Best Pharmacist Schools In Colorado | 2020

The USA is one of the best places to pursue a career in pharmacy as it houses some of the best pharmacy schools in the world. With our focus on Colorado, this read will give you detailed information on the best pharmacist schools in the state as well as the pharmacy program accreditation and licenses.

In addition, you will get a guide on how to become a Pharmacist.

Colorado is one of the few states in the USA to offer promising employment prospects to pharmacists. It still requires pharmacists to perform various functions in the pharmaceutical industry. In 2018, there were approximately 5,200 pharmacists working in the state with an average annual salary of $120,980.

However, with only 2 pharmacy schools in Colorado, there is a limited option for you to pursue a Pharm. D. degree.

Therefore, to provide you with the best educational experience, this article will give you vital information on how to become a pharmacist. Also, you will learn more about the pharmacy degree program and also the ranking of the ACPE accredited pharmacy schools in Colorado, based on their NAPLEX performance.

Here is a table of what to expect:

Before we look at these pharmacist schools in Colorado in their entirety, let’s get an overview of what pharmacy is, who a pharmacist is, and how to become one.

What Is Pharmacy?

According to Wikipedia, pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing, dispensing, and reviewing drugs and providing additional clinical services. It is simply a health profession that links health sciences with pharmaceutical sciences and aims to ensure the safe, effective, and affordable use of drugs.

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Who Is A Pharmacist?

In simple terms, pharmacists are medication experts who use their detailed knowledge of medicine to help patients get well.  They are health professionals who are involved in all forms of medicine delivery to patients.

Pharmacists conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, as well as oversee the medications given to patients. Also, they provide advice on healthy lifestyles.

What Are The Duties Of A Pharmacist?

What Are The Duties Of A Pharmacist?

Basically, pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are the responsibilities of a Pharmacist:

  • Fill prescriptions, and also verifying instructions from physicians on the proper amounts of medication to give to patients.
  • Check whether prescriptions will have negative effects on other drugs that a patient is taking or any medical conditions the patient has.
  • Instruct patients on how and when to take prescribed medicines. As well as, inform them about potential side effects from taking the medicines.
  • They give flu shots and, in most states, other vaccinations.
  • Advise patients about general health topics, such as diet, exercise, and managing stress. They also advise patients on what equipment or supplies would be best to treat a health problem.
  • Complete insurance forms as well as work with insurance companies to ensure that patients get the medicines they need.
  • They oversee the work of pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in training (interns).
  • Keep records and also do other administrative tasks.
  • In addition, they teach other healthcare practitioners about proper medication therapies for patients

What Are The Qualities Of Pharmacists?

As a pharmacist, you must have the following qualities or skills:

  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Managerial skills

Basically, pharmacists must provide safe medications efficiently. Therefore to do this, they must be able to evaluate a patient’s needs and the prescriber’s orders. In addition, they must have extensive knowledge of the effects and appropriate circumstances for giving out a specific medication.

Pharmacists need communication skills as they frequently offer advice to patients. They also need to explain how to take medicine, for example, and what its side effects are.

In addition, they need good speaking skills to offer clear direction to pharmacy technicians and interns.

Typically, pharmacists need computer skills in order to use any electronic health record (EHR) systems that their organization has adopted.

Pharmacists are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the prescriptions they fill; therefore, they need to pay attention to details.

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In addition, they must be able to find the information that they need to make decisions about what medications are appropriate for each patient because improper use of medication can pose serious health risks.

Pharmacists, especially those who run a retail pharmacy, must have good managerial skills, including the ability to manage inventory and also, oversee a staff.

How Can I Become A Pharmacist?

To become a pharmacist in Colorado and the USA, you have to fulfill the following:

  • Complete Relevant Degree Programs
  • Pass Licensure Requirements
  • Complete Post-Doctoral Training
  • Stay On Top Of Continuing Education

#1 Complete Relevant Degree Programs

Pharmacists in training have two different paths to follow to complete their educational requirements. The first option is to complete undergraduate coursework before moving into a graduate program, while the second is a combined option that integrates all coursework into one program.

