine||Adolescent|
|HEENT||Eye, Ear, Nose & Skin||Young Adult (including late adolescent & emancipated minors)|
The adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner board certification exam blueprint, the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner board certification blueprint, and the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner board certification examination blueprint are available on NursingWorld.org.
In summary, both exams are valid and allow you to practice as a nurse practitioner. You may have to choose which exam to take based on your career path, but if not, you can choose based on your personal preferences. Once you pick which exam to take, it’s time to get to the most important part, studying!
TrueLearn can help!
No matter which exam you choose, it’s important to choose quality study material. TrueLearn’s FNP question bank is designed to prepare you for either AANP or ANCC exams. And bundled with Picmonic, you get access to mnemonics to help you remember important concepts on test day.Our SmartBank includes over 1,800 FNP practice questions. Each question includes a high-quality answer rationale, which helps you understand why the wrong answers are wrong and why the correct answer was the best possible choice. Our performance dashboard provides analytics on your strengths and weaknesses and benchmarking to see where you stand in comparison to your peers across the country. With our first-time pass guarantee you can feel confident in your choice of using our FNP SmartBank!