Becoming a pharmacist in Nebraska is a lucrative yet demanding career, which is a result of the necessity and difference it can make in people’s lives. The pharmacy industry in Nebraska is a growing one, with about 2,200 registered pharmacists available to cater to the 1,960,790 people currently living in the state of Nebraska, and it is projected to grow steadily over the next few years.
The road leading to this career is filled with degrees and licensure. One of the main ones is the Doctorate of Pharmacy degree (PharmD), which requires four years to complete. After your PharmD, you can go on to pursue an exciting, rewarding, and essential career path in pharmacy.
The average mean salary of a pharmacist in Nebraska is $118,980. Comparatively, the national average is $128,570, which leaves Nebraska a little lower than the high-paying states in the U.S. However, the cost of living in Nebraska makes the average mean salary reasonable for the average pharmacist in Nebraska. The cost of living is 10.9% lower than the U.S average, with a positive recent growth rate. This shows that Nebraska has high prospects of becoming more lucrative in the next decade.
According to the Board of Pharmacy in Nebraska, there are several ways you can obtain a Pharmacy license in Nebraska. First, you can go to a Pharmacy school, take the licensure examination, and pass, after which the board shall approve the pharmacists. In some situations, the board may choose to grant the license to a person who already has a board-approved license from another state or country.
Nebraska requires that everyone who intends to be a licensed pharmacist needs to keep up with the professionalism of this line of work, maintain all local and federal laws, and help uphold public trust. To do so, you must:
- Provide transcripts of a degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy
- Complete 1,500 hours of internship
- Pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) with a score of 75
- Pass the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) with a score of 75
The final step of the process is to fill out your application for licensing and pay the required fees to be considered for approval.
Licensure by reciprocity is another way of becoming a licensed pharmacist in Nebraska. Suppose you’re a licensed pharmacist in another state. You can transfer it to Nebraska and successfully practice in Nebraska after meeting the following requirements:
- Pass the NAPLEX with a minimum score of 75
- Pass the MPJE with a minimum score of 75
- Take the Nebraska state jurisprudence examination
- Total practical experience in pharmacy at least 1,500 hours
- Submit a verification form displaying the licensing authority you received your license.
- Foreign educated applicants will need to submit copies of certificates showing a passing score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE).
There are only two accredited pharmacy schools located in Nebraska. Altogether, they support around 11,000 students every year. Creighton University in Omaha is a private pharmacy school, while the University of Nebraska Medical Center is a public research institution part of the larger public university that encompasses different schools.
Creighton University is one of the top-rated fully accredited universities in the U.S for a Doctorate of Pharmacy, and it’s the only private pharmacy school in Nebraska. Its campus of 132 acres supports about 8,000 students each year, non-residents inclusive. While it is a private institution, it’s also for coeducational and research purposes, which allows collaboration with students from other campuses.
Creighton University offers three pathways to obtain your Doctor of Pharmacy degree. There’s the Omaha Pathway, the Distance Pathway, and the Phoenix Hybrid Pathway. The Omaha Pathway is the physical/on-site option for those who intend to study in Nebraska.
Creighton University offers other study programs, including a Doctorate in Physical and Occupational Therapy, which gives students the option of working together in the same environment. For admission into the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Creighton University, you must meet the following requirements:
- A minimum of 63 semester hours of prerequisites,
- Prerequisite courses must be completed at any regionally accredited institution located within the United States and must be completed with at least a grade of C,
- All prerequisite coursework must be complete by August 1 of the year of matriculation,
- All prerequisite coursework must be completed by July 1 of the year of matriculation for international students.
The Doctor of Pharmacy tuition and fees vary by year, which is why it’s advisable to inquire about the cost upfront from Creighton’s financial aid website. However, all four years will cost you 127,249 in paid tuition. Below is a small list of costs to consider fitting into your budget for this four-year program each year.
- Lab Fee ($300)
- Travel ($1,300)
Creighton University produces a large number of graduates yearly, and the decent employment rate among the graduates can make this university a good choice for you.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) campus has a College of Pharmacy that offers a PharmD program that’s fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, and it represents a nationally ranked and academic medical facility. The university has an outstanding reputation among medical institutions in the country.
Since 2021, the UNMC College of Pharmacy tuition for non-residents and international students has been the same as the Nebraska resident tuition. The tuition fee is $341.00 per credit hour. There are other fees that apply, such as registration fees, technology fees per semester, library fees, or distance education fees which are paid each semester.
Students also have the option of choosing between a Doctorate of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences (M.S. or Ph.D.), and summer and residency programs. UNMC College of Pharmacy offers two dual degree programs, which are the PharmD /MBA and the PharmD/MPH.
The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) /Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a dual degree program that provides you with the knowledge, tools, and skills to enhance your pharmacy and business practices, while the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) /Masters of Public Health (MPH) dual degree program provides you with the necessary skills to enhance your pharmacy and public health practice in your community.
Another great path to getting a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree is by attending online Pharmacy schools. This option is suitable for you if you prefer to learn from home, have a busy schedule, or just want to learn at your own pace.
Creighton University’s School of Pharmacy has three pathways to bagging a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree, and one of those is the Distance Pathway. It is an online schooling pathway that’s existed since 2001 and has since produced a large number of students with the degree of their choice.
Tuition for a PharmD at Creighton University’s online program is $38,514 for years one-three and $58,318 for the fourth year. However, there are some other additional fees you’ll need to consider as a student. They include; Living Allowance ($16,200)
- Program Fee ($255)
- Lab Fee ($300)
- Travel ($1,300)
- Books/Supplies ($2,068)
- Health Insurance Loan Fees ($3,300)
- Loan Fees ($1,600)
With the above, each student is expected to pay roughly $63,662 each year. Creighton University also makes financial aid available to those that may require it.
If you’re interested in an online learning option, you can apply online to Creighton University’s School of Pharmacy.
St. John Fisher College
Another excellent option to obtain a PharmD degree is St. John Fisher College. This New York-based online college offers a thoroughly comprehensive PharmD program without the option of physical or hybrid classes.
Fisher College, through its Wegmans School of Pharmacy, offers students an all-inclusive and hands-on training experience that comprises 11 clinical rotations, totaling 2,000 hours and 151 credits. All of these build up into the experience you need and set you apart from other programs offered.
The tuition starts at $1,130 per credit hour. However, the total cost for the program is $181,337. Other expenses to cater for include transportation, clinicals, and books. It’s not uncommon for students to require financial aid, and the school has an offering for those who are qualified.
Admission requirements are also demanding for online programs. The best thing to do is to prepare beforehand and create a checklist of the essential tasks. They include course hours and GPA requirements. St. John Fisher College offers a well-rounded education in a flexible environment. If this is what you’re looking for, make plans to apply as soon as you can.
You may have limited options when considering getting your PharmD in person in Nebraska. However, when you consider the choices you have to get your Doctorate online, it becomes even easier to reach your goals. Online schools offer you a better option regarding learning style and a preferred environment. If you decide to go with the online learning option, ensure that you make inquiries into the specific requirements for the school and follow them appropriately.
Becoming a PharmD in Nebraska is a valuable career path to follow. It gives you room to benefit from a growing pharmacy environment and builds earning power as you evolve and grow.