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Ep #18: 5 Ways to Kickstart Your Board Prep Process

I’ve got a slightly different episode for you this week, y’all. I led a webinar a few weeks ago all about kickstarting your board preparation process to get yourself in the best mindset possible to pass this exam the first time around, and I’m sharing it here on the podcast this week!

Anxiety and stress are such normal feelings that we all go through in big seasons of our lives, especially when you’re prepping for your exam, and my goal this week is to help you go from the anxious student you are today, to becoming a real deal NP. All without having to study for months on end, pulling out your hair, and spiraling in the stress and doubt. 

Join me this week as I give you the lowdown on how to harness that exam day confidence you so deeply want but that might feel out of reach right now. I’m sharing how I’ve helped my students cultivate the best mindset to pass the exam on their first try, and my top tips for how to cut out unnecessary anxiety and stress so you can set yourself up for success. 

I have communities available for both students and new nurse practitioners. In these communities, we work to uplift one another and grow this profession together every single day. If this kind of support is what you need, I invite you to join! Click here if you’re a student, and click here if you’re a new NP.

What You Will Discover:

  • My personal experience of preparing for my exam.
  • The first step in setting yourself up for success. 
  • What contributes to your anxiety and stress ahead of your exam and how to cut it out. 
  • My recommendations for when to start studying for your board exam. 
  • Where you might be going wrong with your study plan.
  • My biggest secret to exam success. 
  • Frequently asked questions that I receive about the board prep process and our live study group. 

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Becoming a Stress-Free Nurse Practitioner, a show for new NPs and students that want to pass their board exam the first time and make that transition from RN to NP as seamless as possible. I’m your host Sarah Michelle. Now, let’s dive into today’s episode.

Hey everybody, today’s episode is going to be a little bit different. Today I’m going to let my webinar from a few weeks ago play for this episode. In this webinar we talk about five ways to kickstart your board preparation process and really get yourself in your very best mindset to pass this exam. And I feel like it will be an invaluable episode for students and so I wanted to share it here as well.

Hey hey friends. For those of you who are not familiar with me, or I haven’t had a chance to chat with you in one of our personal communities, my name is Sarah Michelle. I am here to serve as your guide in our time together in this training as we’re going to kickstart your board preparation so you can easily pass your board exam on your very first try.

Now I do want to start by saying number one, I am so excited to talk to you about the five things that I have seen work the very best. And these aren’t only from my own experience, they’re also from the experiences of the nearly 10,000 students that I have guided through this process as well.

And so to give you guys a little bit of background about me and my experiences I have a master’s degree in nursing education, a post masters certificate as a family nurse practitioner, and I have passed both certification exams myself. So that’s ANCC and AANP, I am a dual certified family nurse practitioner.

Now I’ve also been working as a nurse educator over the last several years with both nursing and nurse practitioner students. And so to set the expectations for this training we’re going to chat about the five ways that you can really get started on this journey from being an anxious student that you are today over to being a real deal nurse practitioner, that’s always what I like to call it. And that’s going to be our goal together in this time and really the vision that I want to paint for you in your likely near future.

These five steps, they’re going to go from more basic to more advanced, such as choosing an exam, setting up your study calendar for success, and even leading up to your mindset and anxiety preparation on exam day.

And so for those of you a bit further along in this process this training is still going to be for you too when we get to those more advanced tips near the end. Because the thing is, you can pass this exam and you will pass this exam if you follow these tips that we’re going to be discussing. You don’t have to enter your exam feeling overwhelmed or pulling your hair out, or stressing yourself to the very max like I did when I was in your shoes. And you also don’t have to force yourself to study for months on end either.

Then, once we get through this training portion, I will walk you through our programs a bit further because I know that we get lots of great questions about our live study group program and then I will run through a frequently asked question section at the very end.

I also want to add in the fact that you can feel free to share the sign up link from the website with your classmates, or friends, or anyone out there that you know that could benefit from this material. And while you can definitely feel free to jot down some notes along the way while I’m teaching, I really want to encourage you to be as present and engaged as possible. Because that’s how you’re going to benefit the very most from being within this training.

And I promise, just one last thing before we really get going in this training with the content. I also want to pause and reflect with each of you to say how proud of yourselves that you should be for getting to this moment. Being here, being in this training with me is an accomplishment all its own because it means you’re at the end of school or fairly close to the end. And so you should definitely be patting yourselves on the back at home event just for that fact.

