Hello and welcome to an intriguing article on Family Nurse Practitioner Certifications!

This article shall discuss the various certification options for Family Nurse Practitioners, the application process, and how to prepare for the FNP exam.

At the end of this article, you will be able to apply for and prepare for the Certification Exam and get to know tips to ace the exam easily.

This article shall discuss the following:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner Certification – Overview
  • Eligibility and Costs
  • Application For Certification Exam
  • Submission of Education Documents
  • Exam Testing Options

So, let’s roll!

Family Nurse Practitioner Certification – Overview

Family Nurse Practitioner Certification - Overview

The FNP Certification Exam is a board-certified, entry-level competency certification examination for Family and Community Nurse Practitioners.

The FNP Certification is a national certification for Family NPs.

It assesses clinical knowledge in primary care for pediatric, adult, and elderly; it also prepares Clinicians to work in academics or education.

Two main nursing certification tracks are available for FNPs to choose from (FNPs); they are:

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners—AANP (which grants the FNP-BC Certification) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center—ANCC (which grants the FNP-C Certification).

Note that the certification board is saddled with the responsibility of distinguishing the two organizations.

The FNP-BC Exam contains 175 questions while the FNP-C Certification Exam comprises 150 multiple-choice questions.

The remaining 15 questions are being examined for the possibility of inclusion in future tests and will not receive a grade.

Approximately 200 to 800 points are awarded for success on the test; a score of 500 is considered satisfactory.

The AANP Exam comprises multiple-choice questions, with each question having just one valid answer.

It places a greater emphasis on clinical knowledge and competency than on the other parts of the Certification Exam.

Individuals working in clinical settings should take the AANP exam rather than those undertaking research or teaching, where theoretical knowledge would be beneficial.

Examining competency in the four domains of assessment, diagnosis, planning, and evaluation will be addressed in detail by the questions on the AANP Exam, which will be administered online.

Eligibility and Costs

FNP Eligibility and Costs

Applying for this computer-based test is open all year, and testing takes place within ninety days from the date of application.

To qualify for the FNP Certification exam, the candidate must meet certain eligibility requirements.

The candidate must hold a current, active Registered Nurse license to be considered for consideration.

The candidate must also hold a master’s degree, post-graduate certificate, or Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) from an FNP Program.

Candidates with a BSN degree may be eligible for an MSN-FNP Program.

In addition, the FNP Program must be accredited by the CCNE, the ACEN, or the NLN.

The FNP Certificate Program must contain 500 or more clinical hours of patient care under the supervision of FNP academic members.

The accredited graduate program should include topics like:

  • Advanced physiology or pathophysiology
  • Advanced health assessment
  • Advanced pharmacology

Candidates may be permitted to sit for the test once they have completed all required coursework and clinical practice hours under faculty supervision for the degree.  

Suppose the ANCC retains a candidate’s exam result.

In that case, certification will be issued on the date when the official transcript is received, all other qualifying requirements are completed, and a passing result is recorded.

The costs of the ANCC (FNP-BC) are as follows:

  • Non-member pays $395
  • ANA member pays $295
  • AANP member pays $340
  • AANP student member pays $290

The costs of the AANP(FNP-C) are as follows:

  • AANP Members pay $240
  • Non-Members pay $315

Application For Certification Exam

Application For Certification Exam

Following the successful conclusion of their studies, students pursuing a career as Family Nurse Practitioners are awarded the credentials FNP.

FNPs, on the other hand, must first earn certification before they may be licensed to practice medicine in their state.

Various state nursing boards require certain certifications from the AANP or the ANCC.

The submission of a formal application for certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner is the first step to achieving such status.

Candidates applying for the FNP-BC Certification may apply online via the ANCC website, while FNP-C candidates may apply through the AANP website.

Submission of Education Documents

Submission of Education Documents

ANCC requires candidates to submit all transcripts (official and unofficial), and the Validation of Education Form, which a student’s faculty member must sign.

These documents must be mailed to the ANCC to complete the application process and be considered for the FNP-BC Examination.

First and foremost, you must create an Online Certification Profile on the American Association of Nurse Practitioners website before beginning your application for the FNP-C Certification exam.

Creating a profile will allow you to keep track of the status of your application.

If you wish to create a new online profile, go to the home page and select Begin Certification.

Then, next to the New Users area, click the Register button.

Once you create your user account, you can begin the application process.

Exam Testing Options

Exam Testing Options

To take the FNP-BC or the FNP-C Certification Examination, candidates can choose between two different testing options.

The Prometric Testing Center offers live remote proctoring services through its website.

According to the ANCC, applicants for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) should take their tests at a Prometric Test Center because state licensure is based on successful completion of the APRN exam.

Students will likely be delayed in their entry into the field of APRN practice due to connectivity issues with Live Remote Proctoring.

