AANP vs ANCC – Understanding the Two Types of FNP Board Certification

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FNP certification - aanp vs ancc - what's the difference and how to become certified

ANCC Certification vs AANP Certification

Here are the differences between the two FNP Certification exams:

AANP Certification

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is a board examination. Upon passing, the credentials awarded are FNP-C (C-denotes certified) 2,3

  • Questions: 150 questions (135 are scored; 15 are pretest and not scored) 2
  • Exam Breakdown
    • Assessment (~36%)
    • Diagnosis (~24%)
    • Plan (~23%)
    • Evaluation (~17%)
  • Exam Breakdown by Patient Age:
    • Prenatal (~3%)
    • Pediatric (including newborn and infant (~14%)
    • Adolescent (early/late) (~18%)
    • Adult (~37%)
    • Geriatric (~21%)
    • Frail Elderly (~7) 2

ANCC Certification

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is a board examination. Upon passing, the credentials awarded are FNP-BC (-BC denotes board certified)

  • Questions: 200 (175 are scored; 25 are pretest and are not scored) 1
  • Exam Breakdown
    • Foundations for Advanced Practice (~37%)
    • Professional Practice (~17%)
    • Independent Practice (~46%) 1

How to Pass FNP Certification Boards

The sports adage "practice like you play because you will play like you practice" is just as true when it comes to getting ready for the boards.

There's a new way to prepare.  Online.  It's seems like nurse practitioners are one of the last groups to adopt online education and exam preparation.  Live courses just simply compete anymore for fast, convenient, and cost-effective FNP exam review.

If you do choose an online review, make sure the review course you choose to prepare for the boards uses practice questions like you'll see on the actual exam and a realistic exam simulator. Note, some online reviews charge extra for practice tests, others, like Med-Challenger, include them in the price.

You want everything about the actual exam to feel completely familiar to you. Otherwise, you're going to be caught off guard on exam day, and that's the worst day for surprises.

You should be able to try the review course for free - with enough time to make sure it's right for you. Some companies only give you a few hours to try their products, and it's usually not a "full" trial (so parts of the product are hidden) which makes it impossible for you to know exactly what you're getting. The certification exam is a huge step in your career, and the right review course will make all the difference.

Get a review that's maintained by nurse practitioner experts.

Med-Challenger's pass-guaranteed NP exam review course is written by Nurse Practitioners for Nurse Practitioners.

It includes over 2,400 NP questions with in-depth answer explanations, plus expert guidance to quickly strengthen your weak areas. That's the most NP questions anywhere.

The course is broken into 20 chapters and 203 topics, so you can study in bite-sized pieces if you prefer.

It features exam simulators that follow the FNP exam blueprint for both American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) family nurse practitioner certification exams, including clinical knowledge in family/individuals across the life span (prenatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, elderly, and frail elderly primary care).

You can see a sample FNP exam question & explanation from Med-Challenger's board review course and start a free 3-day full trial here. No credit card needed!

Additional resources:

  1. AANPCB Family Nurse Practitioner Candidate Handbook
  2. AANP FNP Examination Blueprint 
  3. ANCC Test Content Outline

Family Nurse Practitioner
Review Comparison

Take a look at premiere Nurse Practioner knowledge products from leading vendors.

FEATUREMed-ChallengerRosh ReviewFNP MasteryFitzgerald*Board VitalsExam Master
FNP Review
24002000880 3501350850
Earn Required
Contact Hours
Standard Length
of Access
1 year1 year6 mo.2-3 days6 mo.6 mo.
FNP Practice TestsYesYesExtra feen/aYesExtra fee
Labor-freeYesNoYesNo (travel)YesYes
Intelligent Assessment
Exam Simulator
Custom ExamsYesYesNoNoNoYes

Custom Learning Rx
(Weak-area Guidance)


Low-Cost Renewal
(Re-use Yearly for Less)

Single Login
Content Lead by
Nurse Practitioners
Built for more than BoardsYesNoNoNoNoNo

*Fitzgerald is a live course with no online self-assessment component.

Try Med-Challenger NP free.

Med-Challenger Family Nurse Practitioner Exam Review

Med-Challenger offers online nursing education courses for pass-guaranteed ANCC, AANP, & AAENP nursing exam review and CME requirements for nurse practitioners. With Med-Challenger, you can assemble everything your nursing career requires – ANCC / AANP exam review, AAENP exam review, ANCC contact hours & Pharmacology CEUs, and an adaptive self-assessment system that keeps your practice up-to-date and sharp – in one place so you can “get it done” from anywhere, year in, year out. Nothing beats it.

Free Trial

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Med-Challenger also provides nurse practitioner group education solutions serving Nurse Practitioner Training Programs across the USA. Contact us for more info.