Adult Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Exam

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers the Adult Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Exam for certification purposes. This computer-based assessment is for licensed RNs with completed graduate work in an accredited adult nurse practitioner program who have earned a master’s, post-master’s or doctorate degree. A candidate must have taken graduate classes in advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, health promotion and disease prevention and differential diagnosis and disease management. Candidates also need to have completed at least 500 clinical hours in that program, which must meet specific requirements in order for a candidate to qualify to take this test. This test is taken as part of the Adult Nurse Practitioner – Board Certified (ANP-BC) credential.

This test has 175 questions; 25 questions on the test are not scored, as they are used for pre-trial purposes only, but the candidate will not know which questions are scored and which are not. The score is derived from the remaining 150. Candidates must get a minimum of 105 correct in order to receive a passing raw score. The actual score will be weighted on a 500-point scale, and candidates need a minimum of 350 to pass. If a candidate does not succeed on the assessment exam, an account is provided which will help pinpoint the areas that need improvement. The subject areas of the Adult Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Exam include:

  • 29 questions on health promotion and disease prevention
  • 33 questions on assessment of acute and chronic illness
  • 48 questions on clinical management
  • 18 questions on the nurse practitioner and patient relationship
  • 13 questions on professional role and policy
  • 9 questions on research

In any of the tested areas, the questions may be about a person who is in any stage of life and/or experiencing major medical conditions on any of these topics. The test covers a patient from adolescence (13-17 years old) through adulthood (ages 18 and up); however, the question may not indicate a specific life stage. The major questions on the exam will cover conditions in these categories: head, eyes, ears, nose, throat, respiration, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, urinary system, men’s or women’s health, musculoskeletal system, neurological system, endocrine system, blood and blood cells or genetics, immune system, skin, lymph nodes, allergies, psychosocial/behavioral/cultural issues, communicable or infectious disease, emergency conditions, function or mobility problems, developmental issues, learning differences or handling pain.


Last Updated: November 9, 2023