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First Year NP

Pass or Fail?

Published October 10, 2013 4:45 PM by Katrin Moskowitz
Greetings from the happiest place on earth: Disney World. When I planned this trip months ago it was meant to be a celebration trip and thank you to my family for sticking through the last 2 years of NP school.

In my mind I would have passed my school's comprehensive exam and the national boards. Just a few weeks ago I panicked, again thinking in my head about the possibilities of failure in either or both of those upcoming feats. Everyone around me had no worries, telling me that they had no doubt that I would pass.

They, however, did not just cram 2 years' worth of various knowledge bases throughout multiple lifespans into their heads. The more I reviewed materials, the more I felt like I maybe had not retained all that I should have. Self-doubt is a devious creature.

I scheduled my exit exam for the earliest available date I could and was able to schedule my boards the day after. Why would I do that? I just needed to get it done and over with. It was 2 days of acid producing, nausea-filled days and sleepless nights.

Exam one was scheduled at 9am with an 8:45 a.m. check-in time. I arrived early to park in the correct parking garage and walked to my respective testing center. No one was there. Office closed and doors locked.

I spent the next hour waiting and then having to make my way back to my car to retrieve my phone and figure out what to do. Needless to say it did not aid in my already elevated anxiety and once tags were straightened out, I was worried that taking the exam might not be such a good idea.

Instead, I pushed through and passed my comprehensive again. Phew. The next day was a different story. The new testing center was not only open, but organized and ready to receive me. In fact, entering the exam was like entering prison: Empty your pockets, turn them inside out, lift up your pant legs, turn around, hands in your pockets.

My anxiety was in control until I sat down and saw what I was doing there. AANP National Boards. I put on my lawn mower-looking provided earphones and dove in. At the end of the exam, before they release if you passed or failed, they ask you to answer a brief survey. Bad bad idea. In those 10 questions I felt my heart rate skyrocket and all I could click was strongly agree, strongly agree until I saw the final words: PASSED. I could have cried at that moment. Instead, I let out a huge sigh of relief and slowly headed to the exit.

The fact that I passed everything has still not sunk in. Even after filling out malpractice paperwork for my new job and signing APRN as my title. Now I just need to wait and pray that all of the licensing agencies act hastily. Now I can relax, enjoy vacation and prepare to enter the workforce in my new role!


Congrats! That feeling is much deserved :) I am taking my FNP boards exam in November and I am praying for that feeling of euphoria that you are experiencing now! I know how hard it was to get to where you are and for that you deserve the world! Best of luck in your NP endeavors.

Jessica Montgomery, Telemetry - RN, Bryn Mawr Hospital October 30, 2013 11:16 AM
Eagleville PA

I had to smile as I read through your experience.  I too just took my boards and passed on 9-26-13.  Congrats and good luck on the job front!

Ray Barlow, AGACNP-BC October 20, 2013 7:05 PM
San Antonio TX

Congratulations Karin! I took my boards in June and shared the same feelings as you. I was so excited I hugged the young lady who gave me the exam results! Renada, I have yet to land my first job as a FNP. I too graduated with high honors and have been turned down several times for having no experience.  It is so frustrating but I refuse to give up. My question is how do we go from novice to expert without someone giving us a break?  The good news is I'm going to a ARNP conference this weekend, hopefully something will come up.

Angela, FNP - ARNP-BC October 17, 2013 6:02 PM
Riviera Beach FL

Sandy, it seems like only yesterday that we were working on group projects together!!!

Renada, hang in there. Out of all of the applications that I submitted I only heard from this one place. Like you said, it was very disheartening. I also have friends who just finished RN school and are having the same problems without having one year of experience. Have you joined your states chapter of the their APRN group? Hopefully with networking a position will soon become available. I will cross my fingers for you!!

Katrin Moskowitz October 13, 2013 9:17 PM

Congratulations! Katrin, you deserve it!  Good Luck to you in your new job!!!%0d%0a%0d%0aSandy

Sandra Manship, Family - sFNP, pending October 12, 2013 8:46 AM
Machias ME


I know exactly how you felt but I did cry. I was so glad I didn't have to repeat that test. Once was enough for me!

Congratulations to you and your new job!

I live in NJ and I am still looking for a job as an NP. I passed my boards in June and I'm still working as an RN. It has been so disheartening after all that hard work. I did so well in school but without that 1 year experience no one will give me a break.

Renada, Family - APRN, FNP-C October 11, 2013 1:09 PM
westampton NJ

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