I want to stress to you guys that this should be an exciting time instead of a time for dread or overwhelm. Preparing for boards should be so exciting because it means you are so close to crossing that finish line that you’ve been working for years to get to. I want to frame your entire board preparation process as the icing on the cake to nurse practitioner school.

Board preparations should just really serve as a way to boost your confidence in what you already know. Because guys, you have the necessary knowledge base already and so we just have to consistently reinforce that knowledge base and ultimately your confidence to really get you ready for your board exam.

So to give you a little bit more background about me, and honestly what led to me creating review courses in the first place. And you really just have to know that beyond test anxiety, anxiety in general has always been a component of my life. And it is a component that I have diligently worked over the years to harness as a tool instead of a hindrance. Because anyone out there have anxiety knows, it can so easily go either way. Especially when those big seasons of life are coming up like your board exam.

But my anxiety that I had harnessed so well for so long, really started to take over more than ever right before my board exam. And so this picture right here was literally like in the month before my exam, and I was absolutely exhausted. And on top of that exhaustion I felt really lost. And I felt like I was lacking some guidance, and that misdirection really kind of had my head spinning all over the place.

And so there was no way for me to know without overdoing it with my board prep, which spoiler alert, I most definitely was, or if I was making the right choices. And so I spent weeks stressing. I spent weeks obsessing. And I spent weeks ultimately continually trying to build up my confidence. But in the end, I kept building up anticipation because my exam kept getting canceled again, and again, and again.

But the day that I finally took my exam, I remember so clearly when I finished, and the big green pass came up on the screen. And I thought to myself in that moment, “Why in the world did I make myself so sick over this exam?” I knew the material and I really just needed a little anxiety reassurance and some of that confidence building that I was talking about really more than anything else.

And that anxiety piece was something that I didn’t personally feel like the review courses I completed offered to me. Because if they had, why would I have spent weeks spinning and doubting myself? And that thought right there, as I was sitting in the parking lot waiting for my friend to tell me she had also passed was when I had the first vision of what is now my signature course bundle.

I was already a nursing educator at that point because I started utilizing my Master’s in nursing education pretty much as soon as I graduated, I was so excited about it. And so I knew that I could use my memory tools and mnemonics and all of my prior teaching experience to make a review course that would achieve two goals.

Number one, teach students like you those harder topics like asthma or COPD in a way that would be easy to understand. But number two, a course that also consistently remind you, as the student, of how much you do already know and how you should be confident in that fact.

And alas, here we are today where I’ve helped thousands of students meet that goal of passing on their very first try. So I would absolutely adore to showcase some of my students who have put this work in the action that we’re going to be talking about in this training.

Because what you guys are going to see throughout this training is that beyond clinical content there’s a mindset component. And so we can be a little anxious, but we can also be diligent in how we mentally prepare ourselves for the exam as well.

And so Jerry, much like myself, kept having her exam pushed off due to things completely outside of her control with school. And so that anticipation for her kept building, and building, and building. And so in our live study group program we had to work together to consistently remind her brain that she did know the content.

And really her focus needed to not be on what everybody else was saying about the exam, but truly on her own anxiety management plan. The content was never her struggle, not once. It was always how she would manage her anxiety and emotions when that exam day finally came. And when she figured out how to do that, she actually passed both exams, no problem, in the very same week.

Here’s Shannon, and Shannon was also feeling very amped before taking boards. And I could quite literally see a difference in her spirits and her attitude in less than a week of starting our program. Because really, she just needed someone in her corner to make her feel really good about taking the test. And she was able to find that consistently in our courses.

Shannon was definitely like a listen on repeat type of student trying to soak it all in, trying to absorb as much as possible so that way she could build herself up again and again and again. And she had so much exam day confidence she only flagged nine of her 175 exam questions as content that she was even a little unsure on.

Yes, you heard me right nine out of 175 questions. So Shannon hands down, she knew her material. And she also knew how to conquer that anxiety right behind it.

How to reinforce clinical knowledge and damper anxiety will be two of our biggest cornerstones of this training, and how we will prepare for the board exam in the right way. So how can we get you in the same position as Jerry and Shannon and the other thousands of students who have passed in our Facebook community?

First step, let’s choose an appropriate time frame for your studying and also choose a board exam. That will set you up for success from the very beginning because I want you to have as much clarity as possible going into the exam. Because that clarity is going to allow you to focus your study plan in the right way.

