The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has implemented changes to the Test Content Outline for the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Examination (PMHNP-BC). As of December 16, 2019, candidates will need to follow the new outline to prepare for the PMHNP-BC examination.

The recent changes to the exam are the first of their kind from the ANCC in four years. We’re here to help you understand what these new changes mean for those looking to take the exam in 2020 and beyond.

The total number of questions for the PMHNP has decreased

There are now 175 total questions on the examination. (This is down from 200 questions pre-December 2019) Of these, 150 are scored questions and 25 are pretest questions that are not scored. Pretest questions are included to determine how well these questions will perform before they are used on the scored portion of the examination. The pretest questions cannot be distinguished from those that will be scored, so it is important for a candidate to answer all questions. A candidate’s score, however, is based solely on the 150 scored questions. Performance on pretest questions does not affect a candidate’s score.

The content outline and knowledge areas of the PMHNP have changed

Beginning December 16, 2019, the PMHNP content will be organized into five knowledge areas rather than the previous three.

New 2020 Content Outline

– I. Scientific Foundation (20%)
– II. Advanced Practice Skills (25%)
– III. Diagnosis and Treatment (25%)
– IV. Psychotherapy and Related Theories (15%)
– V. Ethical and Legal Principles (15%)

Outdated December 2015-December 2019 Content Outline

– I. Foundations for Advanced Practice Nursing (29%)
– II. Professional Role and Policy (40%)
– III. Independent Practice Competencies (31%)

So, how has Pocket Prep addressed these changes?

Pocket Prep has already updated the PMHNP prep app to the new December 16, 2019 Content Outline.