Clinical Pharmacist Training Programs

If you are interested in becoming a clinical pharmacist, you must first earn your Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Read on to learn what the requirements are for this degree, requirements for licensure as a clinical pharmacist, and job duties. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Education Do I Need to Become a Clinical Pharmacist?

In order to be a pharmacist, you will need a Doctor of Pharmacy, as well as licensure in the state where you practice. Clinical pharmacy jobs often require that, aside from the doctorate, you have at least two years of practical experience. Many doctorate programs offer residency programs to help you learn the skills you will need as a clinical pharmacist. Some doctorate programs will not allow you to graduate without the residency.

A Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) is often a 4-year program. Rarely is there a specific clinical pharmacy degree, though some schools may offer a concentration in this area. Clinical pharmacy is often considered to be a major part of any pharmacy degree and is included as a core subject area. Some pharmacy programs do not require you to have a bachelor's degree beforehand, though they do tend to ask for prerequisites to be fulfilled at the high school or undergraduate level. Some courses may be available online.

Degree Requirements A Pharm.D program typically requires you to fulfill certain course credits in high school or undergrad, though may not require a bachelor's degree specifically
Licensure State requirements vary, however you must graduate from an accredited pharmacy degree program to obtain licensure, along with a certain number of experience hours
Job Duties Direct patient care, designing treatment plans, fulfill prescriptions

How Do I Become Licensed?

Once you have received your degree, you will need to be licensed to practice. Requirements for licensure vary from state to state, but all will require that you have graduated from an accredited pharmacy degree program. Most also require that you have a certain number of hours of experience, often at least 1,000, and that you have passed some examinations, usually at least a basic pharmacy and a pharmacy law exam.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) ( administers these examinations for the most part, though a handful of states have their own pharmacy law exam that they require instead of the NABP exam. Some states also have a minimum age requirement and may require you to have a background check done.

What Are the Job Duties of a Clinical Pharmacist?

A clinical pharmacist works directly with patients or other health professionals to correctly prescribe the proper medication for an illness or other health problem. You may work in a hospital or in a local community pharmacy. You will also monitor a patient's progress and make adjustments to their medication as needed.

The duties of a clinical pharmacist vary by location. In a hospital setting, you will be more involved with a patient's direct care, working with the physicians to design a treatment plan. You may also mix together compounds to be injected intravenously into a patient. In a community pharmacy, you will fulfill prescriptions and help patients understand how their medication works, but may have less direct contact with the patient's doctor. You may also counsel patients on subjects such as diet, and help them decide which over-the-counter medication or medical device to purchase.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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