Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Exam

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers the Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination for certification purposes. This computer-based assessment is for licensed RNs with completed graduate work in an accredited family psychiatric & mental health nurse practitioner program who have earned a master’s, post-master’s or doctorate degree. Candidates must have taken graduate classes in advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, health promotion and disease prevention at all stages of life, differential diagnosis and disease management at all stages of life, and clinical training in a minimum of two psychotherapeutic treatment methods. Candidates also need to have completed at least 500 clinical hours in an accredited academic program, and have met specific requirements before taking this test. This test is taken as part of the Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Board Certified (PMHNP-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 Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination include:

  • 24 questions on health promotion and disease prevention
  • 35 questions on assessment of acute and chronic disease conditions
  • 13 questions on the nurse practitioner and patient relationship
  • 51 questions on clinical management
  • 18 questions on professional role and policy
  • 9 questions on research

The questions on this assessment are for patients at all stages of life, from newborn through aging adult; some of the questions do not relate to a particular stage. Candidates need to know about conditions as they are stated in the DSM IV TR, including thought, affective, personality, substance abuse, childhood and additional disorders.

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Last Updated: June 21, 2021