Pre-pharmacy courses are offered as either two or four-year degrees. This is to ensure that students already have an idea of which graduate program they will pursue before committing to an undergraduate program.

Basically, four-year degrees incorporate more general education and liberal arts classes, while two-year programs focus on courses relevant to the field.

To meet prerequisites for advanced study, you must take courses in general and organic chemistry; molecular and cellular biology; human anatomy and physiology; microbiology; statistics; calculus; and English.

Although some programs may require multiple semesters of these topics. However, once completed, students apply for a four-year pharmacy doctoral program.

Combined degrees are offered in various forms. These degrees allow the student to complete all required coursework in a shorter time.

Six and seven-year programs are the most common and grant both a bachelor’s and doctor of pharmacy degree to students upon graduation.

Basically, these programs are suitable for students with a firm understanding of future career goals and also those who wish to complete their studies before.

It is important to note that these two educational paths require students to pass the Pharmacy College Admissions Test before being admitted to a graduate program.

#2 Pass Licensure Requirements

Typically, Pharmacists need to obtain a license to practice in any state.

This implies that graduates should check with their local board to learn about specific requirements.This because while some states may have requirements, others do not.

Notwithstanding, the major requirements include the following:

  • Graduate from a doctoral program (Pharm.D.) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
  • Pass three parts of the licensing examination series for pharmacists, including the North American Pharmacist Licensing Exam, the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam, and the Written and Practical exam.
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North American Pharmacist Licensing Exam(NAPLEX)

The NAPLEX is a computerized exam that is comprised of 185 questions and designed to test a candidate’s knowledge of pharmacotherapy and therapeutic outcomes, preparing and distributing medication, and optimizing the health of their patients. It is also an adaptive exam, meaning the test selects questions based on how the student is fairing on the exam.

Taking the NAPLEX costs about $505. So as a student, you should feel well-prepared before scheduling a testing date.

However, if you fail the NAPLEX or one of the other required examinations, you may be able to apply to retake it. And this usually requires an additional exam fee and written approval by a state or national pharmacy body.

Also, note that some states have a limit on the number of times you can retake a test.

Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE)

MPJE is focused on a student’s knowledge of federal and state laws surrounding the pharmaceutical practice. Colorado and other participating states use this exam to ensure all pharmacists understand the legal ramifications of prescribing and distributing drugs.

The Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence exam costs $250.

#3 Complete Post-Doctoral Training

If you plan to work in a specialized field of pharmaceutics as a pharmacist, you’ll have to complete a residency program lasting one to two years.

The reason being that post-doctoral training provides new pharmacists with the specialized knowledge they’ll need to enter these fields.

#4 Stay On Top Of Continuing Education

What are the Requirements for Pharmacy Schools in Colorado?

Before you get admitted to a pharmacy school in Colorado, you must fulfill a set of requirements. Although these requirements differ depending on the school, the general requirements include:

  • Transcripts
  • TOEFL(For international students)
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Minimum of 3.0 CGPA
  • A credit score in Biology, Anatomy & Chemistry

What is the Tuition Fee for Pharmacy Schools in Colorado?

The tuition fee for the Doctor of Pharmacy at Regis University is $1,095 per credit hour. On the other hand, residents at the University of Colorado pay $32,470 on tuition while nonresidents pay $41,265.

Best Pharmacist Schools in Colorado

In Colorado, only two schools offer programs in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. However, to effectively rank them, we use the following factors:

These Colorado Pharmacy Schools must be recognized and approved by the ACPE.

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education.

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This shows the extent to which the school’s graduates perform in the North American Pharmacist Licensing Exam(NAPLEX).

This is self-explanatory. It refers to the number of accredited pharmacy programs the university offers at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

This is all about how top ranking websites see the university’s pharmacy program.