So for those of you who are unfamiliar, I want to eliminate any and all confusion I possibly can. And so there are two exams that you can take to become a nurse practitioner, either the AANP or the ANCC. You only have to choose one of these two exams. And they’re totally independent of one another, which means you just have to pass one or the other to become a real deal nurse practitioner. There’s really no need to sign up for both. And I consistently encourage my students to make an unwavering decision about which exam that they’re going to take.

To go back to the mindset piece that we’re going to be talking about a lot in this training, if you’re continually going back and forth about which exam to take, while also simultaneously trying to prepare for that exam, those feelings of doubt and those feelings of confusion are going to start to creep into how you’re feeling about taking the exam as well.

And we all know my number one goal is for you to feel as good as humanly possible on the day that you walk into your test. And no one out there feels good when they’re confused and when they’re in the gray area.

And so some questions to kind of get you started on choosing exam include what testing style you’re comfortable with, because ANCC does have that question type variety. But also, you know, what type of renewal options will you likely need in the future? Because while AANP currently has a practice requirement, ANCC has other avenues to recertify. And so for those of you who teach, for example, that may definitely impact your decision process. Also, check out their testing outlines and how each certifying body structures their own exam.

For those of you out there right now that are type A, like me, and you feel like you need to have all the details to even possibly make a decision I do have a podcast episode all about these questions and more. But I do want to pause, and I do want to assure you that the beauty of this decision is at the end of the day there is no wrong decision. You will still be a nurse practitioner; you will still be a competent provider. And both of these exams are an equal level of difficulty, no matter what you may have heard along the way.

And once you decide on your exam, then let’s talk about when to start studying. I have found again and again that starting board preparation in the one to three months prior to testing, notice I said the months prior to testing and not graduation, really seems to be the sweet spot for a lot of students. It’s just enough time without being too much time for a lot of you. And you know what this time frame is going to allow you to do is study, take breaks, and have the time you need to absorb material without totally burning yourself out.

And for those of you who are anxious, and you want to get a head start ahead of this point, that’s okay too. But I don’t suggest any heavy duty board preparation until you’re closer to actually taking the test. Plus, that one to three months span can fall where it meets you best.

For me, you know, I was finished with class and clinical almost a month before graduation and so I was able to go ahead and get started while I waited. For some of you that graduation semester is already going to be stretched like way too thin and so your one to three months are going to start when you’re officially done.

Either way is going to be just fine. You just want to account for enough time to be able to feel fully prepared before you test. But you can’t really set up this one to three month time frame appropriately until you choose a testing date. This can be such a massive pitfall for students. They apply for their exam. They receive the authorization to test. But then continue to push off choosing an actual testing day.

Guys, as soon as you get your authorization to test, also known as an ATT, sign up that day for a testing date. Seriously, it will be the best motivator you’ve ever had to get going and start studying, because it forces you to work towards a goal.

I then really want to push and encourage you to also be unwavering about your exam date as much as humanly possible. If you claim that exam date in your head as non-negotiable, then it’s going to be, and you actively strive to meet that goal.

So this is really kind of like my friendly nudge to you that the longer that you push testing out after you’ve officially graduated, the higher the anticipation is going to be and ultimately the higher your anxiety will become about taking that exam.

So we’ve picked an exam, we’ve picked a testing date, the next critical piece is planning out your study calendar appropriately. The first thing that you want to wrap your head around is that the quality of your study matters so much more than the quantity of time that you spent.

Each of you out there knows that studying tap out point where your brain is no longer absorbing any of that material. And so we absolutely want to account for that tap out point every step of the way in our study calendar.

I very rarely ever tell a student that they’re doing something wrong but you’re doing it wrong if you’re studying for hours, days, and weeks on end without taking a break. While you may think that studying at that level of intensity would decrease your anxiety and increase your knowledge, it actually ends up having the reverse effect. Which I definitely know from firsthand experience.

Really what happens, your brain can’t keep up and your brain starts to spin. And suddenly that content that you knew so well from school is getting harder for you to grasp and you’re not retaining as much. And so listen to your bodies, listen to your minds, and truly plan for your breaks and take as many as you need within reason along the way.

This is exactly why our live study group program is set up as being around an hour or less of videos per day. You want to keep it very, very manageable.

So to set up your own calendar for yourself there are a few solid recommendations that I would suggest. Number one, try to organize it by topic. That’s exactly what I do for my life study groupers. Spend a few days or even a week dedicated entirely to cardiac. And then move on to respiratory, and then move on to GI. Because if you jump around, everything feels jumbled and overwhelming, which are exactly the feelings that we are hoping to avoid leading up to your exam day.

