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I have to say that this was the BEST, most HELPFUL book that I purchased for my ...
on September 8, 2014
I wanted to write a review that would help NP students/graduates that are in the position that I was a few months ago.
1. AANP vs. ANCC? I put a lot of thought into which board exam I wanted to take and why. I ended up choosing ANCC-FNP for the main reason that I feel nursing, in general, encompasses many different areas other than just medicine, including ethics, legal, culture, theories, etc. To me, the AANP exam seemed kind of geared towards the PA & medicine realm. During my conference, a lot of people were turned off by the new questions that were appearing on the 2014 ANCC exam. By this I am talking about the questions that have 3 correct answers, pictures, and matching. There were many of these on the exam, but don't be overly concerned about this, it all works out in the end.
2. How long do you prepare for the exam? There is no right or wrong answer to this. On average, I felt that my colleagues studied for ~8 weeks. I, personally, studied for 4 months only because of the fact that I was going through many life changes during my study period (e.g., selling my house, moving out of state, working FT, looking for a new jobs, etc.). I tried to study 2 hours/day, with 1 study-free day. I do have to say that I felt overly prepared during the exam and that 85% of what I studied was not even on the exam!!
3. LEIK: I have to say that this was the BEST, most HELPFUL book that I purchased for my studies. I referred to it as my study 'bible.' I read through the whole book, front to back, highlighting things that were important. Things that I loved about this book: it goes through a lot of "REAL LIFE" information during the first chapter. It gives you MANY inside TIPS throughout the book. It is very easy to read. I found the pharmacology section helpful. Although, not very extensive, this book had the best professional issues review. Lastly, I found the questions in the back (1,284 total-I did them all!) to be very fair and helpful.
4. A CONFERENCE: I highly recommend attending the Fitzgerald conference LIVE. It was extremely helpful, never a dull moment. It was a 3-day conference. Well worth the $$. It comes with a review manual which is also a must-have!
5. BARKLEY AUDIO CDS: Audio CDs were a must for me b/c I commute 2-3hrs/day. The Barkley CDs were really good and kept my interest throughout.
6. HOLLIER: I recommend this as a book for solely practice questions. The questions are not overly hard and a good starting point. The book is laid out so that you can do 5 ?s, look at the answers, and so on. I rented to 2009 version from my library. Renting front a library is a great idea, but you can't write in them of course!
7. FamlyNPrep.com: I bought 10 practice exams from here. I ended up not being able to take all 10. I would recommend buying 5, but unfortunately they only come in packages of 1, 10, 20. While the questions were just ok from here, I liked being able to (a) do practice tests on the computer (b) practice doing 200 ?s straight through and (c) get scores that were similar to the real test.
8. FITZGERALD book: I also bought the Fitzgerald book and would not recommend reading this book front to back, like LEIK. The questions, while some information was duplicate from the conference, were fairly helpful.
9. BROWN: This is a book completely practice questions. There were overly challenging and towards the end of my studying I was only getting 50-60% correct, which starting to make me concerned. I realized that I was not the only one who thought this. There are many questions about surgeries which aren't covered anywhere else, and quite frankly are not applicable! I didn't get a chance to use the CD that it comes with.
10. FNP Secrets Study Guide: Don't waste your money. While it did have a decent sized section on non-clinical issues, I did not find it overall to be very helpful.
As you can see, I utilized many different resources to study for this 'dreaded' test. Failing was not an option to me. To summarize, the recourses that helped me the most were: LEIK, Fitz conference, Barkley audio cds (if you are auditory learner), Hollier, and FamilyNPrep.com. If you are taking the ANCC, think culture, culture, culture!
Here are some blogs/posts that I found helpful: