The NP Student Guide

Welcome to the NP Student Guide where you'll find resources that will help you while you are in NP school. NP school is hard, and I'm here to help you every step of the way! I'm sharing my best student resources with you that helped me get through school that will hopefully help you too!


If you find ReNursing Edu helpful in your journey to become an NP, please share with others who may need help.


That's enough talking, lets get to the nitty gritty!

Grad School is Not Like Nursing School

You'll soon realize that the studying techniques that got you through nursing school may not be enough when you get to NP school. The volume of material you have to digest is like trying to drink from an open fire's a TON!



Figure out how you learn the best and see if it works for you in the grad school setting.

You may find that you need to form study groups to learn more effectively. Don't be afraid of forming a study group of like-minded classmates if that works for you. Just remember, study groups can be just as bit distracting as it is helpful if other students in your group are not focused.



Group Study Tips

Group Study Tips

Self Study Tips

  • Group study may help cement concepts already familiar to you.


  • It can help you gain a better understanding when you are unsure of a concept.


  • You may focus better if your group plans on what to study with each session.


  • Keeping your group on the smaller size makes things easier so no one gets lost in the group during discussion.

  • Set a study schedule to stay on track to be more productive


  • Take a 15 min break for every 1 hour you study to help refocus


  • Consider using flashcards (index cards) to supplement your study.

  • Keep your study space in a neutral place to make sure it's quiet and without distractions

What Kind of Learner Are You?

Kinetic: This learner learns best by hands-on experience. They are considered “doers” and process more information if they are actively participating. 


  •  Good with their hands

  • Good at remembering things

  • Become fidgety when sitting for a long time

  • Tend to have poor handwriting or spelling

Study Tips for Kinetic learners: 

  • Study in short blocks of time and take breaks

  • Study in groups

  • Use flashcards

Auditory: Auditory learners learn best while actively listening. This group of learners does not take many notes during class because they can learn by listening intently. They also like to talk a lot. 


  • Have great memories for conversations and music

  • Enjoy discussions, debates, and talking to others

  • Prefer oral presentations over written reports

  • May read slowly

Study Tips for Auditory Learners

  • Ask questions during lecture

  • Watch videos (YouTube, anyone?)

  • Use Mnemonics 

  • Repeat information out loud

Visual: These types of learners learn best through what they see. 


  • Loves pictures and diagrams

  • Create pictures in their mind when reading

  • Like bright colors

  • May be slow to process a speech or lecture

Study Tips:

  • Draw diagrams

  •  Watch videos

  • Use highlighters

  • Use flashcards

Read & Write learners: These learners are good traditional studiers, the ones who read textbooks and take notes. They study best by reading their notes or copying them out. 


  • Enjoy reading

  • Would rather read by themselves rather than someone reading to them

  • Often take verbatim or exhaustive notes in class

  • Work best in the quiet

  • Look up definitions in the dictionary if they come across a word they don't know

Study Tips for Read & Write Learners: 

  • Take lots of notes

  • Rewrite the notes

  • Use bullet point lists

  • Use handouts given to you in school



My Top NP Resources for School

These are resources I have used as a nurse practitioner and find useful in my clinical practice. I've used each and every one of these resources at some point and time in my career and still have them in my personal library.


Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of a lot of these resources while I was in school and it would have made studying so much easier! Each NP program has a set of required textbooks, but it never hurts to have additional resources. 

Supplement Textbooks

Make Studying Fun & Easy

Essentials for Clinicals

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Apps I Have on my Phone Right Now

Which Certifying Board Should I Use to Take My Exam?


Now that you're nearing the end of school, it's time to figure out which certifying board you use to take your boards. As an FNP or AGPNP, you can choose to test with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Both will get you the certification as a nurse practitioner and there is no need to take both. There are differences between the exams that may sway your decision one way or another. 




Differences Between the AANP and ANCC Board Exams


  • Clinical-based questions

  • 150 multiple-choice questions

  • 135 are scored and 15 are "pretest"

  • 3-hour time limit

  • Testing done at PSI Testing Centers

  • Content breakdown: 35% patient assessment, 25% diagnosis, 21% planning and 18% evaluation

  • Cost: $240 for AANP members, $315 for nonmembers



  • Contains questions on clinical​​​ content, NP professional issues (Licensure, scope of practice, privileges) and nursing theroy 

  • 175 multiple choice and some alternate test question types such as drop and drag, hot spot, and multiple response

  • 150 are scored and 25 are "pretest" questions

  • 3.5 hour time limit​

  • Testing done at Prometric Testing Centers

  • Content breakdown: 21% assessment, 26% diagnosis, 43% clinical management, and 10% professional role

  • Cost: $295 for ANA members and $395 for nonmembers


Board Review Resources


You've made it through school and now you're ready to study for your board exam! This is a MAJOR milestone. While I don't advocate waiting until you are done with school before you start studying, I will point you in the right direction so you will do well on your exam! 

ReNursing Edu Self- Study Board Review Courses

Available Now!!

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ANCC & AANP Exam News & Updates  

Find the ANCC Updated FNP Test Content Outline (5/22/2019) here:

Find the ANCC  ANGP Test Content Outline here:

Find the AANPCB FNP Test Content Outline here:

Find the AANPCB ANGP Test Content Outline here: 

  • AANPCB exams update blood pressure guidelines on exams to use 2017 ACC/AHA and JNC 8 read more here

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