I want you to also be absolutely sure to plan those break days in advance. Spread them all throughout your calendar, because you are not a robot so do not treat yourself like a robot.

And finally, please be sure to incorporate days too where you do a full length practice test. That piece is absolutely critical. And the reason behind that is that these exams are long. You are going to become mentally fatigued. And so just expect that. But you want to be able to have the capacity to keep pushing through and keep answering questions accurately. Which you will definitely be able to do if your mind is already in the groove of answering 150 or 175 questions in a row.

So now that we have our basics set, let’s get to some of the more specific advanced things that each of you want to be doing leading up to your board exam. The sooner that you can ingrain the next two items that we’re going to discuss, the more likely you will be to pass because I’ve seen it again and again.

And so listen up friends, gear up, because my biggest secret to exam success 100%, no I’ll take it back 1,000% anxiety management. You can know this content all day long. And I already know that you do know this content if you passed your nurse practitioner school and you’ve graduated. But if your anxiety during the exam overtakes you, it is going to be incredibly difficult for you to pass.

And for those of you out there thinking that anxiety has never been an issue for you, I really want you to come into this part of my presentation with an open mind. Because in the most transparent way possible, this is a big exam that you have been working really hard to even be able to take in the first place. And so while you may not recognize your anxiety quite yet, it is not something you want to sneak up on your exam day either.

It is so much easier to walk into your exam with a plan than it is to try and backtrack when that anxiety really starts settling in. To be able to conquer your anxiety instead of letting it conquer you we need to incorporate anxiety management all throughout, not only your study plan, but also your exam they plan as well. And this can really look a lot of different ways.

As I mentioned earlier, we need to eliminate the things that feed our anxiety such as over studying or not taking breaks. This can also include any review sources that you feel do not make you feel your very best. Because at the end of the day we want to utilize courses and question sources that build us up instead of tearing us down.

Your board prep process is entirely unique to you. And so you’re going to figure out what makes you feel good and what makes you feel awful and needs to be deleted. And you can really make these adjustments to your schedules and your plan all along the way leading up to your eventual exam day, because you’re quickly going to figure out what feels best.

But the most important part to remember is that anxiety management should be a part of your true board prep plan, not an afterthought and please don’t let it be sidepiece either. It should be front and center, right alongside your clinical content preparation too.

Now another great way to dampen down your anxiety and ultimately build up your confidence is a personal favorite of mine that I like to call your list of tangibles. This is a list that you can make at home prior to your exam day to remind yourself of everything that you have done to prepare for this exam.

So for example, I started my list with the fact that I graduated nurse practitioner school in the first place. And then expanded that out to include the thousands of practice questions I completed as well as any of the prep work I had done prior to testing. And when I was feeling super-duper amped about the exam I would just go ahead, I’d pull that list out, I kept it on my phone and so that way I could remind myself that I did deserve to be here and that I would pass my exam. Because, gosh, I was so prepared to do so.

I even wrote it on my scrap paper in the exam itself when I came across the first question that I was unsure on, just so I could have that little mental reminder. And so you guys know this content at a baseline level already, so be confident in that. Be cognizant that your school has been preparing you for this moment for years and this wasn’t an overnight thing, and this most definitely was not a fluke in any capacity.

So another thing that I also can’t stress enough is really just basic test taking strategies. You know, whenever I would come to a tougher exam question my strategy was always to eliminate what I knew was wrong and work my way out from there. Sometimes this still leaves you with two answer choices that you’re looking at. And how can you decide at that point?

So an example of this can look like rolling out any of the answer choices that say always, never, all, only. Because there are very few things in the medical world that are ever going to be absolute. And we talk about these test taking strategies in more detail in my courses. But something that simple can get you to the correct answer choice when you need a little bit of extra help. And we definitely want to utilize every tool that we possibly can to get through this exam, especially the closer you get to the end of the exam and your brain is feeling a lot more tired.

When you’re anxious at the very beginning, and when you’re tired at the end are two of the best times during the exam to really take those test taking strategies to heart.

Now before we dive in to our final tip, we need to be able to recognize too, one more thing. If we’re feeling panic level anxiety or normal exam day jitters because those are two different things. And panic level anxiety is going to require just like a little bit of a tweaked strategy. And so while a little jitters about your board exam, totally normal, I get it, it’s okay.

