Yes. Both of the examinations to become a Certified Nurse Practitioner (NP) are very challenging. As of 2015, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) exam's passing rate is listed as 81.4% and the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) NP certification exam boasts a 75% average passing rate. Considering the years of commitment to the school and clinical experience, to have 19-25% of participants fail the exam would definitely list these in the "difficult" realm of certifications.

However, there are many certification exam preparation courses that guarantee the candidate to pass the exam or receive a complete refund. In addition to numerous third-party test preparation courses such as Fitzgerald Health Education Associates, each certification board offers its own test-prep programs and curriculum to support candidates in confidently sitting for the examinations. The ANCC offers free study aids to prospective NPs, while the AANP website lists many practice examinations students can use as a study guide.

RELATED: List of Nursing Certifications

No matter which certification exam the NP chooses, spending adequate quality time studying and preparing for the exam will reduce test anxiety, create an overall positive testing experience and significantly increase the chance of passing the exam on the first attempt.

Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

Amanda Bucceri Androus is a Registered Nurse from Sacramento, California. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in nursing. She began her career working night shifts on a pediatric/ med-surg unit for six years, later transferring to a telemetry unit where she worked for four more years. She currently works as a charge nurse in a busy outpatient primary care department. In her spare time she likes to read, travel, write, and spend time with her husband and two children.
Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

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