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Program Description

Certification Examinations

AANPCB national certification examinations are competency-based examinations for nurse practitioners to reflect their knowledge and expertise in the role and population area of education.

Entry-Level APRN Certifications

AANPCB offers two entry-level APRN examinations:
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)

The Adult NP and Gerontologic NP examinations were retired to comply with the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education (2008).

Specialty Certification

AANPCB offers one specialty examination:
  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP)

The Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP) certification is a specialty certification by examination developed to recognize eligible certified FNPs with expertise in emergency care.


Examination Development

The nurse practitioner competency-based national certification examinations are developed in conjunction with independent organizations that specialize in examination development and psychometric services. Adult, Family, Gerontology, Adult-Gerontology, and Emergency nurse practitioner subject matter experts (SMEs) from representative work and academic environments, as well as geographical areas, assist in all phases of the development of the examinations.

Major components of the examination development process are:

  • Role delineation study, also known as a practice analysis.
  • Test specifications development.
  • Test construction.
  • Passing point determination.

The examinations are based on a current practice analysis which serves as an objective measure of the knowledge and skills required of competent nurse practitioners. The practice analysis provides the foundation for defining the content domains (areas) of the competency-based examinations. Documents created by these expert panels are validated by representative samples of professionals selected from the adult, gerontology, emergency, and family nurse practitioner community. Test specifications derived from the respective practice analysis for adult-gerontology primary care, family nurse practitioner, emergency nurse practitioners serve as the blueprint for the certification examinations.

Each examination consists of 150 multiple-choice items. Items are written and developed by practicing nurse practitioners with extensive knowledge and expertise, and placed in an item bank. All items which appear on the examinations have been reviewed at least four times:

  • Nurse practitioner item writers develop and review all items for content relevance, competency level, accuracy of scoring,and bias and sensitivity (e.g., cultural, age, gender, and other stereotyping).
  • Contracted test development organization staff and psychometrician review each item for psychometric quality, adherence to test specifications, style guidelines, and absence of bias and sensitivity.
  • Additional panels of nurse practitioner content experts review and validate all items prior to approving them for inclusion on an examination. Items are reviewed for relevancy to current/best practice, importance and harm level, adequacy of content coverage, elimination of stereotyping and bias, item redundancy, accuracy of answer keys, and current reference citations.

After each practice analysis and test specification update, passing point determination occurs following test construction. Determining the passing point establishes the minimum passing score, which is accomplished using certification standard methods, such as Item Response Theory and modified-Angoff. The rigor of this examination development process promotes quality, competency-based certification examinations.

Questions may be directed to AANPCB at the following:

Email: certification@aanpcert.org

AANPCB
Capital Station, LBJ Building
P.O. Box 12926
Austin, TX 78711-2926

Office: (512) 637-0500
Toll-free (855) 822-6727