If this exam has you feeling as if you can’t breathe, or you’re having palpitations every time you think about it, or you haven’t slept more than an hour in weeks, or anything like that, anything along those lines. Those are most definitely things that you want to address with your primary care provider to make sure that you have that extra bit of support that you need to get through the exam.

Be honest with yourself, be truly honest with yourself. Be honest with your needs if this is you because this is not a situation to try to just power through. And to be transparent with you, panic level anxiety was definitely where I was leading up to my exam. And having that extra support on exam day was a game changer for me in all the ways. And I know that it has also been a game changer for a lot of my students over the last year.

So then a step above anxiety management is truly like our most advanced, our final tip. And to be able to put all these tips and strategies to use you have to be able to enter into your exam with the right mindset.

Now some of you out there might be thinking like, “Well, what in the world does Sarah even mean by that?” Because this is something that isn’t taught in school that I also 1,000% believe impacts every piece of your board prep process, and ultimately your ability to pass this exam.

We have to be able to approach the exam, not from a place of fear, not from a place of doubt. But from a place of true ownership of the work that we have put in to be here. If we are consistently telling ourselves thoughts like, you know, “This exam is impossible.” Or “I’m never going to feel ready to test.” Then we create that reality in our lives. All of a sudden, the exam feels so impossible that we keep pushing it off and we keep doubting ourselves.

And so just having awareness of how our thoughts alone impact our board prep is monumental. And let’s look at that thought from a different angle. And let’s try to frame it in a better light together. So what if instead of like, “I’ll never feel ready to test.” We told ourselves something like, “I have the necessary knowledge base to pass this exam.” Or “I’m not expected to know everything. I have prepared to the best of my ability.”

Then you can come back to that thought again and again throughout even your exam too. You know, like when a tough question pops up, you can write on your scrap sheet, “I will pass. I’m not expected to know everything.” Because you’re not.

And that is why my personal mantra during my exam, that is now my motto across all of my review courses, is you will pass. You know, to me you will pass encompasses all of these positive thoughts in one. Because you do have the necessary knowledge base. You have put the work in. You do deserve to be here. And when you come into this exam with the right mindset and preparation, it is truly inevitable that you will pass.

I have the belief that you will pass, and we just have to get you believing it as well. And so hear it from my heart to yours one more time, you will pass this exam.

Which brings me to a key point too that you truly are not expected to know everything. So don’t hold yourself to that accountability level. You don’t need to know everything for your board exam, and you definitely don’t need to know everything one day for your future practice. So don’t put that level of pressure on yourself because I know. In those final weeks before my exam that is exactly what I was doing. And all it did was feed my anxiety even more.

Instead of a mindset of fear and feeling as if you have to know every little detail of every topic to pass, let’s shift our thinking to the facts. I love facts because as nurse practitioners, I know we all have rational logical brains. And the fact is that this is an exam that revolves around establishing baseline competency to ensure that you will be a safe provider.

It is not an exam that you are required to get 100% or even close on to pass. Because both exams have that passing average near that 70% range. And so think about how much flexibility that a passing score of 70% gives you on your exam day. It’s huge.

And so this is yet just another thought that you can continually come back to on your exam day, especially on the hardest questions of your exam. Take a breath, put your head down, it’s always what I did. And tell yourself, “I know enough to pass, I am prepared for this exam.” And that will get you through.

If you can get a grip on your mind and you can get a grip on your anxiety on the few tougher questions that pop up on your exam, then you’re not going to let it rattle you or fluster you for the easy questions that are going to be coming literally right behind it.

And that right there, that last point I made is why your mindset about this exam is so important. Let’s say you open up question one on your exam. You have no idea was asking and your anxiety goes whoop. You move on to question two, you didn’t take a break, and now you might accidentally miss something that you did know because your brain was so flustered.

And I tell this story to students all the time because this is exactly what happened to me on the first question and one of my exams. It was an off the wall diagnosis. I gave it my very best guess. And then question two was an antibiotic that I know day in and day out.

When I went to look at the answer choices though, what I thought it was wasn’t listed. And thank goodness for me that that wasn’t listed. Because it forced me to pause, and it forced me to evaluate where my head was at and take a break before reading the question again and answering it with no problem.

