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9/19/2000

NABP Task Force Urges Uniformity in Internship Requirements

Cheryl A. Thompson

Without mandating a change, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) is encouraging more uniformity in states' internship requirements.

An NABP task force has recommended that state boards of pharmacy consider letting a college-required internship experience of at least 1,500 hours satisfy a board's requirement for practice experience before licensure. The task force also recommended that NABP support the internship accreditation standards and guidelines of the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education, which accredits pharmacy schools' professional programs. One of those guidelines states that the duration of an advanced pharmacy practice experience, or internship, "should ordinarily be the equivalent of one academic year," which is at least 1,500 hours for a full-time student. 

In addition, the task force requested that the appropriate NABP committee revise the "Model Standards for Pharmacy Internship Programs" to reflect the current climate of practice experiences. There are times when the supervising health care professional may not be a pharmacist, but those instances should still count as "approved advanced pharmacy practice experiences," the task force said. 

The seven-member task force presented its recommendations in May at NABP's annual meeting, in Nashville, Tenn. ASHP members Dennis K. McAllister, a member of the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy, and Ruth A. Vandever, a past president of NABP, served on the task force.