How to Become a Nurse Practitioner | USAHS (2023)

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner | USAHS (1)Becoming a nurse practitioner is a popular and exciting career choice. Nurse practitioners deliver primary and emergency care to patients, diagnose and treat illnesses, and prescribe medication. In 23 states, NPs have full practice authority, meaning they can practice independently without the supervision of a physician.

The path to becoming a nurse practitioner may look a little different for everyone, but in general, there are specific academic and licensure credentials you must obtain. From your bachelor’s through your graduate degree, you can expect to be in school for at least seven years. After you earn your graduate degree, you must also pass a national certification exam. This blog post outlines the responsibilities of nurse practitioners, discusses how to become a nurse practitioner, and provides a brief overview of the current job landscape and opportunities.

What Is a Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are licensed clinicians who provide comprehensive care to patients. The best nurse practitioners are understanding and compassionate people who enjoy solving complex problems and helping others.

Nurse practitioners focus on preventative and holistic care, as well as treating acute and chronic conditions. Responsibilities vary depending on their area of practice. For example, a neonatal nurse practitioner works with neonatologists to treat newborns and infants, whereas a family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner works with patients of all ages who need mental health treatment.

In general, responsibilities of nurse practitioners may include:

  • Providing primary and emergency care to patients
  • Performing physical exams and recording patient medical histories
  • Ordering and conducting diagnostic tests
  • Developing appropriate patient treatment plans
  • Prescribing and administering medications and treatments
  • Evaluating the patient’s response to treatment plans and making adjustments as necessary
  • Providing mental health counseling
  • Educating patients on healthy lifestyle choices and how to prevent injury and disease

Nurse Practitioner vs. Registered Nurse: What’s the Difference?

Becoming licensed as a registered nurse (RN) is one step in becoming a nurse practitioner (see How to Become a Nurse Practitioner). If you continue with graduate education to become a nurse practitioner, you will have more responsibilities and autonomy than registered nurses. Nurse practitioners need to earn either a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, whereas registered nurses only need an associate degree or bachelor’s degree.

(Video) So You Want to Be a NURSE PRACTITIONER [Ep. 25]

Unlike a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse is not permitted to diagnose patients or develop treatment plans. Typical responsibilities of a registered nurse include monitoring patients, maintaining patient records, ordering diagnostic tests, and assisting physicians with patient care.

The work environment for the two professionals also tends to differ. Nurse practitioners usually work more standard hours in private practice or community clinic settings. Registered nurses, however, typically work a variety of shifts, including night shifts, in hospitals or surgical clinics.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner | USAHS (2)To become a nurse practitioner, you will need advanced training in nursing. This means earning a master’s or doctoral degree, as well as the certifications and licensures required for your area of advanced nursing practice. To succeed in your nursing program, you will need to hone your study techniques and time management skills. Although graduate nursing school is challenging, many students feel their effort is well worth the satisfaction of knowing they will make a difference in the lives of others. Below, we outline the steps to becoming a nurse practitioner.

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

The first step to becoming a nurse practitioner is to earn a bachelor’s degree. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is recommended, given that some graduate-level programs, such as the nurse practitioner program offered by the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, require an undergraduate degree in nursing rather than in a related field such as public health. The core curriculum of a BSN program includes courses in anatomy, pharmacology, mental health, pathophysiology, statistics, and more.

The BSN degree also requires that students complete clinical training hours—typically, three clinical learning hours for every one hour of classroom instruction. Depending on your background and personal situation, you can take various paths to accomplish this:

  • Direct-entry BSN: Designed for students who hold a high school diploma and have not previously completed a bachelor’s degree program or nursing education. A full-time BSN program typically takes 4 years to complete.
  • Licensed practical nurse (LPN) to BSN: Designed for students who are licensed practical nurses, which requires about a year of collegiate nursing education. The length of a full-time LPN-to-BSN program is typically 2–3 years, depending on the school and transferable credits.
  • RN to BSN: Designed for registered nurses who have completed an associate degree in the field. Full-time RN-to-BSN programs typically take 1–2 years to complete, depending on the school and transferable credits.
  • Accelerated BSN (ABSN): A second degree program for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a different field. The length of a full-time ABSN program is typically 12–19 months, depending on the school and transferable credits.