But what if I kept pushing through? What if one tough question had me flustered for the five or 10 easy questions right behind it. Instead though, when I took my little mental break at my desk, I was able to come back to those components I was just discussing. I knew the material. I was ready for the test. And if I could keep my anxiety in check, I would most definitely pass.

For me mindset is everything when it comes to these exams. And so it’s ingrained into every single one of my courses for you whether you realize it at the time or not. It is just as important as the clinical content that you’re going to be tested on, hands down.

And so with all these tips in mind let’s kind of revisit for a second why you likely even clicked into this training or showed up here in the first place. If you are anything like me before boards, you signed up for this training or clicked into this episode feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and like you could never possibly do enough to prepare.

Throughout these tips I hope I’ve been able to begin showing you the light at the end of the tunnel. And that passing this exam is a true possibility. Because it most definitely is. We just need the right dose of content preparation, along with the right dose of anxiety management and mindset shifting right behind it.

The best part is you have most of that content already just from schoolwork alone. Which means with a little beefing up through some of my memory tools and mnemonics you are already half the way there to passing boards already.

At this point you’re likely thinking to yourself, “Well, where do I start with these tips?” And that really depends on where you’re at currently in your board preparation process. If you haven’t gotten going yet, great, you can start at step one with choosing an exam and choosing a testing date.

If you already have a testing date and a study calendar in place, then it’s time to dive right into the anxiety and mindset piece of our training so we can have you absolutely ready to go on that exam day.

And so these tips can really meet you wherever you’re at in this journey. And you can feel free to take whatever it is that you need in this very moment. And I know that this might have seemed like a lot of information to take in, but board prep is a huge process that you most definitely need to dedicate some serious time and energy to in order to be successful.

So definitely take a deep breath at home because you can and you will put these tips together and to use. And you can do board preparation alone, much like I did when I was in your shoes. You can struggle to piece it all together and you can try to work solo to combat that anxiety.

But guys, that’s a really tall task to add onto all that clinical knowledge that you need to reinforce before your big exam day. You don’t want to be that student who pushes out their exam again and again because you’ve let that anxiety build up so high. And it’s so easy to fall into that trap when this exam feels so monumental as it’s standing between you and your license.

And you also don’t want to be the student who walks in feeling unsure on their exam day. Because we want you feeling so good from the second that you walk into the door. And lastly, we really don’t want you to be the student who thought they were prepared, but they weren’t.

Therefore, the easiest way to put all these pieces into action is to work with me through my courses, and especially my live study group program. The Live study group program takes you a step above your typical board prep process because it lays out each of these pieces for you so there’s no doubt or confusion. Instead, you have all the pieces you need in one place in order to pass your boards on your very first try.

Imagine the live study groups as kind of being like a made for you study plan to get you through your board prep process. And essentially, you know, I created a program that met all of my own worries with board, you know how to structure my schedule, how long should I study, and how can I work to manage that anxiety every single day?

Because that’s actually our promise to you in our live study group program. If you complete every part of the program, we will take you from being an anxious student to passing your board exam and becoming a real deal nurse practitioner.

I have seen the results from this program firsthand. Just like with Jerry and Shannon, and the hundreds of others who have participated and now passe. They were not only ready for the content knowledge that’s required to pass, but they were also mentally prepared for how to manage the exam as well when those tougher exam questions came along. They didn’t have to spend time doubting themselves during the exam, because they had the confidence walking into it that they were going to pass.

And that is because they had a comprehensive study plan, as well as all of those little mini confidence boosters along the way leading up to their eventual exam days. And so in the last year we have consistently found that students were craving several things that they weren’t getting from traditional review courses because the live study groups are essentially like the opposite of a traditional program.

We found, you know, you guys were looking for a set schedule and calendar. You were looking for a community support of your peers who were going through this same process with you. And you were definitely looking for more direct access when you had questions that popped up along the way.

Plus, on top of all that, we found that students were consistently wanting to ensure to themselves that they did know this material. And they wanted to validate they had reinforced that material before they tested. And so we took all these things that you guys needed and that you were looking for and we combined them all into one program for you to get you ready for boards.

And so with our live study group program here’s just like a basic expectation list. A lot of the tips that we talked about in this training are already done for you in this program. You get access to absolutely everything we offer on a set day by day schedule for five weeks.

That means for five weeks you’ll have access to our pre-assessment quiz and every single recorded course. And each day you’re going to have little bite sized segments of video to complete that focus in on certain topics.

