Updates to the PMHNP Board Exam for 2020

PMHNP board exam updates

The American Nursing Credentialing Center released an updated test content outline in December 2019 for the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Examination. To help test-takers prepare with the most relevant PMHNP practice questions, BoardVitals has updated its PMHNP question bank to include all changes to the test layout and subject matter. What changes can you expect in the exam?

Fewer Exam Questions

As of the December 2019 update to the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Examination, there are now 175 questions on the exam instead of the previous 200. Of these, 150 count towards your final score. 25 of these questions are pretest questions and are not scored. These questions are included to determine how well these questions will perform before they are used on the scored portion of the examination. While these questions do not count as part of your final score, they cannot be distinguished from those that are scored. It is important for candidates to answer all questions. 

Changes in the Test Content Outline

With the latest PMHNP board exam updates, the PMHNP test content outline has unveiled new content domains. Test takers can expect to see new guidelines in the following areas on the examination:

  1. Scientific Foundation: 30 questions (20%)
  2. Advanced Practice Skills: 38 questions (25%)
  3. Diagnosis and Treatment: 37 questions (25%)
  4. Psychotherapy and Related Theories: 22 questions (15%)
  5. Ethical and Legal Principles: 23 questions (15%)

Age Groups

Also included in the exam update is a change to the age groups covered:

  • Adolescent and Young Adult
  • Adult 
  • Infants and Toddlers
  • Older Adult and Frail Elderly
  • School Age 

PHMNP Practice Questions

To better reflect the content found on the PMHNP exam, BoardVitals has updated its question bank. Test your knowledge, here are  two of the updated practice questions.

Question 1

Adjustment disorders are frequently referred to as “subthreshold” diagnoses. How does this “subthreshold” diagnosis relate to the patient’s overall health?

  1. It is less likely to be noticed by a less-experienced practitioner.
  2. It is less likely to be noticed by a non-specialist (e.g. the murmur only heard by a cardiologist).
  3. It may be the early phase of a more serious disorder.
  4. Fewer milestones and studies guide treatment.

(Answer: C)

Explanation: This diagnosis may indicate a major mental disorder is brewing. It is important to keep this patient under a watchful eye.

Question 2

A 17-year-old female is evaluated by a nurse practitioner for a high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and muscle pain. She recently returned from a camping trip and her mother reports that she began to develop a rash, parts of which are turning dark red and purple. The patient has a temperature of 102.8 degrees Fahrenheit, heart rate of 115, and blood pressure of 88/50 mm Hg. Her respiratory rate is 24/minute. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?

  1. Meningococcemia
  2. Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  3. Erythema multiforme
  4. Lyme disease

(Answer: A)

Explanation: Meningococcemia, or dissemination of meningococci into the blood stream, can kill more rapidly than any other infectious disease. It is caused by infection with Neisseria meningitidis and is a major infectious cause of childhood death in developed countries, with a mortality rate of around 10%. Patients with acute meningococcal infection can present clinically with meningitis, meningococcemia, or both. The characteristic petechial skin rash is usually located on the trunk and legs and rapidly evolves into purpura. Meningitis is associated with headache, fever, vomiting, photophobia, lethargy, neck stiffness, rash, and seizures. Meningococcal septicemia is characterized by fever, rash that becomes purpuric and petechial; vomiting, headache, hypotension, tachycardia/tachypnea, cool extremities, and an initially normal level of consciousness.

Prepare for your upcoming PMHNP exam with more than 1,600 PMHNP practice questions from BoardVitals. All question banks include all PMHNP board exam updates to the test content and subject matter. The questions and answers are accompanied by detailed rationales and explanations. Sign up for a free trial today!