Get Your RN License

(Video) How To Become a Nurse Practitioner and Fastest Way To Becoming One

In order to practice nursing and/or enter a graduate nursing program, you must first obtain your licensure as an RN by applying to the appropriate nursing regulatory body and successfully completing the NCLEX-RN examination, as well as meeting any other requirements of the state in which you intend to practice. To sit for the exam, you must have completed an associate degree in nursing, a hospital-based diploma program, or your BSN.

Gain Valuable Work Experience

Before applying to graduate school, it’s a good idea to practice in the field for a while. Clinical practice can give you valuable information about whether becoming an advanced practice registered nurse is the right path for you to pursue—and if it is, what interests you most about the work. It can also help you decide down the road what level of degree and area of specialization is best for you.

Some universities require applicants to have clinical experience before entering their graduate nursing program or beginning clinical experiences, so it’s important to look into each school’s requirements before applying. Additionally, some nursing programs, including ours here at USAHS, hold a white coat ceremony for nurse graduates to commemorate the milestone.

2. Earn a Graduate Degree

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner | USAHS (3)The next step to becoming a nurse practitioner is to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a family nurse practitioner (FNP) role specialty.

Along with the FNP specialty, students in MSN and DNP programs can choose from other role specialties, depending on the university’s offerings. Popular specialties include nurse educator, nurse executive, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP), adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP), pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).


  • Master of Science in Nursing: An MSN is an advanced nursing practice degree that opens doors to prestigious positions in the field. An MSN-FNP is a sufficient qualification for becoming a nurse practitioner. A full-time MSN program with an FNP role specialty typically takes 2-3 years to complete.
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice: A DNP-FNP provides more coursework on leadership and research for aspiring nurse practitioners who want to hold a clinical nurse leader position or other nursing leadership roles. A full-time program typically takes 3–4 years, depending on specialty, with the FNP specialty typically taking about 4 years.

3. Become a Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)

Be sure to review information on licensure and regulatory requirements in your state. The AANP is a good resource.

To become licensed to practice as a nurse practitioner, you will need to take a national certification exam. You can take this exam through any of five national certification boards, including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the National Certification Corporation (NCC), or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Each organization’s exam is different, so you should research the focus and format of each one and consider your personal career goals and testing preferences when deciding which exam to take.

Nurse Practitioner Job Opportunities and Outlook

U.S. News & World Report ranks the nurse practitioner profession as #4 in its 2020 Best Healthcare Jobs list, highlighting the projected employment growth for this career.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for nurse practitioners was $107,030 in 2018. Employment of nurse practitioners is projected to grow 28.2 percent from 2018 to 2028, with an estimated 53,300 jobs added during that period. The BLS ranks this as the ninth fastest-growing profession.

An advanced registered nurse practitioner works in a variety of settings, the most common being physicians’ offices. They also work in general medical and surgical hospitals, outpatient care centers, clinics, and offices of other health care practitioners.

Additional Tips and Resources for Nurse Practitioners

There are a number of activities you can participate in that will contribute to your professional development. Visit the additional resources below to learn more about the path to becoming a nurse practitioner.

(Video) How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

Ways to Grow Professionally

  • Volunteer to treat patients in underserved communities. This is a great way to grow your skills, learn from professionals across disciplines, and make a real difference.
  • Attend events and conferences to expand your knowledge and network with your peers.
  • Find a mentor you can learn from and who inspires you to grow as a professional.

Useful Resources

The following organizations can help you learn more about becoming a nurse practitioner:

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) offers Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Post-Graduate Nursing Certificates designed for working nurses. Our degrees are offered online, with optional on-campus immersions* and an annual interprofessional trip abroad. Role specialties include Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Nurse Educator,** and Nurse Executive. The MSN has several options to accelerate your time to degree completion. Complete coursework when and where you want—and earn your advanced practice nursing degree while keeping your work and life in balance.

