3 Tips to Pass the PMHNP Exam and Earn the PMHNP-BC Credential

To practice as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), you must first complete a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program and pass the PMHNP exam. Upon completion, you’ll be able to claim the PMHNP-BC credential which allows nurse practitioners to practice autonomously in 27 states.

If you’re here, then you’ve sought out tips and resources to pass the PMHNP exam. We’ve compiled a short list, but believe the best strategy is to utilize a PHMNP exam prep program like The Lantern Review: PMHNP Exam Prep.

3 Tips to Pass the PMHNP Exam

Taking an exam is always stressful. In fact, we’re not sure if there is anything much more stressful than a credentialing exam. We all remember how daunting studying for the NCLEX was. Fortunately, from our research, the PMHNP exam isn’t nearly as tricky as the NCLEX. Even so, we know you likely have a lot riding on this and want to ensure that you pass on your 1st attempt. Perhaps you have a new job – pending this score. That can make it even more stressful. We’ve all been there, and you can pass this one.

Below are some suggestions for success from those who have passed the PMHNP exam.

1. Confidence is Key

This is not your first big test, and you are a successful healthcare provider, ready to expand and improve your scope of practice. Your knowledge base is vast. Happily, there are rumors that the PMHNP is one of the easier boards to pass. But this exam assumes you already know the basics to manage and assess psychotic, mood, personality, and anxiety disorders, so be sure that you do! Be confident in your ability to do well, and be certain you prepare well.

One of the worsts things you can do is second guess yourself. Of course, you must use critical thinking when answering the questions, but don’t assume that your wrong just because the answers are coming quickly to you. Have confidence in your knowledge, your clinical judgment, and your ability to ace this exam.

2. Preparation

Time set aside each day (or at least very regularly around your schedule) is essential, with hopefully an extended period of study in the days before you sit. You will be required to answer 175 graded questions, as well as 25 non-graded. Brush up on the details of rating scales, as well as knowing your specific role and scope of practice. Be prepared to answer questions about

  • specific drug effects
  • neurotransmitter pathways
  • neurobiology
  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetics

Everyone learns differently, and there are many exam preps available to cater to your style. Some like to use PMHNP exam prep books. However, we find that most have the best results with visual and audio learning that you can access via any mobile device.The Lantern Review: PMHNP Exam Prep provides this. We’ve personally reviewed it and have found it to have high production values, excellent clinical information, as well as a super easy to use interface.

Passing this exam to become a PMHNP is well worth the investment in any books our online programs. Plus – tax write off!

Also – you need to ensure that you’re ready for all the things you need when you take the test. Be certain to gather ahead of time all of the items you must present at the testing facility, so that you may avoid last-minute panic. If you’re not familiar with the area that the testing facility is in, make sure you do a practice drive. If the drive is more than 2 hours, consider staying overnight to ensure you can arrive on time with as little fuss and stress possible.

3. Testing

Do you have a tradition for these testing days like eating a certain food or wearing a lucky shirt? Do them. Also, do a few extra things that you might not normally do. The night before instead of trying to cram, enjoy a nice dinner and movie. Put your mind and body at ease by getting to bed early so you can get adequate rest the night before. Put your phone down and try to relax your mind by meditating.

Make sure you eat breakfast and that it’s something with good proteins and fats so you’ll stay full and won’t have your belly making embarrassing noises. This is not the day to give up caffeine or forego the grapefruit. If you find it helpful to make notes for yourself before starting the exam, do so.

Arrive at the testing facility a minimum of 15 minutes before your scheduled time. Walk in slowly and give yourself time to sit and relax before starting your exam.

Now Pass that PMHNP Exam!

You are confident. You are prepared. Now pass this test.

The Lantern Review PMHNP Exam Prep

Interest instead in the CEN exam? Check out:

1 thought on “3 Tips to Pass the PMHNP Exam and Earn the PMHNP-BC Credential”

  1. Oh my gosh. Going into nursing, I have heard the horrors of the exam. I have been nervous. I am great at remembering things as I am doing them at home, in a low stress environment. That has been all that has been on my mind since starting. “I have to remember everything so I can pass the final test!!” Your tips totally helped put my mind at ease. I can do this. I am the type that likes to cram in mostly the night before but you make a good point of having a relaxing night the night before so I can be well rested. Thank you!

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