The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has announced several changes to its Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certification exam. What do these changes mean for you, and how can you prepare for the new test?
When does the new ANCC content outline take effect?
The new test content outline will take effect with ANCC FNP exams administered on Sept. 28, 2022, and later.
Why is the FNP exam changing?
The ANCC revises its exam blueprints every 3 to 5 years in order to continue testing candidates with the latest standards in nursing. The most recent update to the exam was in May of 2019.
What is changing on the ANCC FNP Exam?
The biggest change in the FNP test outline is in the content domains that are represented in exam questions. These content domains reflect the components of the nurse practitioner role. While the previous ANCC FNP blueprint contained four testing domains, the new blueprint contains five. The five testing domains reflected in the new ANCC exam are:
- Demonstrates knowledge of evidence-based population health promotion and screening
- Tests knowledge of the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of disease states
- Reflects knowledge of age-appropriate primary, secondary and tertiary prevention; anticipatory guidance; evidence-based clinical guidelines; standards of care; and pharmacotherapeutics
- Tests knowledge of legal and ethical implementations for healthcare and technology; nonpharmacologic intervention and treatment selection; pharmacotherapeutic intervention selection; regulatory guidelines; and APRN scope and standards
- Tests knowledge of ethical and legal principles and issues for patients, populations, and systems; nonpharmacologic intervention and treatment outcomes; and pharmacotherapeutic intervention and treatment outcomes.
What subjects are covered on the new FNP Exam?
The ANCC FNP exam tests a candidate’s knowledge of the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills of nurse practitioners. According to the ANCC, the following topics are on the FNP exam:
- Body Systems: Cardiovascular; Endocrine; Gastrointestinal; Genitourinary & Renal; Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throat; Hematopoietic*; Immune*; Integumentary; Musculoskeletal; Neurologic; Psychiatric; Reproductive; Respiratory
- Drug Agents: Analgesic; Anti-Infective; Cardiovascular; Endocrine; Eye, Ear, Nose & Skin; Gastrointestinal; Genitourologic; Musculoskeletal; Neurologic; Psychiatric; Reproductive; Respiratory
- Age Groups: Infant; Preschool; School-Aged; Adolescent; Young Adult; Adult; Older Adult; Frail Elderly
How many questions are on the new FNP Exam?
As with the current exam format, the new ANCC FNP exam has 175 questions. 150 of these questions are scored, and the remaining 25 are pretest questions that do not count towards your score. The question breakdown is as follows:
- Assessment: 29 questions (19% of the exam)
- Diagnosis: 26 questions (17% of the exam)
- Planning: 29 questions (19% of the exam)
- Implementation: 43 questions (29% of the exam)
- Evaluation: 23 questions (15% of the exam)
How can I prepare for the new FNP exam?
Practice makes perfect when it comes to board certification, and the new FNP exam is no exception. Reviewing practice questions can help you uncover problem areas while you are still studying, allowing you to spend more time on these concepts.
The BoardVitals ANCC Family Nurse Practitioner question bank contains more than 1,900 practice questions to help you prepare for the NP boards. Questions have been updated to reflect the changes to the FNP blueprint.