*The FNP role specialty includes two required hands-on clinical intensives as part of the curriculum.

**The Nurse Educator role specialty is not available for the DNP program.


American Association of Nurse Practitioners. “What’s a Nurse Practitioner (NP)?” Accessed January 20, 2021. Accessed: January 26, 2022

(Video) Becoming A Nurse Practitioner Worth It? 6 Things You Should Consider Before Starting NP School

Nurse Journal. “How to Become a Nurse Practitioner.” Last reviewed November 30, 2021. Accessed: January 26, 2022

Nurse Journal. “Nurse Practioner Career Overview.” Last reviewed November 30, 2021. Accessed: January 26, 2022 “How to Become a Nurse Practioner (NP).” September 20, 2021. Accessed: January 26, 2022


Is the nurse practitioner exam hard? ›

Are Nurse Practitioner Exams Difficult? Yes. Both of the examinations to become a Certified Nurse Practitioner (NP) are very challenging.

How do you answer why do you want to be a nurse practitioner? ›

Example: “I chose to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner because I am invested in the care and treatment of those whom I can serve. During my education, I found that nursing was of particular interest to me, so I chose to continue to earn my nurse practitioner license.

Is NP school harder than nursing school? ›

Some people may find that mastering the initial concepts in Nursing school is much harder than building upon those concepts in Nurse practitioner school. On the other hand, some students find that nurse practitioner school and its advanced concepts are harder to grasp and apply in practice.

What makes you a good candidate for nurse practitioner school? ›

Your chances of being accepted are higher with extensive nursing experience in the NP specialty that you are seeking. It is best to use personal nursing experiences to explain why you are passionate about your selected NP specialty area.

How many times can you fail nurse practitioner exam? ›

Apply to Retest

If you do not pass a certification exam, you may retest after 60 days. Candidates may not test more than 3 times in any 12 months.

What is the easiest NP to be? ›

  1. Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. ...
  2. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. ...
  3. Family Nurse Practitioner. ...
  4. Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners (OHNP) ...
  5. Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner.

How do I ace my NP interview? ›

How can you prepare for a job interview as a nurse practitioner?
  1. Research the site and the people you're going to meet.
  2. Don't underestimate the power of a first impression.
  3. Remember to ask some questions yourself.
  4. Update and review your resume.
  5. Keep your application in mind.
  6. Check the job description again before going in.
21 Oct 2020

Is becoming an NP worth it? ›

Being a nurse practitioner is worth it because most NPs are highly satisfied with their career and job. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks nurse practitioners as the best health care job in 2022! So, if you are planning to go to school to become an NP, you can expect a pleasurable and engaging career.

What are your weaknesses nurse practitioner? ›

Reflect on your weaknesses

Spending too much time on paperwork. Paying too much attention to detail. Attempting to complete too many tasks at once. A lack of clinical experience, which may apply to recent graduates or new nurses.

What is the hardest nurse practitioner? ›

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Armed Forces NP. ...
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Correctional Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Substance Abuse Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Critical Care Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

Who makes more money a RN or NP? ›

NPs tend to earn more than RNs, mostly because their positions require a higher level of education, additional clinical hours and certifications, and often work in private settings.

What is the hardest class in nurse practitioner school? ›

Hardest Nursing School Classes
  • Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
  • Pharmacology. ...
  • Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
  • Evidence-Based Practice.

What kind of skills does a nurse practitioner need? ›

10 Essential Nurse Practitioner Skills
  • Assessment and Diagnosis. ...
  • Formulation of Treatment Plans. ...
  • Patient Education. ...
  • Interpretation and Translation of Research into Practice. ...
  • Generation of Knowledge from Practice Experience. ...
  • Use and Development of Technology and Information Systems.
1 Jun 2022

What are 3 good qualities of a good school nurse? ›

When deciding on a school nurse to fill the needs of a school health office there are many qualities to look for to know the nurse will be able to handle the position: Caring nature. Empathetic. Keep detailed records.