So for example, you know, week one on our live study group calendar is all cardiac and all respiratory. And along with the course access to beef up your clinical knowledge, we also have a private community in place for live study group participants, where you’re going to get extra practice questions, extra content videos that we don’t release anywhere else. And also unlimited question and answer.

Yes, you heard that right, unlimited question and answer. So that means, you know, when you have a question, you don’t have to doubt, you don’t have to hunt for an answer, you can simply put it in our private community and our team of nurse practitioners will always get back to you with an answer.

Then, of course, on top of all of that, we have our two actual live sessions where we interact with you, we build up your confidence. We identify any lingering gaps you might have. And truly, we pull everything together by going through case scenarios and rapid lightning rounds of questions that I’ve created.

It is a totally interactive environment in every way to keep you both excited and awake. And essentially, you know, we teach you the material in the recorded courses, but then we review and ingrain that material with you in the actual live study groups.

And we believe in this program so much that we actually offer a passing guarantee. So the passing guarantee ensures that if you do not pass your exam, then we’re going to meet with you and make a plan and give you course access again for free.

So the live study group program is currently a one-time investment, with our full recorded course bundle as a monthly subscription each month until you cancel. And so you’ve got a couple of options there. But our passing guarantee is only associated with our live study group program and not the recorded courses. And all of the course pricing options are available on the website for you to just look at directly at any time.

Another fact that I want to be sure to point out is that our recorded courses currently have a 98% pass rate. And our live study group to present date has a 100% pass rate if you actually complete all the components of the program. And so you can rest assured that you’re in the right place for board preparation if you signed up for this training.

We can guarantee that if you utilize our programs in the right way, you will be set up to pass this exam without any issue. Because we have seen it happen with students again, and again, and again.

So here’s just a quick breakdown of everything that’s included for you in the live program. Almost $400 worth of just course access alone. That’s the recorded courses, you get access to the $30 pre-assessment quiz, your day by day study calendar, your extra practice questions, your extra videos that are not available to any of our other students. The full eight hours of live study groups, and of course, that private community with unlimited question and answer.

I mean, like we have really tried to jam pack as much as possible into this program so that you can have everything you need in one spot. And of course on top of that, we also have that passing guarantee as well.

And so if a live study group feels like the right fit for you, then you can go on to the live sessions page on the website and you can choose your group. About a week before that start date you’re going to start getting a lot of emails from me and a lot of information about your private community so that you can be ready to go and ready to roll on day one.

And then on day one of your program, you will then be able to go into your course library and begin working through that study calendar. Live study groups are currently becoming available at intervals because they sell out so quickly. And so if you instead decide to do that recorded course route, you can simply sign up and begin working your way through the courses at your own pace and schedule that at any time.

As soon as you sign up for just the recorded courses you immediately get access to the courses that you have purchased and you’re able to just go ahead and get going.

So I’m positive that you guys want to feel just as good as Jerry and Shannon did during their exams. And I’m going to go ahead, I’m going to cover a few frequently asked questions that I see students have about the board prep process, and really our live study group program in general.

And so the first question I want to be sure to address is somebody, well, not somebody, a lot of people have asked me in the past, why should I do your review programs over someone else’s? And that’s a really great question, especially if you haven’t really looked at the other programs out there.

And so while there are going to be a lot of review courses, they’re going to offer you that clinical content review. I’m currently the only review course program that focuses on the mindset and anxiety piece too. And as we’ve discussed in this training, that anxiety and mindset piece is truly half of your preparation for your nurse practitioner boards.

And so there’s going to be a significant difference in how you feel about taking your exam after completing these reviews, and especially if you were to complete the live study group program. And so when you’re out there talking to students who have already completed other reviews just ask them how they’re feeling. Are they feeling sure and confident in themselves? Are they feeling like they still need to continue to prepare?

But really, you know, the mindset piece is the difference maker. And that ingrained mantra of you will pass, because you should leave any of my programs feeling exactly that way. Feeling like you will pass this thing.

Another great question I get quite a bit is, are your programs only for family nurse practitioner students? And so my programs are for both family students and adult geriatric students. But I do want to be sure to point out that my courses are only for those in primary care tracks.

And I know some of you out there are like in a dual track program with acute care. And so these are only for primary care, and I definitely wanted to be sure to make that distinction.

Another question is, how is your live program different from traditional live review programs? And so my like gut reaction to that question is to say like, literally everything about the live program is different. But, you know, I’ll break that down a little bit.

