Scoring and Retesting
Nurse practitioners are fortunate in that candidates receive a preliminary analysis which will indicate whether they have passed or failed the test immediately after they’ve completed the exam. Physician associates on the other hand play the waiting game. PANCE results are posted to the candidate’s online record, approximately two weeks after the exam date.
What happens if an NP or PA fails the certification test? Should the PA fail the exam, he or she may only take the PANCE once in any 90-day period, or three times in one calendar year. The ANCC has similar guidelines for NPs. In the event that a candidate fails the exam, he or she may retest after 60 days and may not test more than three times in a 12-month period. The AANPCB differs, allowing NP test takers just two attempts at the certification exam each calendar year.
PAs vs. NPs: Recertification Paths
The road to recertification diverges for PAs and NPs. PAs face periodic recertification exams, whereas NPs have different requirements. The major difference in certification renewal between NPs and PAs is that physician associates must take a test to re-certify whereas nurse practitioners do not.
The NCCPA requires PAs to take a recertification exam called the PANRE at the end of every 10 years. The PANRE is organized similarly to the PANCE in that the subject matter covered is the same; however, it addresses broader clinical issues in 240 questions. In order to keep certification active, PAs must also earn and log a minimum of 100 credits of continuing medical education every two years.
Nurse practitioners must re-certify every five years. Recertification depends on completing continuing education hours, 75 hours every five years for the ANCC or 100 hours every five years for the AANPBC, in addition to completing a specified number of practice hours. NPs certified through the ANCC are required to re-certify through at least one of eight renewal categories as specified in the renewal requirement handbook so may need to meet additional criteria.
Create Your Physician Associate & Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Prep Strategy with ThriveJourney
As an aspiring APP, preparing for your board certification exam(s) can be overwhelming, with countless resources claiming to be the key to your success. In addition, everyone learns differently so there is no one right way to board prep. Understanding which tool or resources best fit your learning style and simplifying your NP or PA board prep process/ schedule will help you achieve your goal. The ThriveJourney Board Preparation Strategy Course will help you feel confident on test day. In our course Veronica Hill, DNP, CRNP discusses these key objectives:
- Understand the Key Components of Successful NP or PA Board Certification Preparation
- Identify the Most Common Board Preparation Resources on the Market
- Test Day Preparedness
- Discuss the Steps to Take if You Do Not Pass Board Certification
- Review the Next Steps After Passing Your Board Certification
*Includes a downloadable Board Certification Planner & Board Preparation Resources Guide