FNP Study Plan

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Exam Study Plan

Get ready for the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) exam with our FNP study plan. No matter which FNP certification exam you choose to take, we’ll help you make the most of your test prep. Get a free FNP study guide from Kaplan, recommended FNP study materials, information about the two FNP certification exams, and more. Passing the FNP exam is a huge accomplishment, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Here’s how to get started.

[ READ NEXT: What Is a Family Nurse Practitioner? ]


FNP Certification Exam Prep Course

Preview our new on-demand FNP Review Course for free.

What is the FNP Exam?

After completing an FNP program, you’ll need to pass an exam to be certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Nursing students have two exam options for FNP certification:

The two FNP exams are similar, but have some key differences which are detailed below. 

AANP Exam vs. the ANCC Exam

When deciding between the AANP exam and the ANCC exam for your FNP certification, consider your career goals. If you are interested in teaching or research, earning ANCC certification is likely the right choice for you. If you are pursuing a clinical career, then the AANP certification is your best option. Regardless, both exams certify you as an FNP and validate your expertise. In the table below, we break down some other key differences between the FNP exams.

Credentialing BodyThe American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification BoardAmerican Nurses Credentialing Center
Question TopicsTests abilities in assessment, diagnosis, planning, and evaluation.Tests clinical skills, risk assessment, and more.
Number of Questions150 questions175 questions
Exam Length3 hours3.5 hours

Which FNP exam should I take?

Both the ANCC and the AANPCB offer FNP exams that will certify you to practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Which one you take is ultimately up to you and your career goals. Typically, NPs who want to pursue a career in teaching and research will take the ANCC exam and those who want a clinical career take the AANP exam.

Is the FNP exam hard?

Both the ANCC and the AANP FNP board exams are known to be challenging, so test prep is essential. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last-minute to study. Both exams have their own rules for retaking the test: for the ANCC exam, you have to wait 60 days to apply to retest and you may not test more than three times in a year. If you fail the AANP exam, you are required to complete at least 15 hours of advanced practice continuing education in your areas of weakness as indicated on your score report. The bottom line: start your FNP test prep early so you have enough time to prepare and can pass the FNP exam on your first attempt!

How To Create an FNP Study Plan

Learn how to create an FNP study plan that works for you and your schedule. We’ll help you get started by providing a general overview of how to study for the FNP exam.

  • Choose Your FNP Exam

    Choose which FNP exam you’re going to take so you know which one to study for. Need help deciding? Review our complete guide to the ANCC and AANP FNP exams.

  • Answer Practice Questions

    To jumpstart your FNP test prep, answer Qbank questions from each exam topic. This will let you know your strengths and weaknesses and help you develop an efficient study schedule.

  • Build a Study Schedule

    Create a personalized FNP exam study schedule. Once you have your test date, work backwards to create a weekly study schedule that works for you. Create time blocks that focus on a certain subject area and be sure to give yourself enough time to review and improve.

  • Use Test Prep Resources

    Take advantage of FNP exam resources to enhance your test prep, including an on-demand FNP course with Micro Virtual Simulations, practice tests, study guides, Qbanks and more! We’ll list all of our FNP test prep recommendations in detail below.

  • Take Study Breaks

    Take breaks while you’re studying so you don’t burn out. Studying for the FNP exam can be overwhelming at times. It’s important to pace yourself and take time to relax and de-stress, especially the week leading up to the exam.

Free FNP Study Schedule

Download our free FNP study schedule to jumpstart your FNP prep. This schedule was built to guide you through Kaplan’s new FNP prep course, but you can also use it for your own FNP studies to help you stay organized leading up to test day.


FNP Study Schedule

Get access to our free FNP test prep study schedule.

Free FNP Study Guide

Kaplan experts have created a free FNP study guide to enhance your test prep. This comprehensive resource is a free sample from our upcoming FNP Board Review Course and focuses on Cardiovascular conditions, including risk factors, diagnostics, and management. Download a free copy to use in your studies today!


FNP Study Guide

Get access to our free FNP exam cardiovascular study guide.

Top FNP Exam Study and Practice Materials

Here are some other study materials we recommend using during your FNP test prep.

Kaplan’s FNP Exam Prep Free Trial

Experience our  immersive and innovative on-demand program that comes with everything you need to prep for the ANCC and AANP exams before the complete review course is available. You’ll get access to 15 Qbank questions, a video lesson, Micro Virtual Simulations, and more!

Kaplan’s Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Prep Plus

Kaplan’s premier FNP test prep book is your step-by-step guide to scoring higher on the FNP exam. Get realistic practice with 800+ practice questions and expert guidance, including exclusive test-taking and study strategies that optimize your preparation. 

FNP Exam Pop Quizzes

See how you would do on the AANP and ANCC FNP exams by taking these short quizzes!