A traditional live review program is where you spend two to three days straight for eight to nine hours each day, having that content taught to you over, and over, and over. And then when those two to three days are up, that’s it. You’re done, you’re left to like filter back through your notes.

However, the live program that I provide is not two, three days, because my program lasts for an entire month, you actually course access for five weeks. So you get to learn that content on your own time by watching my recorded courses and then you come into those two live study groups ready to reinforce and expand that knowledge.

Plus, you know, really the interaction piece is a lot different because not only during the live sessions themselves, but in our private community too. And, you know, when you have a question, me and my team, we get back to you with an answer. And that is a massive distinction from a typical live review program.

Another question that I get frequently asked, and this pops up more than you might think, is where do I start if I’ve been out of school for a year? And so the first thing I want to say about that, and the first I want to let you know anybody in this spot, you are not alone because I meet students with this story all the time. And it was either life, or anxiety, or whatever it looks like for you got in the way. And as a result your board preparation got delayed.

But the good news is, I’ve actually helped a student who graduated even 10 years ago prepare and ultimately pass her exam. So the best place for you to start is right at the beginning of our tips from this training of choosing an exam and choosing a testing date. Then you can join our live program and you can really just kickstart your entire board prep process. Because if that is you, it sounds like you might need someone to hold you accountable, which the live study group can definitely do for you.

Another question is, is the live study group possible if I’m working full time? And that question, actually, you know, I made the calendar for the program with exactly a full time schedule in mind, because the entire calendar is like in little bite sized segments. And so there are literally some days where the live study groupers are only watching 15 minutes of video, some days they’re watching 30 minutes of video. But it’s almost always less than an hour per day so that way you can get the content you need without overwhelming yourself and overwhelming your brain.

Another excellent question is, how will I know if I’m ready to pass boards? And I think that’s always kind of a loaded question. Because really in a lot of ways it looks a lot different for everybody. But if you use all the tips that I give at the end of my live program actually as guidance, is if you’re feeling over studying or you’re tired of hearing my voice because you’ve watched the video so much, which I definitely get, you’re probably in a pretty good spot to test.

Also, you know if your list of tangibles is starting to grow a mile long that’s another great way to know that you’re ready because you’ve put the work in, you know you have. And so it’s basically whenever you get to that point that you can accept that you won’t know everything, but you do know enough. That is when you’re ready, because it means you’re managing your anxiety and you’ve reinforced your clinical knowledge too.

So kind of a like little secret about the live study group program that I get a lot of questions about as it pops up in testimonials, is are there actually one on one quizzing sessions in the live study group program?

And so that is true. You do have the ability to purchase a one on one quizzing session for an hour and a half to see what you personally know and what you personally don’t know if you’re in the live study group program.

And so it’s definitely like the most favorite bonus of the whole program. And really guys, it’s just the beginning of the bonuses that we offer. But really those one on one sessions, it’s just a really good way to boost confidence if you need that last minute boost in the last few days or the week before testing.

And the last question I’ll address is, what should I do if I’m not far enough along to take your course yet? Like if you’re still in school, like maybe you just got started in school, like what does that look like? And to you, I would say please join our Facebook community. It can be such an excellent free resource for you as you kind of maneuver along this path and you kind of grow in this journey.

And then when the time comes, you’ll have everything you need to get ready for board prep. So definitely join the Facebook community.

And as far as this training goes, that really wraps it up. You know, as the live study groups only become available currently in intervals, if that’s something you want to do upon graduating, I would heavily encourage you to sign up as soon as possible when you see it become available. Because we do have limited spots because we really want to keep the personal and intimate feel of the program.

And very notoriously in the Facebook group, if you exist there, the first May 9th session we released sold out in a minute and 37 seconds. And so if this is a program that you want to sign up for, it’s not something I would wait to sign up for.

That wraps up everything for our training. If you have a question now that didn’t get answered in that quick Q&A don’t fret, you know, you can always throw it in our Facebook community and either I or my team will get back to you. But I want to close this all out by saying, you know, stay safe, happy studying, and please don’t forget, you will pass.

As an extra bonus, friends, if you’re looking for support no matter what phase of your nurse practitioner journey that you’re currently in I have communities available for both students and new nurse practitioners. In these communities we work to uplift one another and grow this profession together every single day. Links to join will be included for you in the show notes.

Thanks for listening to Becoming a Stress-Free Nurse Practitioner. If you want more information about the different types of support we offer to students and new NPs, visit See you next week.

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