Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Exam

The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) Certification exam is provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as an entry-level examination designed to evaluate the candidate’s clinical knowledge of young adults. This includes individuals in the age categories from adolescence to the elderly.

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Eligibility

To meet the eligibility requirements to take this exam, you will need to have obtained all of the following:

  • A current RN license issued by the state you are working in.
  • A master’s, post-graduate certificate, or DNP from an accredited adult-gerontology primary care NP program
    • If you are in an AGPCNP program, you must have a minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours
  • Three comprehensive graduate-level courses in the following:
    • Advanced physiology/pathophysiology
    • Advance health assessment, including advanced assessment techniques and assessment of all human systems
    • Advanced pharmacotherapeutics, which includes pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories
  • Content in the following:
    • Health promotion and/or maintenance
    • Differential diagnosis and disease management

All of your verification to prove your eligibility must be sent to the ANCC along with a validation of education form, before registering for the exam. The proper form and submission documents can be found on the ANCC website.

You may submit your validation materials by emailing aprnvalidation@ana.org or by mail to the following address:

ANCC Certification
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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Exam Outline Review

The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner exam contains 175 multiple-choice questions. You will only be scored on 150 of those questions, as the remaining 25 questions are “pre-test” questions that are used to create questions for future versions of the exam. You will be given 3.5 hours to complete the exam.

The exam is split into three content domains:

  1. Patient Assessment Process: 34 Questions (23%)
  2. Plan of Care: 93 Questions (62%)
  3. Professional Practice: 23 Questions (15%)

I. Patient Assessment Process

The 34 questions in this section test your skills and knowledge in making a thorough patient assessment. You will be asked to do the following:

  • Obtain information concerning the present health and the past medical history of the individual
  • Perform a cursory physical examination
  • Complete a functional assessment gaging ADLs, IADLs, and DME
  • Complete a social assessment (health literacy, nutrition, culture, etc.)
  • Perform a cognitive and mental health assessment
  • Differentiate between normal and pathophysiological changes and identify the psychosocial risk factors

II. Plan of Care

The 93 questions in this section are split into three areas of focus:

Diagnosis
These questions test your knowledge of evidence-based treatment guidelines and protocols, as well as the effects that aging has on the physiology and pathophysiology of a patient. You will be asked to evaluate health goals, respond to urgent/emergency situations, coordinate with other healthcare providers, and advocate for a patient and their family.

Pharmacology
These questions test your knowledge of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenetics, Beer’s criteria, and physiological considerations on the development of aging. You will also be asked to recognize certain medical interactions, monitor medication use, recognize medicinal side effects, and make pharmacotherapeutic decisions concerning a patient.

Evaluation and Implementation
These questions test your knowledge of behavioral changes, risk assessment, advanced directions, and palliative care. You will also be asked to select non-pharmacological alternatives, explain treatment options and diagnoses, and assess and modify treatment plans.

III. Patient Assessment Process

The 23 questions in this section test your knowledge of various elements of professional practice. Specifically, you will be tested on your knowledge of the following:

  • Regulatory guidelines
  • Legal issues concerning a patient
    • Privacy
    • Advocacy
    • Abuse
    • Exploitation
    • Neglect
  • Social and environmental determinants of health
  • Disease prevention
  • Health promotion

exam outline for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner exam, which contains 175 multiple-choice questions and has a time limit of 3.5 hours

Useful Topics to Study

The body systems and drug agents listed below are covered in some way on the exam, so you should ensure you are familiar with them.

Body SystemsDrug Agents
  • Cardiovascular
  • Endocrine
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Genitourinary
  • Renal
  • Head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat
  • Hematopoietic
  • Immune
  • Integumentary
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Neurological
  • Psychiatric
  • Reproductive
  • Respiratory
  • Analgesic
  • Anti-infective
  • Antineoplastic
  • Cardiovascular
  • Endocrine
  • Eye, ear, and skin
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Genitourologic
  • Immunologic
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Neurological
  • Psychiatric
  • Respiratory

Registration

Registering for and scheduling the exam can be done online.

The cost of the examination is $395 for all candidates who are not members of the American Nurses Credential Center. Active ANCC members will pay $295 to register for the exam.

Test Day

There are two ways to take the exam: in-person at a testing center or online via Live Remote Proctoring (LRP).

In-person Testing

On the day of the test, you should arrive at the testing center about 30 minutes prior to the exam start time. When you arrive, you will be asked to provide two forms of identification. Your primary form of ID must include your name, signature, and photo (a passport or driver’s license can be used as your primary ID). The second form of identification must have your name and signature (a credit card or social security card can be used as a secondary form of ID).

Personal items such as food/drinks, cell phones, and coats are not allowed in the testing area.

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Live Remote Proctoring

To take the test remotely, you must first meet the technical requirements:

  • You must have a laptop or desktop computer with Windows 8 or higher or macOS High Sierra 10.13 or higher installed.
  • You must have a camera that can scan your testing area.

Before the exam begins, you will be asked to show your workstation and surrounding area to the proctor via your camera. This is to ensure that there is no other person in the room with you. There are several other security measures that must be carried out before the exam begins:

  • Raise your pants legs above your ankles and empty your pockets inside out.
  • Raise your shirt sleeves above your waist.
  • Remove eyeglasses so they can be visually inspected and show that the glasses do not have a recording device in them.
  • Pull your hair back to show that nothing is attached to your ear like a Bluetooth earpiece.

How the Exam is Scored

Scores will be available online after you complete the examination. You will have to sign into your AANC account to view your scores.

You will need to achieve a score of 350 to pass, with the maximum score possible being 500. If you do not pass the exam, you can retake it after 60 days, and you will be asked to pay a fee of $270.

FAQs

How many questions are on the exam?

There are 175 questions on the exam, though only 150 will count toward your final score.

What is the time limit of the exam?

The exam is timed at 3.5 hours.

What is the cost of the exam?

The cost of the examination is $295 for ANCC members and $395 for all non-members.

What is a passing score?

A passing score for this exam is 350.


By Kate Nockunas

Kate has been Mometrix’s Nursing and Medical Editor for over four years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Vanderbilt University, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Marymount University, and a master’s degree in Education from Johns Hopkins. Kate is a critical care registered nurse who still works occasionally in the ICU and PACU.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: January 17, 2023