Get Your Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) in Wyoming
Healthcare is an ever-expanding area that will always have a need for professional, hardworking, ethical, and caring people, especially as humans continue to live longer, fuller lives. As a pharmacist, you can help people live healthily, live longer, and aid in making them feel better when they are ill. Pharmacists are essential in working hand in hand with doctors and nurses to help patients recover from surgeries and sickness every day. There will always be a need for pharmacists, especially as their job description changes with the times.
Not only does a pharmacist dispense proper prescription medications, but they are responsible for offering expert advice on that medication, possible side effects and safe usage. Pharmacists have to know about drug interactions, such as which ones shouldn’t be taken at the same time and what adverse side effects could happen. They also conduct health and wellness screenings for patients, give advice for living a healthy lifestyle and can now administer immunizations.
Becoming a pharmacist can be a challenging process, but with hard work and determination, a career as a pharmacist can be a fulfilling, lucrative, rewarding, life-changing career.
Becoming a Pharmacist in Wyoming
To become a pharmacist in the state of Wyoming, you need to first graduate from high school and get your diploma. After that, you will have to apply to a college, university, or community college and complete two years to four years of prerequisites. The very minimum would be an associate in science degree, although a few schools will require longer study, such as a BS.
Once all your undergraduate classes have been successfully completed, you will need to enroll in a college or university that has a school of pharmacy program. This program will get you ready to become a licensed pharmacist. It takes four years to complete. While in that program, you will also need to complete 1200 hours of clinical rotations where you work hand in hand with a licensed pharmacist as an intern. Here you will learn valuable hands-on skills that will get you ready for a future career as a pharmacist.
After you have finished the degree program satisfactorily, you will be presented with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. After that is complete, you will have to pass two major exams to receive your licensure. These tests include the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE).
Required Testing for Licensure
All pharmacists looking to practice in North America have to pass the NAPLEX exam before being granted a license. All states in the United States, aside from two, also require prospective pharmacists to pass the MPJE.
The NAPLEX exam is an adaptive, completely computerized exam. This means the questions are tailored to each individual student compared to their answers. If you get an answer wrong, the computer then will revisit a similar question so that all angles of competency are tested. Students have up to five chances to pass the test, but a vast majority pass the NAPLEX the first time they take it. It is said that if you do well in school, then you will likely pass the NAPLEX the first time through with adequate studying.
The MPJE is a similar test though not quite as long. This examination focuses more on the individual’s state and the laws and processes related to practicing as a pharmacist in their state.
Accredited Schools With Pharmacist Programs
University of Wyoming
In the country’s least populated state, there is only one university that offers a PharmD program. That college is the University of Wyoming (UW), located in Laramie. Just because it isn’t popular doesn’t mean it isn’t on par with some of the best colleges out there. The University of Wyoming is ranked as one of the top sixty schools in the entire country.
This nationally accredited school boasts at least a 95% pass rate on national licensure exams such as the NAPLEX and MPJE.
The University of Wyoming has small class sizes, which means a better student-to-faculty ratio, and students get better, more focused attention in classes. In 2019 44 students applied to the PharmD program; all 44 passed, while last year, there were 52 students in the same program.
For entry into the UW, a student needs to have completed 72 semester credit hours in a pre-pharmacy curriculum or undergraduate study. Then they need to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). This test will test a student’s skills needed to succeed in the PharmD program. Most accredited colleges and universities require this test to be taken as part of admissions. The main subjects the PCAT will test are Biology, Chemistry, Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability and Reading Comprehension.
Another great perk associated with UW is their Early Assurance Program. High school students who are looking to get into a pharmacy program can apply to UW as first-year students.
Prospective students have to have an accumulated GPA of 3.5, have a math ACT score of 23 and an SAT score of 560, along with an ACT composite score of 27, and SAT of 1280, to be eligible.
Early Assurance Program students will be enrolled in courses that focus on a career in pharmacy. This is a 2-year long pre-pharmacy program; once they have completed their studies, they will be able to go through an admissions interview and be invited to take the PCAT. This helps to give students a little bit of a head start in the pharmacy program
St. John Fisher Wegmans School of Pharmacy
St. John Fisher Wegmans School of Pharmacy (SJFC) is an accredited online college located in Rochester, New York. In 2006 the Wegmans School of Pharmacy opened with only a handful of students and staff. Since then, they have become a world-class institution that offers students the flexibility of hybrid learning. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean students won’t be able to finish the required clinical rotations. SJFC works with local communities to allow students to complete their hands-on training in their local area.
With SJFC, you will not have to take the PCAT. While most institutions require students to take it, St. Johns does not require completion of the exam to be accepted into the program.
Keeping up With Continuing Education
Once you have met all the requirements for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, you have passed the NAPLEX and MPJE and are now a practicing pharmacist. You still have to renew your license annually and keep up with continuing education credits. For Wyoming pharmacists, this consists of 12 hours per year of approved credit hours through learning via lectures, class, or actual hands-on experience.
Wyoming Employment and Earnings Potential
Pharmacists in Wyoming can expect to make an average of $118,532 annually. This is about 6% below the national average. This number can fluctuate with the length of experience or what city you practice in. Wyoming sits slightly below the national average when it comes to the cost of living, so while you might make a bit less than the average pharmacist, you might be able to live better because of the lower cost of living.
The need for pharmacist jobs is slowly increasing as current pharmacists are shifting into different positions, some are getting older and retiring, and more people are living longer while requiring more medications. While there may not be a huge need for pharmacists in Wyoming, there are still more jobs open than there are graduates.
After getting your pharmacy degree and passing the required licensure, you should think about joining some pharmacy groups or associations. You can meet up and share ideas with like-minded individuals who strive to constantly improve the field of pharmacology.
Joining professional groups is a great way to increase your chances of being hired and add extra credentials to your resume when out job searching. These organizations could be the added emphasis you need to get your resume from the middle of the stack to the top.
Wyoming Pharmacy Association
The Wyoming Pharmacy Association is a group of people whom all work together to help improve Wyoming citizens’ health through pharmacy advancements. This organization has been around for over 100 years and is made up of pharmacists, pharmacist techs and academics who have a passion for pharmacy and how to improve everything based on it. The WPhA provides workshops, continuing education and host conventions every year.
The WPhA is working to become a part of a greater health care team that focuses on improved quality of life and health by utilizing safe drug therapy and enhancing Wyoming citizens’ quality of life.
Wyoming State Board of Pharmacy
This is a group of members that is concerned with licensing, regulation of pharmacists and pharmacy techs and making sure pharmacies are looking out for the health and well-being of patients and the public.
You can also go to their website and get a wealth of information relating to pharmacies and pharmacists. If you are working in Wyoming as a pharmacist, you can also renew your license on the site.