September 29, 2023
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Master the NP Certification Exam: Tips & Strategies

Remember the stress of school exams? Now, amplify that feeling – we’re diving into the NP Certification Exam!

Yes, it can seem overwhelming, but it’s vital for both professional development and ensuring patient care.

Here at NPHub, we understand the importance of this stage, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

In this article, we’ll outline essential tips to help you prepare effectively for your NP Certification Exam.

Types of NP Certifications

It’s important to understand the different types of NP certifications available, as each one has unique requirements.

The six main certification exams provided by five certification boards include:

Family and Emergency Nursing

Certifying Board: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB)


  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP)


  • Members: $240
  • Non-members: $315

General Practice

Certifying Board: American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)


  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Cost: $295 – $395, depending on membership and exam.

Pediatric Care:

Certifying Board: Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)

Exam: Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care (CPNP-PC)

Cost: $395

Neonatal Nursing

Certifying Board: National Certification Corporation (NCC).

Exam: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP).

Cost: $260 – $370, depending on membership.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care

Certifying Board: American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

Exam: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNPC-AG).

Cost: $260 – $370, depending on membership.

Developing a Study Plan:

In order to succeed in your certification exams, it is crucial to have a well-organized study plan.

Here are some steps and tips to ensure effective preparation:

Gather Study Resources and Review Materials

Official Materials: Start by utilizing study materials from the certifying body offering your exam. They closely resemble the test format and content, providing reliable practice questions to prepare you for the exam.

Online Resources: Use online resources like practice tests, flashcards, study guides, and videos to prepare for tests and reduce anxiety. Verify their accuracy by academic institutions or nursing organizations.

Create a Tailored Study Plan

Study Plan for your NP Certification Exam

Join a Study Group

Structured Sessions: Ensure commitment and structure in study group sessions by assigning specific topics to promote accountability and group dynamics.

Shared Responsibility: Assigned topics will be researched and presented by each member, followed by discussions and Q&A sessions to reduce overwhelming content review.

Use Online Practice Tests:

Identify Knowledge Gaps: Practice tests help identify areas of weakness and refine study strategies, enabling you to focus more on specific content.

Reduce Anxiety & Manage Time: Familiarity with practice tests reduces anxiety and improves time management skills.

Sources: Practice tests can be purchased from the certifying board’s website or test preparation companies like Barron’s, Mometrix Media, Ascencia, and Trivium Test Prep.

Register for Review Courses:

AANP-Accredited Courses: Consider courses approved by the certifying body or nursing organizations, such as Advanced Practice Education Associates, Barkley & Associates, and Fitzgerald Health Education Associates.

Varied Formats: Courses are available online, offering live or prerecorded lessons, workbooks, practice exams, and various self-study products.

In-Depth Study: These courses provide an in-depth focus on information specific to your certification exam, although the investment might be a consideration for some.


Embarking on the journey to ace your NP Certification Exam? We get it – it’s a big deal. But hey, with the right mix of dedication and strategy, you’ve got this!

Create a study plan, join groups, take online tests, and enroll in review courses. With a recommended preparation time of 6-12 weeks, the road is tough, but well worth it.

At NPHub, we are committed to supporting you every step of the way, connecting you with clinical preceptors, and aiding you in graduating faster.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does the NP Certification Exam cost? Depending on the certification board and membership status, exam costs typically range between $260-$400.

How long should I prepare for the NP Certification Exam? Spending 6-12 weeks preparing for the exam is recommended, depending on individual needs and study plan.

Can I find practice tests online? Yes, practice tests are available for purchase on the certifying board’s website and from test preparation companies like Barron’s, Mometrix Media, Ascencia, and Trivium Test Prep.

Are there any review courses available for NP Certification Exam preparation? Several AANP-accredited review courses are available, such as those provided by Advanced Practice Education Associates, Barkley & Associates, and Fitzgerald Health Education Associates.

Want to explore more about nursing career? Check our collection of guides and resources here.

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