What is the most needed nurse practitioner? ›

Below is a list of the 10 most in-demand nurse practitioner specialties in no particular order.
  1. Family Practice. ...
  2. Adult-Gerontology Primary Care. ...
  3. Psychiatric Mental Health. ...
  4. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care. ...
  5. Pediatric Primary Care. ...
  6. Pulmonology Nurse Practitioner. ...
  7. Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. ...
  8. House Call Nurse Practitioner.

What is the passing rate of the NP exam? ›

Which FNP certification exam should I take?
American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
Questions: 175 – 200Questions: 150
Length: Approximately 4 hoursLength: 3 hours
2021 Pass Rate: 87%2021 Pass Rate: 84%
12 Jun 2022

Which NP test is easier? ›

The AANP is rumored to be the easier of the two exams, specifically for those seeking their FNP certification since it has a 5% higher pass rate than that of the ANCC FNP exam. Using the pass rate as a basis for difficulty then you can reasonably say that the AANP exam is easier than the ANCC.

How do I pass my NP certification? ›

If your blood pressure is normal, you will pass with no conditions. If your blood pressure is high, between 140-159 systolic and/or 90-99 mm Hg diastolic, it is described as “Stage 1” high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is in this range, you will pass but you will be required to take the DOT physical annually.

Is NP more stressful than RN? ›

NP in family practice is way more stressful than RN in telemetry, cath lab recovery, PACU, or CICU where I worked for years. An NP is expected to generate profit, which means seeing patients. More patients = more profit, and to the business owner there is no such thing as enough.

What is the least stressful NP specialty? ›

  1. School Nurse Practitioner. ...
  2. Medical Writer. ...
  3. Nurse Educator. ...
  4. Clinic Nurse Practitioner. ...
  5. Public Health NP. ...
  6. Clinical Research NP.
  7. Weight Loss Clinic NP.
  8. Nurse Informatics.

Is there anything higher than a NP? ›

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a terminal nursing degree, meaning that it is the highest possible practice-based degree in nursing.

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers nursing? ›

Common nursing interview questions
  • Do you work well with other nurses, doctors and staff? ...
  • How would you handle a difficult patient? ...
  • How do you handle workplace stress? ...
  • What do you do if your replacement does not arrive? ...
  • How would you handle a disagreement with a doctor? ...
  • Describe how you manage a busy workload.

What do first NP jobs look for? ›

Conclusions: Key points to consider upon searching or taking a first NP job include patient, colleague, and clinic factors. Patient factors include mix of patient presentations, complexity of patient presentations, insurance status, and population.

What are 4 key skills that a nurse needs for effective interviewing? ›

They include:
  • Active listening. Nurses must do more than simply listen when conducting a health history assessment—they must actively listen. ...
  • Adaptive questioning. ...
  • Nonverbal communication.

Can an NP be rich? ›

As you can see from the chart below, nurse practitioners are rich compared to non-advanced practice nurses such as RNs and nurse instructors. With an average annual salary of $114,510, a nurse practitioner makes substantially more than a registered nurse who makes $80,010 on average per year.

Are NP just as good as doctors? ›

A nurse practitioner will give the same quality of care as a general physician. Most nurse practitioners spend many years working as registered nurses. In their capacity as nurses, they take care of patients, performing tasks like administering medication and monitoring patients.

Do NP or PA make more? ›

Do PAs make more than nurse practitioners? According to the BLS, NPs earned a median salary of $120,680 and PAs earned a median salary of $121,530 in 2021. Outpatient care centers are the highest-paying workplaces for both roles.

How do you handle difficult patients? ›

7 Tips for Handling Difficult Patients
  1. Don't Get Defensive. ...
  2. Watch Your Body Language. ...
  3. Let Them Tell Their Story and Listen Quietly. ...
  4. Acknowledge the Situation. ...
  5. Set Boundaries. ...
  6. Administer Patient Satisfaction Surveys. ...
  7. Be Proactive.
8 Jul 2019

What is your strength best answer? ›

When answering, mention what your top strengths are, provide examples on how you've used them in the past, and finally, describe the results you've gotten. Be super specific with your answers. Don't just say “I'm good at X” - really dive deep and give the interviewer a comprehensive answer.

