Pharmacists are charged with the discovery, control, and effective use of medications. They play an essential role in society and are central to the care provision component of the health system. To become a pharmacist, you have to understand drug mechanics, interactions, and adverse effects drugs may cause. However, pharmacists take on many other roles that aid patients, help companies, and lead to breakthroughs that make a difference in the social sphere.
The journey to a successful career in pharmacy starts with getting a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. A PharmD degree opens you up to several opportunities in pharmacy and the health sector in general. You can work in any field, from research and development to inpatient or outpatient care, academia, and even biotech.
Your PharmD training will typically last for four years and involves clinical and academic training. The training will teach you the theoretical knowledge of practice, the profession’s legal and ethical understanding, and laboratory work. At the same time, the clinical training will be about practical exposure to real-life pharmaceutical practice.
You can get a PharmD degree both online and offline in the State of Kansas. All you have to do is make sure you meet the educational requirements. When you meet these requirements, your journey to becoming a pharmacist begins.
As an entry-level pharmacist in Kansa, you will earn an average of $118,141, about 7% below the national average. However, your city can affect this amount; for instance, in Wichita, the median salary for pharmacists is $135,492, but it generally ranges from $127,662 to $144,317, which puts the Kansas salary average higher than the federal average of $125,690.
The Kansas average salary is more impressive when you look at the state’s standard of living. Kansas has a living standard of 16.9% less than the federal average. So, whether you earn around the state average or city average, you will get your money’s value if you choose to pursue a career here.
The first requirement for an Online PharmD degree in Kansas is for you to complete your high school. After you have done this, the next step is to enroll yourself in a pre-pharmacy course program. This course program is normally done for two years before you can apply to write your PCATs and then enter pharmacy school. You can do any coursework for this pre-pharmacy program, but chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and biology are common.
After this has been completed, the next step is to apply for the PCAT. The PCAT is called the Pharmacy College Admissions Test. This test is a standardized test that helps decide candidates who are qualified to go to pharmacy school. You then apply to your choice of pharmacy school via the Pharmacy College Application Service. An essential piece of information to know is that some schools may not require that you take the PCAT. One such school is St. John Fisher College. Also, you should know that while these requirements may be standard in Kansas, some schools have different requirements. So, you can skim through them here.
Another requirement needed to be admitted into the pharmacy school is at least two letters of recommendation attesting to your qualifications and behavior. Having experience volunteering or interning in healthcare is not a standard requirement, but it helps your chances a lot. It speaks to your drive to study the course.
A standard PharmD degree is four years long. Some schools may run a dual degree program for six years, removing the need for pre-pharmacy education and awarding a B.Sc./PharmD at the end of your stay. Some other schools may run a shorter program for three years, including shorter breaks and a more intensive course. However, the standard remains the four-year program.
When you start your program, you will be introduced to courses in organic chemistry, microbiology, cellular biology, and statistics. You will be taught a variety of subjects that will both increase your knowledge of pharmaceutical principles and improve your critical reasoning and communication skills. In the first two years, you will also be introduced to the ethical ways of managing patients, counseling them, and administering drugs as well as lab work.
In your final year, you are expected to have a firm grasp of the basics, and most of your time will be spent on clinical rotations. These rotations get you acquainted with the different specialties of pharmacy, such as toxicology, pharmacognosy, community medicine, and acute care pharmacy.
Once you have completed your degree, the next step will be getting your license.
Before the Kansas State Board of Pharmacists awards a recent pharmacy graduate a license, they must have passed the NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam) and MPJE (Multi-state Jurisprudence Exam). You can check the other licensing requirements here.
The MPJE Kansas helps evaluate your application of rules and laws of pharmacy practice in Kansas. This test is taken immediately after you graduate.
NAPLEX assesses your knowledge and skills of the correct and most recent pharmaceutical practices. It is also tailored to your state. For Kansas, the NAPLEX exam should be done at most 90 days before applying for your license.
Residency training allows you to be more grounded in the clinical practice before getting a full-time job. It helps you get more orientation in all the correct practice principles of pharmacy. Also, if you are someone who wants to specialize, a residency program will help you become better. Note that this is usually voluntary and optional, but some jobs may require it.
The University of Kansas has a 13-month residency program that can be done after getting your PharmD degree. Your clinical knowledge and leadership skills are made more suitable with this program.
The Kansas Board of Pharmacy regulates continued education. To ensure you do not fall behind in the knowledge of the most current evidence-based pharmacy practice in Kansas, you must complete 30 hours of continued education every two years. To read up on all the requirements, you can go here.
St. John Fisher College has a pharmacy school that offers an online pharmacy course called the Wegmans School of Pharmacy. To enter this ACPE authorized school, you will need to apply online, have a minimum of 62 hours of pre-pharmacy education at a certified school, and submit the transcripts from every school you attended. Also, note that the PCATs are being disregarded as a requirement for newer applications.
This online program is a standard four-year PharmD program that involves clinical rotations of 2000 hours and laboratory experience. These can be done in your local Kansas community. The estimated cost of attendance is around $20,981 as of 2021. An hour-long credit costs $1,130, and this can be used to estimate the tuition based on credits registered.
This university is ranked number 2 in the country for MPJE pass rates and boasts a 95% NAPLEX pass rate. It offers a four-year PharmD program. The tuition for students resident in Kansas is $26,405, but for students that live outside the state, it is $48,640. The acceptance rate is around 74%. The University of Kansas School of Pharmacy is located on three campuses. The main campus is in Lawrence, KS, while the medical centers for clinical exposure are in Kansas City and Wichita, KS.
This school of pharmacy performs interviews for its applicants and has an early decision program. There are a minimum of three reference letters required. Also, this school offers you the chance to be part of a dual degree program that allows you to get an MBA or M.S while getting the PharmD degree.
Kansas employs more than 2,000 pharmacists, and jobs have been growing in the state at a rate of 4.0% per year. The US Bureau of Statistics has estimated that Kansas will have 3,090 jobs for pharmacists by 2026. So, you will have a lot of options in the future. However, currently, some places you could work are:
- Myers and Stauffer LC
- Family Health Care
- The University of Kansas Health System
- Excite Pharma Services
- Siemens Healthineers
- Nobis Rehabilitation Partners LLC
As a PharmD holder in Kansas who wants to practice in the state entirely, you should be aware of the professional organizations that you could be part of. You should also know the ones that govern your activities.
- The Kansas Pharmacist Organization is a group of pharmacists in the state that come together to advance and promote the profession as well as promote public health. It was created in 1880, making it one of the oldest associations in the state. The head office is located in Topeka, KS. This association helps give out research grants and scholarships for special needs pharmacy students.
- Kansas Pharmacy Foundation is a not-for-profit charity organization created by former Kansas Pharmacist Association presidents. Their main goal is to improve health through research and development. They assist in the professional growth of pharmacists in the state and sponsor programs that promote health to the public, such as training and outreaches,
- The Kansas Board of Pharmacy is a regulatory organization. They have seven board members that make laws and rules about the Kansas pharmacy practice. They control the licenses of all pharmacy professionals in the state, including pharmacy technicians and pharmacists. This includes both issuing new licenses and renewing an old license. This board also controls the policies, gives disciplinary actions, and enforces compliance with the pharmacy Kansas organizations.