Here are the best universities where you can study accredited pharmacy programs in Colorado:

  • University of Colorado
  • Regis University

University of Colorado – Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Reputation: USNEWS – 20th

Founded in 1911, the University of Colorado’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy is currently housed on a 165,000 square foot building at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver. It has been consistently ranked by US News & World Reports in the top 20% pharmacy schools in the country.

At the Skaggs School of Pharmacy, students from around the globe learn from award-winning faculty in a world-class medical setting. The hands-on training is dynamic, interprofessional, and career-driven. This is achieved with the various Drug Discovery Initiative Core Facilities in the school.

Academically, the University of Colorado’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy offers four major programs. They include:

  • PharmD Program
  • Online Programs
  • Master’s Programs
  • Phd Programs

From the entry-level PharmD program to flexible online degrees, their curriculum is innovative and agile, preparing students to be leaders in the emerging pharmacy careers of the future.

It is important also to note that 95% of graduates here are employed within 6 months. Furthermore, the University of Colorado’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy has 7 ACCP national award winners.

The American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) is an international association of clinical pharmacists dedicated to optimizing drug therapy outcomes in patients.

Regis University School of Pharmacy

Reputation: USNEWS – 90th

The Regis University School of Pharmacy is one of the best schools for Pharmacists in Colorado. It educates men and women to become exceptional and socially responsible pharmacists. 

Regis’ School of Pharmacy is nationally recognized for its innovative and groundbreaking combination of Team-Based Learning (TBL) and real-life application opportunities in conjunction with our integrated curriculum.

They are committed to community engagement, professional leadership, and scholarly activities that contribute to the advancement of pharmacy education, pharmaceutical sciences, and pharmacy practice.

Academically, the Regis University School of Pharmacy offers three major programs. They include:

  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Program
  • Dual Pharm.D. and M.S. Degree Programs
  • Graduate Certificate Programs
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It is important also to note that the school collaborates with several health care organizations in the Denver area to develop a number of postgraduate residency training programs that meet our mission and vision to develop leaders in the profession of pharmacy.

Currently, Regis’ School of Pharmacy has a 65% residency match rate for the classes of 2015-2020 (equal to the national average).

Licensure – Passing the NAPLEX and MPJE in Colorado

A license is vital to practice pharmacy in the state of Colorado. To become a licensed pharmacist in Colorado you must first apply to the state board to gain your eligibility for the NAPLEX and MPJE.

After the board confirms your eligibility, you can then register for both the licensure exams on the NABP website.

Now, to get the Colorado Pharmacist License, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Pass the NAPLEX
  • Pass the MPJE
  • Have 1500 internship hours
  • Earn a degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy
  • Have no criminal record

What Do Pharmacists in Colorado Earn?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage of pharmacists in Colorado is $120,660.

From salary.com, the average Pharmacist salary in Colorado is $136,513 as of August 27, 2020, but the range typically falls between $128,629 and $145,402.

FAQs On Best Pharmacist Schools In Colorado | 2020

Who is a Pharmacists?

A pharmacist is a medication expert who uses his/her detailed knowledge of medicines to help patients get well.

What are the Requirements for Pharmacy Schools in Colorado?

The general requirements for Pharmacy Schools in Colorado include:

1. Transcripts
2. TOEFL(For international students)
3. Letter of Recommendation
4. Minimum of 3.0 CGPA
5. A credit score in Biology, Anatomy & Chemistry

What is the Tuition Fee for Pharmacy Schools in Colorado?

The tuition fee for the Doctor of Pharmacy at Regis University is $1,095 per credit hour. On the other hand, residents at the University of Colorado pay $32,470 on tuition while nonresidents pay $41,265.

What are the Best Pharmacist Schools in Colorado?

The best pharmacist schools in Colorado are:

1. University of Colorado
2. Regis University

Conclusion

Pharmacy is a vital field in the health sector and a career in it is definitely promising.

You can consider one of the two pharmacists schools in Colorado above if you are yet to enroll in any. Carefully go through the article for guidance.

I  hope this helps you in your decision making process.

Good Luck And Success!!!

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