Pass Your FNP Exam the First Time

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner


We could not begin this guide without first acknowledging the dedication and fortitude required of nurse practitioner students and graduates who are preparing to earn their family nurse practitioner certification.

Your determination throughout family nurse practitioner school years, your persistence in fulfilling experience requirements, and your desire to devote your livelihood to improving the well-being of your patients are admirable and remarkable qualities.

Passing your Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam is just one last step, although challenging, toward realizing your ambitions.

For making it this far, we congratulate you. This guide is intended to make the road ahead as smooth as possible after all of your hard work. Take a deep breath—soon you’ll be adding “FNP-C or FNP-BC” to your list of credentials.

The Family Nurse Practitioner Career: An Overview

There’s no one-size-fits-all FNP job description. Perhaps that’s why you selected this path, for the versatility and flexibility.

A practicing family nurse practitioner will see multiple patients per hour (usually children, adolescents, and adults) for routine examinations or urgent/emergent situations. FNPs build relationships with their patients and often provide multi-generational care.

Family Nurse Practitioner Career Options

FNP employment options cover a broad spectrum. Along with acting as primary care providers, family nurse practitioners are highly valued in administrative, education, and policy-setting roles.

Where can you work as a family nurse practitioner?

Family nurse practitioners are unique in that they can work independently or as part of an organization. As you search for your first FNP job, you have plenty of options:

  • Private practice
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Urgent Care
  • Community centers
  • Schools
  • Home health care

FNPs have found consistent demand in rural areas and other underserved communities, where their power to provide care independently makes them especially useful.

How much do family nurse practitioners earn? What are the costs?

As you’re most likely aware, becoming a family nurse practitioner is a lucrative career move. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, nurse practitioners earn a median income of $115,800 annually, or $55.67 per hour.

However, most new FNPs also carry student loan debt from both their BSN and MSN degrees. Additionally, there may be expenses due to relocating for a job opportunity, and there are costs relating to entering practice.

To keep things in perspective, consider that in the U.S., the median income for a full-time worker with a Master’s degree is $68,000. With your FNP certification, you’ll start your new career well ahead of national averages.

What’s Next?

This comprehensive guide will focus on studying strategies, exam preparation tips, question formats, topics to focus on from your FNP program curriculum, and Fitzgerald Health Education Associates’ proven formula for first-time test success.

Throughout the guide, we’ll discuss differences between ANCC and AANPCB exams and how they affect your test preparation efforts, so you can make informed and confident decisions about your future.

Passionate, brilliant, motivated nurse practitioners are integral to our nation’s healthcare. The intention of our guide is to enable you to earn your family nurse practitioner certification as efficiently as possible, so you can begin caring for patients and growing your career.

Let’s get started.

*AANP is often used as shorthand for AANPCB (the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board).