Why should we hire you answer best? ›

Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.

Who are the happiest nurses? ›

Let's take a look at some nursing specialties where nurses report being happiest.
  • School Nurse. ...
  • Labor and Delivery Nurse. ...
  • Case Management Nurse. ...
  • Nurse Educator. ...
  • Parish Nurse. ...
  • Travel Nurse.
26 Aug 2022

What is the lowest paid nurse practitioner? ›

Even those compensated at the lowest end of the salary range for nurse practitioners are paid $79,870, at least $40,000 more than the average national income, while those being paid at the highest level of $200,540 are earning more than $80,000 more than the average national income.

Can you go from NP to MD? ›

Can you go from NP to MD? An NP could become an MD by applying to medical school and going through all the requirements.

What can a doctor do that a nurse practitioner Cannot? ›

A primary difference between physicians and NPs is the fact that all doctors can prescribe medication to patients as a part of their duties. Nurse practitioners also prescribe medicine, but in some states they must be directly overseen by a doctor or physician in order to do so.

What type of nurse is most in demand? ›

Registered nurse (RN)

BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.

How do you survive in NP school? ›

How To Survive Nurse Practitioner School?
  1. 1) Make friends in your NP program. ...
  2. 2) Take a good look at your finances. ...
  3. 3) Invest in quality resources. ...
  4. 4) Start using a calendar. ...
  5. 5) Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! ...
  6. 6) Search for your clinical site early. ...
  7. 7) Try to get the most out of your clinical experience.

How long should you study for NP exam? ›

This summary is followed by sample practice questions to help you hone your clinical decision-making and test-taking skills. Allow a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks of planned study after you complete the review course to maximize your likelihood of success on this important high-stakes exam.

What is the easiest nursing specialty? ›

9 Lower-stress nursing jobs
  • Long-term care nurse. ...
  • Nurse administrator. ...
  • Clinical research nurse. ...
  • School or summer camp nurse. ...
  • Clinic nurse. ...
  • Nurse informatics. ...
  • Lactation consultant nurse. ...
  • Telehealth nurse.
2 Dec 2019

What is unique about being a nurse practitioner? ›

Nurse Practitioners have advanced training.

Because of this advanced training, NPs have more responsibility than RNs and can write prescriptions, order and interpret tests and perform exams. NPs also are required to take training courses throughout their career to help keep their skills up to date.

What is the primary goal of a nurse practitioner? ›

Summary: The role of nurse practitioner is to provide acute and primary care to patients across the healthcare continuum, from assessing, diagnosing and treating illnesses to educating communities on disease prevention.

What is the main job of a nurse practitioner? ›

Ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays. Diagnosing and treating acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries. Prescribing medications and other treatments. Managing patients' overall care.

What is your greatest strength as a nursing student? ›

Examples of nursing strengths
  • Communication.
  • Empathy.
  • Flexibility.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Endurance.
  • Problem solving.

What is your greatest skills as a nurse? ›

The key to being a successful nurse is communication.

Communication skills are one of the most important requirements of a nurse's job—both following directions and communicating with patients and families. Patients who are sick or suffering often are not in a position of strength to speak up for themselves.

What attitude should a nurse have? ›

Nurses with a positive attitude are expected to provide altruistic service, compassionate care for health customers, to be proud of their profession and able to hold intra and extra professional factors.

Do you have to be smart to be a nurse practitioner? ›

Yes, you have to achieve various levels of education and pass exams and clinical competencies during your journey to becoming a nurse practitioner, but remember that your role is much more than how smart you are. Clinical judgment comes with time.

Where are NP paid the most? ›

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, California is the highest paying state for nurse practitioners. Entry-level nurse practitioners in the state earn over $50 hourly and average about $107,310 yearly. NPs with ten to nineteen years can earn up to $165,140 yearly.

