If you are deciding between the ANCC and AANP nurse practitioner certification exams, looking at past national pass rates for each exam is a natural way to compare the two. This can help you predict your own likelihood for passing the test and help you make a decision when it comes to signing up for a certification exam.

A higher pass rate on the national nurse practitioner certification exam doesn’t necessarily mean that one exam is more difficult than the other. It can mean that one exam has more clearly written questions, or that questions are skewed toward different subject matter on one exam over another. Regardless of the reason, electing to take the certification exam with the higher success rate gives you a statistically better chance of passing yourself.

The following tables compare pass rates on both the ANCC and AANP nurse practitioner certification exams for the past few years.

Overall, pass rates on both exams are very similar for Family Nurse Practitioner graduates. Pass rates on the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner exam, however do differ. Adult NP graduates have much better success, on average, with the ANCC certification exam. If you are planning to become a certified Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, consider certifying with the ANCC as your chances of passing the exam are higher.


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9 thoughts on “How Do Pass Rates on the ANCC and AANP Certification Exams Compare?”

  • I took both exams for adult-Gero primary care and feel the ANCC had much clearer questions and more appropriate questions to the practice. AANP had several questions about ER scenarios, including administering tPA (I was taking a primary care exam!). I was nervous about taking the ANCC because of the ethics/ research questions and different formats of questions, but I did like having a variety of question types other than multiple choice and I found this book: Adult-Gerontology and Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination: Review Questions and Strategies by Jill Windland-Brown to be extremely helpful with non- clinical questions (and clinical questions too).. The book is all questions, divided by systems and there are a few sections in the back that review non-clinical things. I would highly recommend it.

  • Is there any advantage of doing one over the other in terms of certification and practice. Is one more accepted over the other or do employers prefer one over the other?

  • I am an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP concentration (ACNP). Which certification body can i test with? I get confused because i have learned of ANCC, AACN, and AANP. But i am confused since a friend mentioned that ACNPs cannot take the AANP. Please advice. Thanks

  • I took the FNP AANP and thought the questions were very tricky!! I took the AANC and though the questions were more straightforward!! JMHO

  • The very last paragraph..am I confused or do you contradict yourself? Which exam is better for Adult/Geri? You say one, then the other in the very next sentence.

  • Just want to correct a comment regrading Magnet. People can work in Magnet facilities with either AAANP or ANCC certification. It is certification that matters for Magnet.

    ANCC includes research, theory and ethics while AANP is more clinically focused. There is no difference for practice. AANP does give you membership in an organization and with that some great NP journals.

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