Can You Get a Pharmacy Degree Online?

It is entirely possible to get a pharmacy degree online, but prospective students must first verify that the academic program is accredited through the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The ACPE is formally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The APE’s accrediting body consists of professional representatives from various nationally recognized organizations, such as the American Association of Colleges, the American Council on Education, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and American Pharmacists Association. Attending an accredited program will ensure that the student receives a high quality education and successfully finds an appropriate job.

Exam Orientated

Pharmacy students must also verify that their desired academic program prepares them to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) that is offered through two accrediting bodies. The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) has certified over 450,000 pharmacy professionals in their 25 years of operation. Passing the ExCPT exam allows pharmacy techs to use the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) after their name. This exam contains a well-rounded evaluation of the most common procedures that pharmacy techs perform every day.

The exam emphasizes prescription analysis, preparation and dispensation procedures. It also covers privacy regulations and security laws. The National Healthcareer Association’s exam is available at hundreds of locations. Their website provides students with case studies, review questions and practice drills to prepare for the test. Alternatively, the online pharmacy degree program can prepare the student for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s (PTCB) exam. The PTCB has certified over 500,000 pharmacy technicians through Pearson Professional Centers and military test centers across the country. This exam is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Internships and State Requirements

Accredited online pharmacy degree program should offer an internship, externship or practicum. Most pharmacy degree programs will require students to complete 120 to 200 hours of work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. These exclusive opportunities will provide students with hands-on training and experience that will help them develop a foundation of pharmacy knowledge. Students are able to apply the things that they have learned online, so they will be better prepared for their first job after graduation. Externships are great ways to prepare for state or national certification. They also provide students with networking opportunities, so they will be able to find a job faster after graduation.

Students must verify their state’s requirements for pharmacy techs. Every state requires pharmacy techs to pass a Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam to ensure public safety. Almost all state boards of pharmacy have regulations that specify how pharmacy techs must register and maintain certification. The format and language of these state regulations will vary. There is a difference between national certification and the state registration processes. National certification is when a non-governmental agency offers credentials to individuals who meet their internal qualifications through passing an exam that assesses their skills and knowledge. The state registration process creates an official list of active pharmacy technicians in the state in order to prevent individuals with documented problems from serving the state.

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Those who want to get a pharmacy degree online should ensure that their program’s curriculum covers pharmacology, professional ethics, standard procedures, pharmacy operations, pharmaceutical terminology and all major classifications of drugs.