Pharmacists ensure individuals receive proper drugs and treatments for health issues. They work along with doctors as well as pharmaceutical companies and the public, therefore having a great responsibility for safe pharmacological practices.
With such a big responsibility come years of education. So, what does it take to become one? This post will be a comprehensive guide on how to be a pharmacist.
The Steps Required
- As expected, you will begin by getting the right education and training. There are two main avenues here, but they all come to the same result:
• UNDERGRADUATE + GRADUATE studies;
• GRADUATE studies,
In the first, the choice is multiple, allowing you to take specific courses of high relevance to the topic and then adding a four-year pharmacy doctoral program. In the second option, the choice falls on a six/seven-year program awarding a doctor of pharmacy degree.
- The second step entails passing the laid-down license requirements. Some states may not have some criteria, but generally, they are:
• Graduation from a doctoral program accredited by the ACPE;
• Pass the licensing examination series for pharmacists, including MPJE, NAPLEX, and the Written and Practical exam;
NAPLEX has a total of 185 questions and is designed to test the candidate’s knowledge of pharmacotherapy and its therapeutic outcomes. It’s a significant step to take on the way to being a pharmacist. The test measures other aspects such as the knowledge in preparing and distributing medications as well as the optimisation of the patients’ health.
The MPJE focuses on federal and state laws knowledge surrounding the pharmaceutical field. Lastly, the Written and Practical exam is typically a state-specific component, therefore varying in its forms.
- The candidate becomes a pharmacist after passing these exams. To become specialised in specific fields, there are additional steps such as completing a residency program of one or two years.
- Lastly, you are required to stay on top of education and research to be able always to provide high-end pharmacological services. This can be done by following continuing education hours, or courses. This is important, as failure to do so could lead to the revocation of your practising license.