What is the highest paying NP position? ›

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner

This role takes the cake for the highest nurse practitioner salary on our list. Psychiatric nurse practitioners work with mental health patients experiencing conditions like depression and anxiety.

What is a passing score on the nurse practitioner exam? ›

To pass the ANCC examination, an examinee must achieve a scale score of 350 or higher.

What percentage is passing on the NP boards? ›

aanp vs ancc
Certifying BodyAANPCBANCC
Pass Rates86% of FNP candidates passed the first-time in 2019.87% of FNP candidates passed the first-time in 2019
Cost$240 for AANP members and $315 for non-members$295 for ANA members and $395 for non-members
13 more rows

How do you pass the nurse practitioner exam? ›

How I Passed My FNP Certification Exam: Top Study Tools
  1. 1.) Review courses. There are many review courses available for the FNP exam with different options to best suit your needs. ...
  2. 2.) Review books. If you were anything like me as a new grad, I was done with lectures. ...
  3. 3.) Online Resources. ...
  4. 4.) Online Practice Tests.
2 Jan 2021

What happens if you fail NP boards? ›

What happens if I fail the exam? ANCC: If you fail the ANCC FNP exam you will have the ability to retake the test after 60 days of the last testing date; however, you cannot take the exam more than three times in any 12 month period.

How many questions do I need to get right to pass AANP? ›

How many questions can you miss on the AANP exam and pass? AANP Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam consists of 150 questions. Scoring works on a scale of 200 to 800 points with a minimum passing score of 500.

How many people fail AANP? ›

The ANCC has a pass rate of 86% and the AANP has a pass rate of 85%. A fail rate of 14-21% represents that these exams are indeed difficult. Each exam has specific rules to retake them. The ANCC can be taken a maximum of 3 times in a year with at least 60 days in between testing dates.

How many times can you fail your nursing boards? ›

If they fail, they'll need to wait 45 days before retesting. After failing three times, though, they'll need to complete a board-approved remediation program before the next retake. Candidates have six attempts to pass in total.

Are nurse practitioners respected? ›


In general, providers are respected by both their patients and those that hire them. This may be because doctors and nurse practitioners are at the top of the medical hierarchy and are hard to replace if they leave.

When should I start studying for NP boards? ›

3-6 months before graduation

Depending on your practice exam performance, the amount of material you determine you need to master, and other time commitments, start studying 3-6 months prior to graduation from your NP program.

Is getting your NP worth it? ›

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the job outlook for NPs between 2020 and 2030 is expected to increase by 52%! Becoming a nurse practitioner is worth it due to this high demand! Jobs are aplenty, so you should have no trouble finding new grad NP jobs or switching to your ultimate dream job.

How hard is it to pass the nursing exam? ›

NCLEX Pass Rates

The second-attempt pass rate for domestically-educated students taking the test was 45.56%. These results demonstrate that it is a pretty difficult test. The questions are designed to test your critical thinking, knowledge of the nursing process, and assessment skills.

How many questions is the NP certification exam? ›

Apply for Certification

The exam allows 3.5 hours to answer 175 questions (150 scored plus 25 pretest questions that are not scored).

How do I ace my NP school interview? ›

Tips on Acing the NP School Interview
  1. Choose an optimal time of day, one in which you will be at your cognitive best. Ask how long the interview will be so that your responses are well-timed.
  2. Be familiar with the school and the program to which you're applying. ...
  3. Think about your background, skills, and experiences.

What strengths do you need to be a nurse practitioner? ›

Here are 5 essential skills every nurse practitioner needs to succeed:
  • Strong communication skills. ...
  • Great leadership skills. ...
  • Analytical skills. ...
  • Exhibit patience under stress. ...
  • Core competencies. ...
  • Take the first step.

Do nurse practitioners need to pass Nclex? ›

Passing the NCLEX-RN examination is required for certification as a registered nurse. Working one to two years before applying for a nurse practitioner program is highly recommended.


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