How Long After Graduation To Take NP Boards (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After about 6 months

NP boards refer to the examination by which nurse trainees are selected to be practitioners. Not all individuals who enroll themselves into medical and nursing colleges are perfect to be a practitioner. A practitioner needs practical, theoretical and analytical knowledge while the education at nursing and medical schools and colleges is an amalgamation of theoretical and practical knowledge only. It is the lack of analytical knowledge due to which not all nursing students are certified as practitioners.



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This is why a special exam is conducted by every nation to bring out the best individuals as practitioners. The exam details vary in different nations. NP boards are the examination conducted by the American committee of nurse practitioners to assess the knowledge of the nursing students.

How Long After Graduation To Take NP Boards

How Long After Graduation To Take NP Boards?

Minimum time6 months
Maximum time1 year

In the USA, two major types of certification are very essential for a nursing student to be certified as a practitioner. The two of these certifications are the ANCC certification and the AANP certification. The exam areas vary depending on the course and module. The wide range of topics includes family, midwifery, pediatrics, psychiatric, adult-gerontology, etc. The type of test the student has to undergo depends on the level of education and degree achieved by the individual.

The individual going through the examination is made to undergo an examination procedure where all his skills and knowledge are tested altogether. He/she has to complete an assignment, has to make a successful diagnosis, has to exhibit his/her skills related to management, and has to exhibit professional behavior. After completion of these skills successfully, the nurse student is certified as a practitioner serving the nation.

The examination pattern of ANCC includes 175 questions, along with 25 questions which are regarded as the pretest ones and do not contribute to the final results. The time allotted to each individual is 3.5 hours. The examination pattern of AANP includes 150 questions, along with 15 questions which are regarded as the pretest ones and do not contribute to the final results. The time allotted to each individual is 3 hours.

After appearing for the examination, the trainee needs to wait for the official notification of the conducting body. If the individual clears the examination, he/she gets a positive report from the conducting body. If the individual is unable to clear the examination, he/she gets an improvement report from the conducting body. The improvement report contains the areas of study the individual needs to focus on. This can be beneficial for the individual who is unable to clear the examination.

Why Should One Wait So Long To Take NP Boards After Graduation?

However, there are two types of students who generally take the examination. The first category is the MSN students, which refers to the students pursuing their masters in the field of nursing science. Candidates having this qualification are the type most revered ones and are in demand all over the country. Students of this program can undertake the NP boards after 6 months of completion of their course. It has been regarded as the most highly demanded course in the field of nursing science.

The second category is the DNP students, which refers to the students pursuing a doctorate in nursing practicing. It is a kind of nursing degree given to all those individuals who have practiced nursing to some extent. This should not be confused with its competitor, the Ph.D. degree, as it is basically concerned about research while DNP is mainly about practicing. Individuals with a DNP degree must undergo a study time of 1 year before being eligible for appearing on NP boards.

Doctors and nurses are life saviors. In a country, doctors and nurses should be the most qualified ones as they hold the nation’s life in their hands. The examination and the teaching procedure for all those doctors and nurses should be structured in such a way that the individuals coming out of the examination process is the most eligible one for the job. These trained professionals can help in the process of development of the nation. This is why the examination and the teaching procedure of these classes of students are updated with time.

There have been rumors since long ago which say that the examination conducted by AANP is easier than the other one. However, this is not true. It depends on the student’s capacity and preparation. Both these examinations are equal in terms of their level of difficulty.


One needs to prepare well before proceeding towards the filling up of the application form. After filling the application form, one needs to appear for the examination. The results of the examination are generally declared within 3 weeks. Based on the results, the individual undertaking the examination can either go for appearing the examination once again or can prepare for the life of a practitioner.

Proper preparation and practice can help the nursing student crack the examination. The examination paper is not tough as it’s generally said by the people. If one has clear-cut ideas about the concepts and has the skills to apply them on the field, then undoubtedly he/she can go through the examination with minimum difficulty.


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