Because of state legislation and restricted capacity limits, it is conceivable that Prometric test center availability will vary from location to location.

Candidates who have received the alert will receive an authorization to test (ATT) message in their email inbox.

Candidates can schedule their test through Live Remote Proctoring (LRP) or a Prometric Testing Facility.

Scheduling options for both tests are available on the Prometric website.

FNP Examination Format

FNP Examination Format

The American Nurses Credentialing Center—ANCC divides Nurse Practitioner exam content into sections for all specialties.

Advanced practice nursing, professional practice, and independent practice are the three most frequently encountered areas in nursing education.

The percentage of content linked with each category varies by specialty.

Examples include the Family Nurse Practitioner Certification exam, where foundations for Advanced Practice account for 34% of the content (59 questions), professional practice accounts for 26% (46 questions), and independent practice accounts for 40% (70 questions) of the content.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners—AANP divides the certification test into four domains: assessment, diagnosis, plan, and evaluation.

The domains account for the following percentages of the test: assessment (35%, or 47 questions), diagnosis (25%, or 34 questions), plan (22%, or 30 questions), and evaluation (18%, or 18 questions) (24 questions).

Several topics are covered in both exams, including anatomy and physiology and pathophysiology and pharmacology.

Additional topics covered include:

  • Taking a health history
  • Evaluating symptoms
  • Developing an evidence-based care plan
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Cultural competence
  • Decision-making
  • Health promotion
  • Differential diagnosis

The ANCC Certification exam has 175 to 200 questions in relation to the specialization.

Twenty-five of these questions are sample test items that are not used in the final score calculation.

A typical Family Nurse Practitioner exam, for example, lasts 4 hours and has 200 questions, 25 of which are unscored pretest questions.

Candidates for the FNP Certification exam will have 50 seconds to answer each question.

Each question contributes to 0.57 percent of the total final score on the FNP exam.

Each question on the AANP NP Certification exam is worth one point, with 15 of those points being sample test items that are not tallied toward the final exam score.

The exam will last three hours.

Thus, candidates have on average 50 seconds to answer each question, with the final exam score accounting for 0.74 percent of the total time allotted for the exam.

FNP Readiness Test

FNP Readiness Test

Taking and preparing for the exam is a demanding procedure.

The FNP Certification Readiness Test will help you feel confident when you sit for the actual certification exam soon after.

Immediately following completion of the test, you will receive a thorough score report through email, delivered within an hour of completing the test.

However, while the ANCC Readiness Test is highly recommended, it is not essential to passing the FNP exam.

To know your level of readiness to take the FNP Certification exam, you may take the Readiness Test.

Nevertheless, your performance on the Readiness Test does not guarantee that you will perform well on the Certification exam.


Conclusion on Family Nurse Practitioner Certification

Nurse Practitioner licensure is often contingent on obtaining certification for various reasons.

Therefore, it is essential for licensure as a Nurse Practitioner; however, it is subject to the particular jurisdiction’s laws.

Certification also indicates that the Nurse Practitioner has had family medicine training and has also been “certified” by the American Academy of Family Work to practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

It is advantageous to both the Nurse Practitioner, employer, and healthcare consumers.

Nurse Practitioners who have received FNP-C or FNP-BC Certification can acquire the trust of their patients because it implies that they have specific expertise in their field and a well-rounded knowledge base.

Additionally, it instills trust in inexperienced Physicians with supervising Nurse Practitioners.

Another reason to obtain certification is to aid in one’s professional development and boost one’s chances of finding work.

This information may be advantageous to a new Nurse Practitioner when seeking job opportunities. 


FAQs on Family Nurse Practitioner Certification

What happens if I fail the AANP Certification exam?

If you fail the FNP-BC exam, you can retake it after 60 days. However, you can only take the exam three times in 12 months. Candidates who fail the exam are permitted to retake it if they meet the qualifying requirements, pay the application fees, and complete further educational preparation.

How many times can I take FNP Boards?

You may take the exam thrice in 12 months, with a minimum of 60 days between each attempt. If you did not pass, you could apply for a retest online (retest application), but you must wait at least 5 days following your exam to do so.

How do I get my ANCC FNP exam results?

Immediately following the completion of the exam, ANCC will notify you if you passed or failed. A score report, which includes information about your performance on each content area of the exam if you fail, will be sent to your mailing address if you do not pass the exam.

How do I get my AANP FNP exam results?

The results of the AANP FNP exam are accessible immediately upon the completion of the exam in a pass-or-fail format. If an applicant fails, they will receive an official letter outlining their strengths and shortcomings concerning the knowledge areas covered on the examination.

What is the difference between FNP-BC and FNP-C?

The key distinction between the FNP-BC and FNP-C Certifications is that the FNP-BC is awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center—ANCC, whereas the FNP-C is awarded by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners—AANP. Both of these organizations are well-known and respected in the industry.


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